I’m an improvement-junkie. I’m addicted to fixing problems, improving my life, and building myself to be better.
This tendency in me seems to have brought me to where I am now personally and professionally; I want to believe it inspired the the work that I do, helping clients to also improve their lives.
Through this lens, the goal in life is to improve life.
Can you relate? Do you also seek to solve problems in your life? Do you also try to be better? Do you also desire to improve your life?
There is an entire self-help industry fuelled by your desire to improve your life and fix your problems. There’s positive thinking, law of attraction, manifesting, bringing love into your life, how-to guides, and so on.
The goal of these is basically this: fix your problems; improve your life; be happy.
This goal permeates every aspect of life.
Relationship advice is about how to improve yourself and your relationship.
Financial advice is about how to make more money.
Mental health is about how to improve your thoughts and attitudes.
Social advice is about how to be more confident and bold.
Health advice is about how to improve your health.
Even religion and prayer is very often some variation of, “God, please fix my life.”
But what if we’ve got it all skewed?
What if we’ve been looking at life through a warped lens?
What if the goal of life is not to improve it?
If you’re an improvement-junkie like me, this idea is going to make you squirm, but stay with me here.
The need to improve something would imply that something is wrong or missing in the way that it is.
So your desire to “fix” yourself is affirming to yourself and the world that there is something wrong with you.
Your desire to “improve” your relationship, your finances, health, etc is actually keeping a steady focus on what isn’t working.
Your need to improve anything is really a focus on what isn’t there.
On the surface, your need to improve and fix and restore might look healthy, but it’s not. Your need to improve is fuelled by a deep sense of inadequacy, lack, pain, hurt, and not-enoughness - a deep dissatisfaction with life the way that it is.
So, if the goal in life is not to improve it, then what is it?
The goal of life is to live it. Fully. Enthusiastically. Completely.
Imagine watching a “perfect” movie. There’s no challenge. There’s no problem. There’s no heartbreak. There’s no tension. It’s basically 90 minutes of a smiling family strolling through a sunny meadow.
We don’t watch movies like that. They would be boring beyond reason.
We watch movies that have tension, challenge, problems, puzzles, loss, and heartache. We watch these movies to experience the highs and lows, the deep feelings, the inspiration, the edge-of-your-seat anticipation, and the heat of the moment.
The way we watch movies is the way we can watch life. Rather than looking for perfect, we can look for the full experience.
The goal of life isn’t to manipulate it and fix it and improve it until it fits into this little box you’ve formed, so that you can finally sit back, sigh, and say, “There, life is now the way that I want it.”
The goal in life is to ride the waves, the ups and downs, to experience the highs of joy and the depths of hurt. To cry, to laugh, to feel.
Rather than trying to improve your life, enter into relationship with it. A dance.
Get into rhythm with life so that when it spins one way, you can spin along, when your inner life jives another way, you’re able to jive along. When life seems to go one step forward and two steps back, dance the cha-cha right along with it. Stop trying to fix it, it’s not a problem. You’re just throwing yourself off beat. Instead dance along with life.
Your prayer can turn from, “God, please fix this,” to, “God, teach me the dance moves.”
And when you dance with life, wouldn’t you know it, but it just heals and grows and expands all on its own.
Do you want to move from “improving and fixing” to dancing and relating? Do you want to learn some dance moves to enter into the dance, the relationship with your life? Learn the inner skills to live your life more fully with our one-on-one coaching.
Here’s to conquering stress.
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