Improving inside out and outside in

As I’ve talked about before, and certainly will again, I love this idea of waking up and asking “How can I make things better?” and having this as a simple guiding question that can guide what I do each day with my available time.
And it seems like if I simply ask myself this every day and do some small things that make something better, doing this every day, seems like it can only lead to good results.
Of course, it then leads to the question of OK, well, how? What am I going to improve? How can I approach this? And I’m sort of thinking of two possible approaches.
There’s an inside-out and an outside-in approach.
So I would say the inside-out is starting from yourself, starting with the simplest and most personal things.
It’s like fixing the centre of my zone of control and then moving out from there.
So starting with the things that are closest to myself: my body.
That can be the basic foundations.
Sleeping, eating, exercising.
Anything that improves any of those things, that is a wonderful change to make, because that just leads into greater strength in the future.
I can improve my sleep routine, improve my diet, maybe, you know, learn how to make some new food or, you know, change when I regularly eat, and of course, doing my exercise and maybe improving my exercise routines.
All of that is great foundational work, starting from myself, and then moving out from my body.
It could be my environment.
So that would be things like my home, improving my home, making it a better place, cleaning, organizing, decluttering, simplifying, redesigning my home in a way that makes my life flow more smoothly and more in the direction that I want. […]
Then, if we can make this centre strong, then we can spread out our efforts into helping those around us.
Those who are closest to us, starting with our closest connections, family closest friends, people that we’re responsible for or that we feel that we want to support and help: we can now use our energy to do things that are helpful to them.
And of course, we can’t just, you know, directly like fix people and go to people like with the equivalent of hammers and start like changing people, but we can find ways that we can support the people around us in so many different ways.
And even just having that intention of being ready to help, even if we don’t know exactly how, seems like that can lead to many opportunities to improve and support people around us.
So starting our improvement from the centre and then spreading out into the world.
And if we feel like our immediate friends and family are taken care of, we can really just keep spreading it out, and having our improvement and our helping and our support of everything, we can just expand our domain of that to eventually, you know, it can be our whole community.
We can support our community, even including people we don’t personally know, but it’s our community, our environment.
And then of course, expanding beyond that to the whole world and anything we can imagine.
We can just have that disposition of helping and improving, and it can spread to everything.
Now, the other way of going about it is the outside in approach, and this would be we just start by helping somebody else.
Forget about ourselves.
Just help somebody.
Do something that is entirely about giving and about helping somebody out in some way that has no direct reward to ourselves.
And this can also, I think, be powerful, because sometimes, if we’re too focused on just the inside out approach, sometimes if we’re just pouring all our energy into improving ourselves, sometimes that can be isolating and leave us kind of, you know, feeling like you’re just kind of alone and like trying to work on yourself, but you just- it almost sometimes can feel like a black hole of just pouring energy into yourself.
So that’s where the outside in approach can be useful, to just have a break from yourself, and like stop thinking about yourself, stop trying to improve yourself, and just do something to help somebody else, and it seems like that can renew the feeling of connection with the world.
So that can also be very helpful.
But overall, I like, most of the time, I like the inside out approach, because we make ourselves stronger and then we’re better able to help other people.
If we focus too much on just helping other people but not taking care of ourselves, then our foundation is not being supported.
But it seems like both of these approaches can be very useful when we ask that question of “How can I make things better?” So I’d be curious to hear: how do you approach this idea? Do you like the inside out or outside in approach for where we start our improvement? And how do you like to do it?

#improvement #insideout #makethingsbetter

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