Publication: The Forge
Subtitle: But we need each other to succeed
I've had my fair share with self-improvement.
I started my journey back in college, when I stumbled upon Lev Tolstoy's journals. This guy was slef-flagelating, always disappointed by how weak he is, how little progress he is making, and some other things about God and hard-core philosophy. The main point is that he was disappointed, but he was already at a different level.
Then the regular Joe comes in. With his daily struggle not to hate his job, a mortgage that's contributing to his anxiety and going through a nasty divorce.
This individual is reading daily articles about how to lose weight, to become more productive and achieve the millionaire status in no time.
He knows all the tips and tricks, the Pomodoro technique, the 80/20 Rule and the software he needs to do his work, the resources and publications that can fulfill his needs, the apps, the videos and the blogs, the guru and other people he looks up to, the keyboard shortcuts only the underground world knows and the places to go to ask their questions, the reddits and the quoras and the indie hackers, the Evernote and Notion, the cloud and the githubs, the Google Scholars and free PDF books dark markets. The Joe has everything. But there is still something missing.
How come this dude is not making progress? Why is he creating realities that he is not able to reach?
He has all the tools he needs to climb!
Now he is trying to digg through the online world so that he can find some genetic component that affects his lack of motivation. Sure there are a few studies where the scientists outline that having a specific genome mix might increase your changes to get addicted to smoking, but hey!
The truth is that we are already born weak! Not because we came from a harsh place or because our childhood is stained with bullying or lack of good, but simply because our innate ability to take action was already crippled.
So we are searching for meaning and progress outside of us, thinking that what others created will definitel help our unknown life goal as well. We do not know about First Principles although we had a similar though many many times, but we were to afraid that it might be wrong to think that way. Is society so powerful so that as soon as he leaves the womb, the individual is doomed? Or the already broken individual comes into the world already bombarded by the missiles of nature?
Self-improvement is for the weak.
A world of sales people using direct/indirect methods of putting themselves out there, and not knowing how they are changing the strugure of human condition. So I discovered this new way to build my startup and here's the book filled with the tricks I used to escape the hobo life and become a trillionaire.
And you buy the book. And you are still not making progress. And you watch the video, and you are still the same you. What is happening?
This is why self-improvement aficionados need each other. They need their network of peers to communicate and talk about the world they are living in, they need a mountain to climb, but they haven't found the right rope, they need a new fitness app, but they are convinced that they are on the right path, they need anything and everything as the world is rapidly changing.
And then you look at Lev Tolstoi, who is often referred to as one of the greatest writers of all time.