Do you want instant results or instant gratification?
Go eat something sweet and savor it for as long as you can because after you’re done eating that it’s back to the nitty-gritty.
Giving yourself a time table to become the best version of yourself is respectable and very admiring but it’s going to lead you into a pit if you don’t plan correctly.
Many times we think that we’re able to do anything if we just have enough time, so in that case, we give ourselves a few weeks or a few months to become this totally different person when in reality it’s not enough.
Of course, you can improve on some habits within those few weeks or months but you’re going to have to commit for a longer period of time if you want to see growth from where you are now.
We’re so fascinated with instant results because we’re impatient, we want things now because we think we deserve it for some reason. Nope, life doesn't work that way my friend and you know it. It’s about becoming more comfortable with that truth.
It’s not impossible but you’re going to suffer way more than you need to. Of course, there will be some suffering no matter where you are on your self-improvement journey but you don't want to burn yourself out. Burnout leads to you giving up and losing confidence in yourself.
During your time of trying to become a better you, you’re going to experience times where your improvement doesn't show, or at least not obviously. You begin to question yourself and now your whole life is in question.
This is why it’s good to keep things focused on the long term, tell yourself that there will be no shortcuts when it comes to self-improvement and you won’t beat yourself up too much about it.
Let's look at some things to keep in mind on why you shouldn’t look at bettering yourself only for the short term.
Self-improvement is a life-long process
If there’s one thing you need to know about the self-help world is that self-improvement is a life-long process. It’s not only a goal to keep bettering yourself but it should become a lifestyle.
As humans, we’re never satisfied and this is even true when it comes to bettering ourselves. No matter how good of shape we’re in or how healthy we think we are, we always want to see if there's something better and who’s to blame us?
If we’re able to use this “never satisfied” energy towards something that is good for the world then things would be a lot easier, life would be a lot sweeter, to say the least.
As a student in college, I’m constantly wondering if I’ll ever use the information that I’m learning in the real world, but deep down inside I know that shouldn't be my worry. I should be worried about learning and knowing as many topics as I can so that I’m well versed in conversations and in everyday life.
College keeps me grounded it doesn't let me forget about how there is something that I don’t know yet. This attitude is something that will be with me for the rest of my life and hopefully yours too.
The only way you become smarter is by constantly learning new things and how to use the things we already know to our advantage.
Have you ever experienced a time where you saw yourself grow? It may have been a time where you sat down and got all of your work done without getting distracted or becoming a person who has better conversation skills than the former you.
It’s hard to really cherish those times when they're happening but it’s not too hard to notice them. Being able to notice when you excel in life, is a great boost of motivation to have.
The more you focus on growing, the easier it will become over time to the point where you can see growth in yourself every day. This is why you need to understand that self-improvement is a lifelong journey and not just a phase.
What can you look back on?
So, from past experiences, there was a time where you may have felt you were never going to improve. Many of those things that you had trouble with before are now somewhat easy or understandable.
Digging back into the past can be risky but if you focus on the time where you improved then it becomes a positive experience. There are so many life lessons that you’ve learned from your past and there is so much more for you to learn.
Have you improved from a year ago?
You may be a little wiser but have you?
Of course, you have, it’s just hard for you to see because the improvement is not as big as you wanted it to be. You’re growing little by little every day and the fact that you don’ have the courage to acknowledge that becomes frustrating.
Your mind needs encouragement sometimes and it usually needs it when things are going really bad. When you find yourself going through these hurdles, you can look back into the past and focus on what areas you’ve improved on.
If it was possible for you to improve that long ago, then it is more than possible for you to improve now.
Some things take longer than others and people grow at different speeds too. You may not be in the shape you want to be in now but if you give yourself enough time and effort, you will look back at this time in your life and laugh, unlike if you were to give up now.
If you were to give up now, then you would be telling yourself things like “I should’ve kept going” or “I need to stop giving up.” Eventually, while you’re on your journey to self-improvement you will start to know yourself a little better and understand why some things take longer for you to get better at than others.
Knowing yourself is already a big advantage to have over a lot of people, the more you know yourself, the more you know what you’re capable of.
The journey may take longer than you would like
Even when you think that you’re going in the right direction, life has a funny way of keeping you humble. It will knock you off course and it will feel like you have to start all over again.
When you keep thinking that a breakthrough can occur at any moment, time doesn’t intimidate you anymore. You become more open to it because you know that time of breakthrough will come eventually.
So, what if never comes?
No one can tell you if your life is guaranteed to offer you your dreams but it shouldn't be something that you’re afraid of chasing.
Would you give up if you knew that your life could potentially change in the next week or so?
No, you would grind it out, many people don’t have a mindset like this because they think of life as a mathematical equation. Something like “If I spend this many weeks doing this, then when those weeks are up I should be the best at it.”
For some things, this is the case but when looking at the bigger picture, you’re going to have to look farther in the future. Instead of giving yourself a year to do something, give yourself a couple more.
Watch how much more you will learn in those extra years rather than just giving yourself one. Life will ultimately decide when your time will come. No matter how hard you work, it’s not totally up to you for things to take off in your life.
Usually, there’s a little bit of luck involved but even then it still takes a long time to build that luck up. The timing has to be right along with other things. You’re in control of what you do in your life but you’re not in control of when you will start seeing results.
What’s the point of having hope?
It keeps life interesting and it makes you bet on yourself when nobody else will. The motivation that you’ve been lacking for ages will come at the perfect time in your life. In the words of an artist who goes by Big Sean “Everything comes full circle, you just have to wait.”
Become one with the time you have and life will give you more than you can ask for. There’s no timeframe you need to meet in order to be successful, it just takes some patience. I’ll leave you with a quote from Leo Tolstoy that says
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”