Self-reliance ≠ Isolation

When I think about self-improvement, I honestly feel as if I have nothing going for me in that department. Personally, I am heavily dependent on interactions and the motivation and advice my friends and family give me. Essentially, without them, I feel lost.

Over the course of my life, I’ve found that I’m pretty aimless when it comes to being alone. But simultaneously, I crave my alone time so I can actually be productive. There is a constant push and pull in deciding what’s necessary when trying to further yourself. At least there is for me anyway. Learning to compartmentalize is a real struggle. It’s good to categorize the things that matter in that respect, and it’s important to make sure things like mental health, physical health, and your professional agenda stay important.

Mental health is the trickiest of the three for me as, again, it’s kind of a hard thing to talk about. While the idea of sorting out your personal issues alone can seem really appealing, it takes a sober mind to step back and realize the advantages of getting multiple opinions. There are people in the world who have gone through exactly what you’re going through who can help. I really don’t want to be cliche and say it takes bravery to talk about some things, but it really does. And even if they can’t actually help you along in your recovery, it’s a very honest and liberating feeling just to share in most cases. Letting the pot boil over isn’t going to help anyone.

Physical health, in my opinion, is all about asking the right questions and getting educated, but it’s also more or less figuring out how healthy you want to be. I for instance am overweight and out of shape, but I’m okay with that for now because my doctors lead me to believe that everything’s working as it should. Well except for the progressive pain spreading through my body as of late (but that’s for another time). There’s also determining if you’re looking for long term health (which obviously is the best choice) or fixing things short term like losing weight for some event or appearance and then regressing back to not particularly caring about your weight. In either scenario, I think it’s important to connect with professional or even just friends or family who have experienced something similar to figure out a plan for yourself and stick to it.

Finally, forwarding your professional agenda, especially in this society, can be difficult. There will always be that one person higher up the food chain who you think is incompetent. But there’s a moment in everyone’s career in which they look introspectively to determine whether or not they’re fine with that. Well if you’re the type who just wants the paycheck at the end of week/month, then strap in and maybe someone more competent will roll along. However, if you do have that go getter personality who wants to see the job done right, then it’s going to take some time. Are you in it for the long game or do you want to try a different job? Making valuable connections can take you far in your career and it just might get you a promotion, but maybe it’s just the company as a whole and you’ve got to find the right fit for you. Either way, don’t ever get discouraged. Finding the perfect job takes time and everyone you meet along the way has the potential of helping out, even if only a little bit.

In all of these categories, I’m sure you’ve noticed the most important thing in self-improvement, at least in my opinion, is surrounding yourself with people who can help. It may be that these people just make you happy, make you healthy or even help make strides your job search. I think it would be silly to go it alone at any point in your life. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. History has proven that great things can be accomplished from like-minded individuals and groups of people. There is strength in numbers. I know there are some really horrible people out there, but that shouldn’t make you lose your faith in humanity. There really are some people in the world who have a genuine, unmotivated desire to see that others are happy and doing well. I should know, I am one of those people.

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