Self-acceptance is more important than self-improvement?

I have always been very passionate about the role of self-improvement in my life. The name of my blog shows that I believe in a holistic way of life. Self- improvement has served me well in that capacity because I believe I am more effective now than I was in the past.
However, there was always an idea that puzzled me. It was a paradox in my thinking.
If I’m always striving towards new goals, when will I get the feeling of being successful? When will I enjoy the fruits of all the work I’ve done on self-improvement?
The missing piece between success and self-improvement is self-acceptance. I now realise that without self-acceptance, there is the danger that you will never be happy with your success. Success isn’t a tangible thing. It’s a feeling, and that feeling is relative. If you took two people with the exact same circumstances in life, one could be the happiest person alive and the other person the most miserable. The way they perceive what they have and their level of identification with those things, will determine whether they feel successful.
When I have felt successful in life has been when I have cultivated that state internally. It is the journey towards the goals as well as the end point that can create a feeling of success.
I am working on self- acceptance because I realised I was playing a dangerous game where I was losing the ability to be happy in the present moment because I was forever chasing goals. The goals were not the problem, it was my identification with the result of attaining them. In short, because I was obsessing over achievement, I would have been dissatisfied with my level of income, health, relationships or career. I was making the false assumption that those things are who I am. I cannot wait for the ideal of everything before I become happy. That is not true living.
Self-acceptance is the subtle art of knowing yourself internally so that you don’t have to rely on the external things around you for identity. I understand why people chase success symbols like cars, huge houses and other similar things. It is almost a way of measuring your level of success in the world. However, this measurement system is fundamentally flawed because it does not go deeply enough. It also cannot measure the intangible elements that really make us who we are. Here are some of them.
Our core values
Our purpose
Being happy
Having the ability to immerse fully in the present moment
Love.
A connection to a force that is greater than our-selves.
These things are the timeless.
Let go of the idea that your external possessions are who you really are. Become in tune with the concept, that everything you need for life you already have inside of you. Look within. Here is a resource to help with this.
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-Self-Acceptance-Can-Crack-Open-Your-Life This is a ten day programme of activities that are designed to help you start thinking about self acceptance. I have found some of them useful especially day one. It was really challenging to think that deeply about myself and it did give me some perspective on who I really am. I really liked this paragraph to explain what self-acceptance means:
Self-acceptance is the process of befriending the Unconditioned Self—the part of you that is more than just your name, your history, your story, your failures or your successes. You are more than just your experiences or how other people see you or the clothes you wear.
I wish you the best.

Make a decision

Just decide!

I finished my last report tonight for this academic year. These reports need to be in tomorrow and so I had left it till the last minute. I wasn’t up doing an all-nighter like I have done in the past, and I did start them about a week ago, but why didn’t I do them earlier? The simple reason is because at no point earlier on did I make a commitment to finishing or even starting the reports.

Making a decision makes all the difference and is the catalyst to true change.

When I was younger I was obsessed with a game called football manager. It was a way of life for many teenage boys in the U.K and many men also. When I first met Annemarie, I was still hooked on this game to her utter dismay. She would complain about the hours I spent on it and I knew she was right, but I couldn’t stop playing it. Or so I thought.

One day, I was on there playing at a critical stage in the season when the computer went nuts and totally ruined my game. I had spent hours on this, and within minutes it had all come crashing down around me. In that instant I felt the rage of frustration at what had happened, but also felt the huge a huge sense of silliness at the rage this had sent me in. Surely there is more to life than this I thought and in that moment I made the decision. I’m not playing this game ever again! I uninstalled the game from my computer and have never touched it again.

I don’t believe that these decisions can be forced, but I do believe that if you tap into a strong enough reason why, you can stir up enough emotional energy to make a decision stick. My decision to work-out and look after my body came directly after my dad passed away with a heart attack. After the grief and pain came the realisation that I was on the same road and I made the decision to change path.

The key question is Why?

Why become financially free?

Why do I want to lose weight?

Why do I want to live in that home?

Why do I want to quit my job?

These questions will help you become aware of your deepest motivations. If you have a strong enough reason why, any course of action seems possible.

I wish you the best

Shaun

How quickly things can change

 

The shock exit of Spain in the world cup last night hammered home the principle that is so true in life that everything always changes. Nothing stays the same. The team that went out tonight after two straight defeats in the world cup are one of the greatest international football teams ever assembled and they were completely humbled twice.

This powerful principle is evident everywhere you look. When I look at my children, they change both physically and mentally very often. When I reflect on my relationship with my wife, it is not the same now as it was when we first met. This isn’t a good or a bad thing, it’s just change. Problems tend to surface when we try to stay the same in a situation that demands change. We want to change our physique but won’t change our eating habits. I’ve been guilty of this in the past. People say they want to change jobs, but they don’t change their approach to securing a new job, or they don’t change themselves in order to make themselves more employable.

The truth is the world is always changing and always will. Whilst our true nature and authentic selves may not change drastically, we do sometimes have to change behaviours or paradigms in order to receive something different within our lives.

I’ve decided that there are things in my life that I would like to change. The only option I have therefore, is to change myself in order to receive the changed circumstances I desire. This may explain why I am so fascinated by personal development. In essence, it is the self-awareness of deciding what we truly want, and then making the changes needed to turn these ideas into reality.

What things in your life would you like to change?

How are you changing yourself to allow that to happen?

I wish you the best

Shaun