The problem with constant growth - The pursuit of realnessWatch
I wont lie, I've been struggling to write recently. It's not for a lack of ideas, I could write everyday If I wanted to. I could give you a list of 10 'life changing' productivity tips or '8 things you should be doing before 8am', those things are easy.
Easy content, easy views, easy life.
Many people go down this route and that's fine. But for me, that's not real. I wouldn't actually use those 10 productivity tips and I probably wouldn't do those 8 things before 8am.
And neither would you. If you're reading this then you're on the internet, you're probably a similar age to me and you've probably got a million factors in your life that make up who you are. You're probably busy and there's something else you should be doing right now. You probably don't really listen when someone talks about productivity and 'life hacks'. Despite needing to change many aspects of your life, you don't want advice from self styled 'gurus' and 'zen masters'. You want to be happier and you have goals that you want to achieve and that's fine, because I do too.
At the moment, I'm in a constant state of discovery. Every day my ideas change for the better. It's not about discovering new life 'hacks' or tricks, it's discovering what I'm all about, who I want to be and what I want to offer on this blog.
Take a look at the stuff that I wrote a month or two ago, It's great. It's well written, well presented and probably useful to someone but for me, I wouldn't actually use most of that information on a daily basis. Some of it I do use (hence why I wrote it down) but most of it I was just writing because I felt like that's what a 'self development blogger' does. I find myself looking through it like I look through other articles, glossy eyed and disconnected.
I've said this before but most online 'self development' content simply fulfils our need for more fresh content and not for real change. Humans have this inherent need to look at new and shiny things, new concepts, new fads, new people. This is dangerous and it really gets us nowhere, if we truly want to change.
Content for the sake of content isn't useful. You don't need to read '12 things you'll only understand if you're an extroverted introvert', nobody needs to read that. It might fill a void in your life and distract you from what you should be doing, but this type of content doesn't actually solve anything.
This is not to bash other authors work, people have their own reasons for writing things, but most of it doesn't really help in our 'self development'. You could cherry pick and condense the most useful points from 100 average 'self development' articles and put them in to one. And that's (sort of) what I want to do.
Furthermore I've really been evaluating what 'self development' actually means and I've decided that for me, It's not about reading the most popular books, following the ideas of others or even reading blogs, It's about connecting with your most authentic self.
This sounds fancy and what this means Is different for everyone (obviously) but for me it's about:
Freedom - the pursuit of true freedom is absolutely top of my list
Being happy within a moment - not always looking for more
Accepting things as they happen - realising that you cannot change everything
Being rational - not denying the happiness or sadness of a moment
Real life - whatever that is for you
A lot of self development sites promote growth for the sake of growth. 'Do this and you'll be happy', 'add this and you'll be more productive', 'follow this and get this outcome'.
This is all fine. At some point in your life you will have to grind, to do things you've never done before, to challenge yourself with new ideas and principles.
However most people fail to realise the most basic principle of true happiness: It's not about what you get, it's about who you become.
I want to become the person that I am and I want to help as many people as I can to do the same. This isn't about constantly growing and adding and learning and grinding. Sometimes it might be; but other times it might be about reflecting, stopping and appreciating.
It may sound strange saying 'becoming the person that you are' but just think about that for a second. Yes, you are obviously you. You're living in your body, living your life but are you truly you?
Are you truly what you want to be? Are you truly living a life of integrity?
Maybe integrity would mean telling your boss to F off and quitting your job
Maybe integrity would mean travelling the world, even if you have no money
Maybe integrity would mean working harder so you can get that new job or that higher education
Maybe integrity would mean being poor for two years whilst you make your new venture happen
Integrity might mean working harder. Your truest self might need productivity hacks and traditional self development books, I've certainly benefited from them to some extent (and will continue to).
Integrity doesn't mean quitting your job because some self development blogger did it
Integrity doesn't mean travelling the world because you feel like you should
Integrity doesn't mean meditating for 2 hours because that's what you're meant to do to be 'successful'
Integrity doesn't mean reading a book that you have no interest in
Your truest self is one that's 'happy'. Happiness is so subjective that it's not worth saying seriously, but I always talk about some level of self awareness.
You should know if you're not doing what you want to do. You should know if you're not being what you want to be. There's a voice inside your head telling you to do something else, do something more, do something less. True growth is about listening to those voices and moving in the direction of integrity, the direction of realness, which is not always in the direction of growth.
Growth does not always equal happiness, but happiness is growth, growth of the genuine and integral version of you. That is something that cannot be gained from external resources, from self development blogs or books, it is something that must come from within.