“I don’t want to change myself”: You’ll change anyway

The whole idea of self-development, self-improvement, changing myself, becoming a better person: all that kind of way of looking at things can sometimes feel like a real chore.
It can really feel like maybe an impossible task.
Especially for somebody just starting out on this path, the idea of, well, I’m gonna try to change myself? I mean, I am the way I am, and that’s how I’m used to being.
I’m used to being the way I am, and any kind of change, that seems like a massive amount of work.
I don’t know if I can do it.
Like moving a mountain.
I mean, trying to take the habits of years, the way that I’ve grown up, the way I’ve lived my whole life, and just change it? Well, there’s another way of looking at it where it doesn’t quite seem so difficult.
Because if you look at it another way, we are already changing automatically.
There is no way to avoid it.
We are changing.
The idea of having yourself as this fixed being, like this mountain, and then you try to move it, yeah, that does seem kind of impossible.
But really, we are always changing.
The way you were a few years ago is not the way you are now.
Even if you have no intentions whatsoever for self-development, even if you hate self-development, you think it’s a bad idea and you just want to be yourself and do what comes naturally and just carry on: even then, you are still going to change with every passing year, simply through the experiences of life.
I mean, your body itself is changing.
Your mind is changing through all the things that you’re learning, through your experiences.
Even if you don’t want to learn anything, you will learn through your experiences, to some degree, one way or another.
And everything is changing around you.
Other people are changing.
Situations are changing.
Now look back, think about places where you’ve lived before, and how they’re gone.
People you knew before who are gone.
The things you used to do regularly that you don’t do.
Those things are all changing over time.
Even in the most stable person.
Imagine you work the same job, same friends, live in the same place: you’re still going to be changing.
So this idea of changing yourself, self-improvement, you know, making yourself different: this is not something that you’re working on against this solid, fixed foundation pushing the mountain.
You are always going to change, whether you like it or not.
Often it’s not likeable, because often it’s like wow, everything that I like fades away.
But, it also means that good changes can come in too.
The way of looking at it is that if you’re gonna change anyway, all this self-improvement, self-development stuff is simply nudges in the direction of how you’re changing.
So time changes you automatically, but you do have some say about how you’re gonna change.
Maybe you can’t stop OK, you’re gonna get older, and other people are gonna change.
You can’t control those things.
The world’s gonna change.
But in terms of how you change- with the one exception of the getting older.
That’s the one thing that, yeah, everybody would love to find a way to change that.
You’re definitely going to be getting older.
But not all ways of aging are equal, certainly.
What kind of a person are you going to age into? a lot of that is in your control.
The choices that you make will affect what kind of person you become, no matter whether you want to change or not.
Even to keep some of your form: if you’re in a very strong state, even to hold on to that strength takes effort against the wear and tear of time.
So this is an alternative way of looking at the idea of self-development.
You don’t have to think of it as starting a change to who you are and becoming somebody different.
That is one way you can look at it.
But you can also see it as simply making decisions about how you change.
You’re gonna to change anyway, so you’re choosing what ways you want to change.
It doesn’t have to be fully designing your future self in every detail and knowing exactly how you want to change.
But every decision you make, everything you do, affects your future self.
It’s part of building who you will be.
If you just imagine the difference between a year of doing, you know, so-called “good activities”, considered good, like you’re exercising every day, meditating, learning things, developing good relationships, developing your work, and taking care of your health: you could do that for a year.
No intention of self-development, it’s not about changing who you are, you just want to live a good life and live that good year, just one decision at a time.
No big picture of “I have a goal for myself”, just “I’m making these decisions, and that’s how I’m living my life.” What will you be like at the end of that year? Well, of course you’re gonna be changed, because you change no matter what, but you may like some of the changes. […]

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