Is There Really Such a Thing as ‘Self Improvement’?

Can the self be improved? What is the self, anyway? Does the currently popular “self-help movement” really help us or is it a paradoxical diversion from our true self?

As the term, self-improvement, is now so widely used, and quite often misused, that its meaning seems diluted, almost to the point of becoming abstract.

In fact, the more we think of it, the more we doubt that “self-improvement” is possible.

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” ~ Francis Bacon

The first logical step in a path from doubt to certainty is to remove all pre-conceived notions of self-improvement as put forth by social convention, media noise and language.

We may then enable the formation (or confirmation) of our own idea of self-improvement.

The next logical step in our path is to define self; but perhaps, to be successful in our attempt, it would make more sense to define what the self is not:

The self is not a physical representation, such as your body: If you changed your hair color, gained 10 pounds or even lost an arm or leg, has your self changed? In these events, it seems to me that only the physical representation of the self, the self-image, or perhaps the image projected to others, have changed; but the self, itself, has not.

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