Do You Buy Bread to Make Spagetti?

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they, therefore, remain bound.” 

~James Allen

Self-development is what brushing is to your teeth, the polish is to your jewelry, and revision is to your exams. It helps to remove the dirt that covers your soul and helps to return to the unadulterated version of yourself. It reveals the bright light that resides within you. But imagine trying to wash your clothes with Colgate or brushing your teeth with Tide. Does it work? Imagine just putting laundry detergent on your clothes and wait for it to do the work. Will it clean? Will you add salt to your coffee to enhance its flavor? 

That is what happens when it comes to the process of self-development. We humans claim to be an educated mass and go by the books. We fail to recognize that it’s not just about learning; it is a cocktail of several other ingredients, including knowing what aligns with your purpose, defining your priorities, being persistent, and sometimes it’s not even about you—life and what happens to us could well be a product of others intentions and actions.

So why do you fail and keep falling back to your adulterated version? 

  1. The race to build a successful life rather than a content life.

Living in a world that feels like riding on Prozac, more often than not, fulfilling our family’s responsibilities, our career, our community is so consuming that we end up de-prioritizing self-development because let’s face it, it can wait. We would instead doze off in a meeting than spend an hour nourishing our soul. We have somehow convinced ourselves and displaced our priorities, which further kills all the motivation needed to stay on the path of self-development.

  1. Being generalized rather than personalized.

The starting line for understanding self-development is to be aware of yourself. You cannot improve on something if you do not even know what needs improvement. Filling the petrol tank when the problem is in the carburetor only complicates the condition of the car. Similarly, if you aren’t honest with yourself, every step towards self-development feels like walking on a flat road leading to nowhere. If your self-development process does not align with the purpose of life, then there would be nothing to keep you sticking to it. Sooner or later, you will let it go saying, “it just didn’t feel like me.”

  1. The will to having a lawn rather than maintaining it

We are a generation of sprinters. Very few among us invest themselves in marathons. Waiting to be a better version the moment you finish with the program is an illusion. Not everything works like “Feviquik”; some things are like regular glue where you need to hold the parts together for a considerable time to see the results. Working on improving something as massive as ourselves, does not happen in a moment. It is the result of consistent perseverance. Complacency corrodes your shine if you do not keep polishing it with persistence and determination.

  1. Google is not your guru.

Arjuna wouldn’t have been enlightened had it not been for a guru like Lord Krishna. In a generation where everything is available at our fingertips, every other individual claiming to be a psychological master bombards us with advice. Because of the lack of authenticity, we tend to turn around halfway and feel more disappointed that we give up on the idea of self-development altogether. We all have a light within us, but it takes a guru to see through that light and help us use that light to spread warmth and brightness. 

  1. Lotus doesn’t grow in a desert.

Despite being diligent and persistent, Tracy, an ardent believer of self-development, could not clear the black hole that she fell in often. Upon introspection, she realized that she is spending all the energy dealing with her abusive husband. If your environment consists of toxic people, especially with whom you are related closely, it becomes unavoidable to let their personalities affect you. So no matter how invested you are in improving yourself, sometimes it’s not about you, rather about the environment that causes friction and hampers your development. 

Self-development is as personalized as your fingerprints. Sometimes a correct medicine can also cause life-threatening side effects. Listen to the voice of your soul without wearing the lens of your judgment. Your convictions determine the path of your life.

Open your eyes to the forces you expose your soul to and work in harmony to bring about a change in your life; else, be prepared to fall back into the mundane. 

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