I think we can all agree that, as a whole, humans have a great desire to improve themselves and improve their lives. We see it every new year with the ambitious resolutions. You never have to go very far to find advice full of buzzwords like “connecting with your true self” to help you embrace your best life. A million and one approaches to being a better person like loving yourself more.
But this desperate need to improve implies a deeper truth: We don’t think we’re good enough.
There’s a difference between someone who wants to keep improving and achieving things as they go through life and someone who is desperate to redeem and validate themselves because they feel inferior. I think our drive to be better, to do the right things, to stop indulging in all the things we think are wrong is evidence that, as a whole, humanity today sees itself as horribly inferior and in need of redemption.
In turn, more and more individuals see themselves as horribly inferior and in need of redemption.
That desire we feel to improve ourselves shouldn’t come solely from a desire to escape some kind of inherent state of inferiority. Learning new things, broadening our experiences, connecting more deeply with others, breaking habits which hold us back… these things should be things we do because they enrich us, not because we feel we are too stupid, too sheltered, too disconnected, too much a failure.
We don’t need to improve ourselves because we aren’t good enough. We need to improve ourselves because to change and advance is the point of life itself.