The Myth of Self Improvement

By September 3, 2019blog posts

Teaching people to become self-reliant begins with words of empowerment rather words of entitlement. We all have equal opportunity. The real problem is our choices in education, choices which blind us from seeing the opposite side of money.

One of the great myths is the notion of self-improvement or empowerment. I personally now feel the term is non-sense – I don’t believe anyone needs to self-improve – the real job is self remembering.  When we were little kids we were perfect – we were innocent, we were fearless, we had full potential, we were purely loving, we walked out into the world with wide open hearts – that is who we fundamentally are right here right now in this moment – we are perfection.

The real job is not to self-improve but to remember who we once were and why the inner work is so important to discover that kid that you once were. It is also so important to ask yourself – what are the limiting beliefs that I have picked up from my parents, my teachers, my friends or from society that are holding me back.  What are the false assumptions through which I see the world? When you start asking yourself those kinds of questions and you start reflecting on them – you start to go deeper and deeper and you will naturally start remembering who you really are and you will reconnect with your highest potential to get back to who you are – it is not a job about changing – it is about reclaiming.

In “The Irony of American History” Reinhold Niebuhr wrote: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;  therefore, we must be saved by hope.   Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;  therefore, we must be saved by faith.   Nothing we do, however virtuous, could be accomplished alone;  therefore, we must be saved by love.  No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint;  therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”

The view of the ancient Greeks sees the reality of human experience as a totality, both psychological (in an assessment of human motivations) and theological (in its assumption that heaven intervenes in human affairs). The result makes for preordained results in a way so complicated and with so many conflicting strands that no one can identify in the present the seeds of future results. This means that human beings are caught playing out their assigned roles.

In Plato’s Symposium the members of a party discuss the meaning of love. Socrates says that in his youth he was taught “the philosophy of love” by Diotima, who was a seer or priestess.

Love, explains Diotima, is not beautiful itself, but it is an attraction to what is beautiful. We are not attracted to what we already possess, only to what we lack, and therefore, Love is not God, but a spirit existing somewhere between mortality and immortality.

In her view, love is a means of ascent to contemplation of the Divine. For Diotima, the most correct use of love of other human beings is to direct one’s mind to love of Divinity.

“We should be able to see that things are hopeless, yet be determined to make them otherwise”~F. Scott Fitzgerald

We sense a dangerous disease infecting our modern culture and eroding hope.  An increasing prevalent view that what happens to us matters more than what we do.  Do we really believe that our actions count for little?  Do we want to build a society and a culture that encourages us to believe we are not capable of making drastic change.

We all have prophetic moments – times that require radically questioning the collective wisdom. And then you see that most of the attempts to solve the problem are actually making things worse. When a prophet emerges – no one comes from the community and says, “You are awesome and amazing.” They say, “You are wrong. God is angry. You are falling short in your ethical, moral commitments.”

As Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard Oz once said “You have always had it my dear.” The divineness of who you really are you have always had. That divineness is your belief in your truest you – the you that is free of limitations, judgement, resistance and doubt. True love is generous and accepting.  It can heal the biggest hurts, it can uplift the deepest sorrows, it frees us from struggle and that which holds us back. Allowed to flow freely it is the key to harmony and transformation.

There is a wealth that has nothing to do with dollars and sense, that comes from the perspective and wisdom of paying attention to your life.  It has everything to teach you.

As Napoleon Hill once said, “Thoughts are things and powerful things at that.” Powerful and mighty is the human mind! It has the ability to build as well as to destroy. When the world is tough and you feel like you are running out of energy, step back, wipe your mental slate clean, and then return to the present with renewed clarity. You will discover one of two things. Either your problems aren’t as bad as you thought they were or they are, but by looking at them from another perspective, you can change them.

Rooted in many of us is this belief that the more we do the more we become, but that is what our egos would have us believe. But our beautiful and expansive universe operates in the exact opposite way.  In divine order and purpose, as in nature, life unfolds with effortless ease. Think about the fact that our hearts beat and our lungs breath without any effort or input from our conscious mind. The truth is, the universe is just waiting to help each of us to turn our desires and hopes into reality. When you tap into universal energy the abundance that is absolutely within and all around you emerges with grace and ease. Let your feelings guide you. I assure you that your life will begin to shift as you release beliefs that limit you and then you will move with comfort, ease and confidence towards the fullest, most pleasing abundant possibilities for you.

Thomas Merton was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion who saw how important it is to root our sense of action in a sustainable practice of meditation.

He felt that ego is a faculty of knowing, consciousness and of choice. But the ego is forever working to claim centre ground and it has next to no transformative energy at the end of the day which means the ego is just not up to the world’s biggest challenges. This holds true at individual level as well as the species and national level.

I have accumulated nothing but experience and knowledge and a lot of debt, and the reason while it may not be sound is easily explained. The truth is that I have been so busy all these years in trying to eliminate some of my own ignorance so that I could intelligently gather and organize the data that has gone in to my philosophy, that I have neither had the opportunity nor the inclination to turn my efforts to making money.

I know that I am not the only person who has had to sacrifice immediate monetary remuneration for the sake of gathering knowledge, for in truth every great philosopher from the time of Socrates down to the present have had the same experience.

A book, a song, a movie or a piece of art usually does not have a singular meaning and sometimes the meaning changes as time goes. Every time you look/listen/see it you get something else out of it.  It is not about the correct interpretation – it is about whether you love it or not. Are you transformed by it? Does it speak to you in ways that revolutionize you?

If we are serious about transformation- we have strength, creativity and resources within us that is beyond the ego.


Kevin T. Cahill is an award winning sales professional and consultant specializing in the art of managing change and achieving great results. As the founder of The Change Revolution, this international best selling author and speaker inspires men and women alike. As someone who has mastered the art of resilience and hope, Kevin’s philosophy as a clarity builder is strategic and results driven. Kevin’s passion is to equip individuals and organizations with a renewed sense of clarity and excitement, knowing that positive change will bring about positive gains. His exciting creation The Change Revolution offers a winning blueprint for navigating through change and achieving success.

Speaking inquiries email or call 519-836-7989.

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