Monday, 15 September 2008

Not exactly self-improvement


Facing my busiest time of year, I've found myself going where I never go, to those blogs that specialise in tips on managing your life better. Despite deep scepticism, I've found two or three that make me less uncomfortable than most and provide both some well-written and comforting words and a few helpful suggestions.

Extreme selectivity and extreme wariness are in order here, I think. Selectivity both because each of us is different and must know ourselves and find what works for us, and because it's only realistic to try a very few new strategies at a time, especially when you're very busy. Wariness, because, well, self-improvement is an odd concept. Any of my buddhist teachers, and a great many wise psychologists and psychotherapists, would certainly tell you that it's not your self you need to improve. On the contrary, believing that the person you are right now is fundamentally okay and deserves a decent life is the first prerequisite for any kind of progress, any kind of thriving.

Health, mood, habits and approaches, though, can of course be improved. And there are a few sites whose overall ethos I like and whose concrete suggestions include some that resonate. Notably Slow Leadership, Zen Habits and Goodlife Zen. (All of which, incidentally, I like much better than their titles made me think I would).

10 comments:

Rosie said...

I'm off for a look at the trot ...I need all the help I can get at the moment...

Jean said...

Rosie, I think we just did that creepy thing where I'm visiting your blog while you're visiting mine. So I know what you're referring to. Good luck! I'm sure your talent plus sense of humour will see you through it all.

Janice said...

looked at these links, but none seem right for me ... except one suggestion on "Goodlife Zen" ... and that's DANCING

surest way for me to get off my butt and out of a slump is to dance ... don't have anyone to dance with now, so I dance alone ... after seeing Mama Mia recently I bought the Abba Gold cd and dance my pants off

Hg said...

Slow Leadership is wonderful, a constant source of inspiration and a reminder that not everyone in the world has to be a rabid authoritarian control freak.

I used to read Zen Habits, but it didn't survive a cull of my RSS feeds earlier this year. Not heard of Goodlife Zen, will check it out.

Rosie said...

zen habits was rather good. these sites generally state the obvious, but when I am snowed under I have trouble seeing the obvious!

Zhoen said...

Have learned a lot from those doing real research, mostly that I'm not doing THAT badly. Which helps.

Shall go take a peek at your list...

Dale said...

Some people put up their noses at writing like that, but the truth of the matter is that most of the time we don't need new insights, we just need to be reminded of the useful ones. For me, sparkling new intellectual insights often amount to not much more than new chutes into old spiritual sinkholes.

Linda S. Socha said...

Dale
Absolutely true. I love insighs but sure welcome those old friends. A good reminder for me!
Linda

Charli said...

Thanks for your post. Funny how so many of us struggle with all the same things. Or not so funny, maybe. I guess it makes sense. How in the world do we ever get to a place where we believe ourselves to be fundamentally okay?

Meditation, maybe. I wish I didn't have to meditate to forgive myself. I wish I didn't have to breathe right to find compassion for myself.

Anyway, thanks for your insight.

Mary@GoodlifeZen said...

Thanks for the link to GoodlifeZen!
I enjoyed visiting your blog - you have a nice lively community here.
Cheers
Mary