The executive and the poet: What’s the point of self-improvement?

The whole world of self-development can really get lost in the details, it seems.
I mean, you can look for all these ways to improve, improve, improve, but a lot of it is really kind of mechanical.
it’s kind of like making yourself a better machine.
And we can become so lost in the details of how to improve the machine that we can kind of forget really what the machine is for.
It’s like I’ve heard this described as the difference between leadership and management.
The leader decides what should be done.
The manager decides how best to do it.
So we can get lost in the management of life and lose sight of leadership of life, because we can be focused on how to do things better, how to improve the system, tune up the machine, make a better machine.
I’m able to work harder, I’m able to be more successful, I’m able to be in better health.
And just tuning up and improving the machine.
But what are you going to do with the machine? It’s like having a sports car that you are constantly tuning up, but where is it going to go? There’s so much about this improvement of systems, because that’s something that’s really it’s nuts and bolts.
It’s something that can be described and explained, and it can be studied, and there’s a lot of clear things that can be done with it.
But when it comes to the bigger picture of what to do with this life, what to do with this machine, that’s where eventually the whole system, mechanical, management, all of that eventually hits a wall.
Because eventually, we don’t really have a clear, step by step, nuts and bolts description of “This is life, and this is what you should do.” And that’s where it kind of crosses over into some kind of poetic or mystical view, where you’re just, you know, experiencing life and experiencing the universe, and it’s outside the whole world of machines and systems.
So the self-development system, the machine, yes, let’s make a better machine.
I will improve my sleep so I can be sharper, well-rested.
I’m going to improve my diet so I can have good health.
I will improve my fitness so I will have greater strength and overall goodness.
And that is the foundation, physically.
Sleep, food, exercise: that’s the foundation of my physical machine.
And then I can work on the mental machine.
I can get my meditation to help to improve my focus.
And then I can work on improving my productivity, my work systems.
So that combining the baseline physical support of sleep, food, and exercise with my whole working system and my whole mental system on top, I can become a working machine, a productivity machine, an achievement machine, a success machine, and I can get better and better, stronger and stronger.
But ultimately what am I doing? I’m becoming better at living life, but how am I going to live life? Without some kind of a leadership beyond that, without some kind of inspiration, it is just like becoming a more well-tuned robot.
But there’s something missing, because it’s not full of meaning.
It’s not full of purpose it doesn’t have value in it.
Simply by being good at doing work, being in a strong position, having a strong body, strong mind, strong habits: these are all things that help.
They help us to live better life.
They can help remove distractions of all kinds of physical and mental disruptions that can take us away from making good decisions and experiencing life.
So these are all good.
But they’re supporting factors.
The machine that we build, the self-development machine, the productivity/success machine: this is a support system.
It supports our life.
But by itself, it’s easy to just get lost in like “I want to improve, improve, improve.” But ultimately, what are we doing with this life? And that’s where it crosses over into the world of art, philosophy, religion, spirit, poetry, mystical union.
Whatever it is, that’s where all the kind of sensible and practical advice and steps that can be taken by the executive, the manager, they ultimately can’t take that final step towards really having a full life.
So as much as we can use these things to help us, there needs to be something more.
And as to what that is, well, that is a whole other story.

#whatsthepoint #whyimprove #leadership

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