Friday, August 3, 2012

On Self-Improvement

Journal Page by Laura Bray
I had a little breakthrough this week and I wanted to share it with you.  In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a Type A personality with a little perfectionism thrown-in for fun.  Since I was a little girl, I'm always strived to be better.  I'm continually setting goals for myself.  Which is great, except I barely allow myself a moment of celebration when I achieve my goals, before I'm off setting the next one. 

Yesterday, I came across a new blog, Zen Habits and, in the process of reading the blog, I stumbled onto Leo's post about Quashing the Self-Improvement Urge.  It had a strange effect on me.  It brought up feelings that I quickly pushed away because they made me a little nervous and uncomfortable.
Journal page by Laura Bray
Later that I day was doing some journaling.  I was writing out my "Perfect Day".  It's a little exercise where you describe your absolute, perfect day, hour by hour.  I use it to help me set goals and get focused.  Yesterday, I sat there, pen in hand, and realized I pretty much have EVERYTHING I want.  Really, I don't need more money.  We aren't rich, but we are able to live comfortably.  I have a great family.  I'm not making a fortune at my business, but I am making money, feel fulfilled, and am still able to spend time with my daughter.  I enjoy all the free time I have to do crafts, cook, and take care of my family.  My days of wanting world domination are over.  I don't want to be Martha Stewart.  She works too hard, and doesn't seem to have the personal life I would ever want.

One would think this would bring on a huge sense of joy.  I, on the other hand, started to hyper-ventilate.  The thought that I don't have much else to work on was terrifying.  Where was my purpose in life?  What would I do with my time?  What would I obsess and worry about? What would I fight for?

Then the Zen Habits post came rushing back into my mind.  What if I spent my time, being happy about where I am?  Enjoying all this bounty in my life?  What would happen if I took a break from being better and just rested on my laurels?  While that sounds like an optimal way of life, it's a hard concept to accept.  I keep feeling off-center since I broached the subject.  I find myself searching for things I could still "work" on.  But I'm happy the seed has been planted.  And I'm hoping I will be take it to heart.

So what about you?  Do you continually self-improve?  Or do you take the time to enjoy all that you have achieved?  Just for the record, I think you are perfect.  Just the way you are.  So take some time today to revel in that, will you?