I want you to be your best version of yourself. Self-improvement, once requiring proper effort and insight, now has been defined down to a few easy steps. So don’t be intimidated, come along with me on the journey of self-discovery. I’ll guide you through the process and rest assured in a few short minutes you’ll be on your way to being a whole lot better.
Let’s start with an easy one.
There’s nothing like a few trite and hollow words to make people feel better about the possibility of not doing nothing. Publish them on an appropriate background (think mountain scenery) and you’ve got solid motivation gold that’s Facebook and Instagram ready. Re-align your soul by contemplating half-finished phrases without context or meaning like this:
It’s beautiful isn’t it? And so very probably full of meaning, I guess. What about that that clown, standing in a barren snow-covered field, he’ll wake up tomorrow and decide not to put on make-up and stand out in the cold. And that’ll be an improvement right away.
Makes me want to cry. And my motivationess is now peaking at levels well above full awesome. I can feel myself becoming a little better already. The lesson in this one is simple. To me it says, “Shut the fuck up you whining turd I’ve got problems of my own already.” Get yourself a dose of cement. Lovely sentiments.
What about something from a famous person? If a real person said a something, then that something must have a real value right? If someone who succeeded tells us we can succeed no matter if we’ve got short legs, big nose, cancer, terminal apathy or whatever, we can surely succeed too.
Dammit Bruce, you’ve nailed it. I was comfortable on my comfortable plateau but now I see I’m going to have to move beyond. Like you did. Your ability to kick people in movies shows me that I can succeed in business/weight-loss/general life type stuff. Kung Fu and life are directly relatable in that way.
What it you don’t have scenery or famous people? What to do to motivate? Random babes are the fallback position. Check this.
Don’t quit. You’ll end up looking like her. Or in bed with her. Get the reward. Like returning a stray dog, only better looking. I know I feel my motivation gently stirring.
Take Comfort In A Story
Religions and philosophies are so complex and so like full of learning and stuff. It makes it all look so difficult. And difficult is discouraging. Fear not, we can borrow from religions and take stuff entirely out of context to suit our own means. I’ll show you how.
If you’ve been brought up in a Western predominantly judeo-christian society like mine then it’s best to borrow from another culture, all the better to misunderstand their grand traditions in a self-serving way. I’m suggesting Buddhism. Or Taoism.
It’s deflating to think that improving ourselves will require real effort and insights grafted from years of study and practice. The good news is, you don’t need to understand a religion or philosophy in order to borrow the best bits in a way appropriate to your needs. They have these things called parables, short metaphorical stories with apparently obvious meanings for you to understand or misunderstand depending on your needs. Get yourself a few prayer flags and learn a couple of parables and you can pretty much call yourself a buddhist. And you’ll be a heaps better person.
The Parable About The Monk Who Carries A Woman Across A River
You know the one about the guys crossing a river? It’s got some powerful awesomeness inside it. Those guys are monks. And there’s a chick there, and they have to carry her, except they can’t carry her because those guys are monks. But they do anyway. And woe Betty. So the younger monk turns to the older monk, some time down the track, and says, “How come you carried that dirty chick on your clean wholesome monk shoulders?” and the older monk says, “I put down that dirty chick ages ago. Why are you still carrying her?”
I might have paraphrased a bit.
And your mind goes like Boom! Because you were carrying around all baggage and shit and now you’re a better person for having read this parable and told yourself you’re putting those troubles down. All that trifling crap like being concerned about friends and family members’ welfare. Put it down and have a me moment. And be a better person for it.
You see how easy this is. And you thought it was going to be hard.
Marketing is your friend. Stop denying it. You know Nike’s “Just do it”? Yeah, well…just do it already.
If the simplicity of that slogan sounds fraught with the lack of opportunities to make growth feel like the kind of experience you can opt out of (for want to the correct shoes, weather, time, haircut) then Nike gives you some unobtainable role models to make sure you need their help to just do it.
People like this guy:
His god-like ability to kick a ball is so inspiring and/or deflating we can only take solace in the fact that he has his own range of shoes. Which you can buy. And thereby borrow some of that magic.
Start A Blog
Don’t be stupid. Only the mean and cynical write blogs. Okay, maybe that’s just me. Blogs are fraught with danger though. We’re all a bunch of mean fakes when you get down to it. And having a massively successful blog is a great way to get exposed.
These are great because you can do them from the comfort of your couch. Yet you get all the benefits of feeling like you’re actually better motivated.
I think some of those people are dead already. Wingsuit guy is either dead or about one jump away from being dead. And hanging from stuff has a short lifespan. So maybe you can be too motivated. I’d suggest a little couch time for some of those people.
If you’re concerned about being so motivated you get hurt or, you know, the music shits you too much (hands up…just me? okay) then there’s another type of motivational video for you. It’s people with handicap doing stuff you to pathetic to do even though you have all the right appendages.
Or the woman whose dream it is to dance Bolliwood even though she’s wheelchair bound.
Don’t you feel like getting up now and doing something? If not Bolliwood, then something? Oh, just one more People Are Awesome video and then get up and do something. Maybe.
Get A Device
There are now so many way to measure just how truly great you are. And most of them share directly to social media. Run 10 kms in 1hr 10 minutes? That’s only about 45 minutes off world pace. Post it to Facebook. Walked 5kms? That’s about half a day at work for the average nurse. But you did it as exercise and now you’re a better person for doing it. Post it to Facebook.
The device is a conduit to exercise. And exercise is a conduit to a better you. You know your fad diet and temporary exercise regime is making you better because you feel better. Keep going. At least for another week.
So. Get a device already. Then choose a sport. Like cycling.
Yes, cycling. But how does one even get into cycling? Well the device manufacturers can help you here.
[blockquote cite=”Fitbit website” type=”left”]A trip to a bike shop is solid place to start.[/blockquote]
Anyone get the idea that Fitbit are marketing to people for whom the only way is up? People for whom walking 5,000 steps in a day is an achievement. Well that’s okay because they’re the perfect people for my program of self-discovery, enlightenment and empowerment. I’m all about empowering people, especially the idle and impressionable.
Bigger Faster Stronger
The great thing about devices is they give us a metric by which we can measure our improvements as people. I’ve had people tell me there is more to being a better person that numbers. Things like fellowship, mateship, contentment and happiness. But you can’t measure those things. How do we know we’re better people if we can’t measure it?
So here’s the deal. It’s easier to improve when you’re coming off a low base. Like those fat shaming to skinny hero shows on TV. If you’re already cycling 50kms each way to your work for a children’s charity then you’re pretty much screwed. You better start eating quinoa salad for lunch and posting photos of it to Instagram or otherwise no-one’s going to care you even exist. You cyclists might need to put the bike away for a couple of months before attempting self-improvement. I know how much you love cycling but it’s what you have to do in order to improve yourself. You can always take up cycling again as part of your new self. And you’ll get massive kudos for posting details of your heroic 10km ride.
So there it is, SSGC’s guide to making yourself a better self. Now sit back, enjoy some idle hours of You Tube, and think about how good you’re going to be. And for God’s sake stay off the bike.