When you look at an object, say a painting, it's hard to appreciate what's in the painting and everything else that goes with the painting if you're looking at it from just an inch or two away. You can't see the whole picture. But if you step back a little farther, a few feet away from it, you can have a clearer view of the painting's entirety.
Then there's comes a point in your life when you're ready for change. And there's a lot of information out there that can help you unlock your self-improvement power. But until that time comes, something can be just right under your nose and you'd never see it. For many of us, the only time we think about improving ourselves is when the things in our life go from bad to worse.
Let's illustrate this using the "frog principle." If you dropped a frog in a pot of boiling water, that frog is going to jump off. It's because the frog can't tolerate the sudden change in environment, which in this case is the temperature of the water. If you dropped the same frog in a pot of lukewarm water and then turn the stove on, the frog isn't going to jump off until the water reaches boiling point. But until that time, the frog is just going to adjust to the slow change in temperature and won't be too keen to jump out of the pot so quickly
Most people react the same way as the frog in lukewarm water. Today, Jenny thinks John hates her. The next day, Matt approaches her and tells Jenny that he hates her. Jenny doesn't do anything; she stays the same, doing the same thing she does. She doesn't take seriously what her two friends say. Then the next day, she finds out that Amy and Carl hate her too. Jenny realizes she needs to take steps to improve herself only when most of her friends hate her.
We learn lessons and remember them the most when those lessons are preceded by pain. When things get tough or rough, that's the time our eyes finally see the warning signs. For instance, it's when you can no longer fit into your jeans that you realize you need to change your diet. When your teeth are falling off, that's the time you'll stop eating chocolates and candies. A smoker isn't going to really stop smoking until his lungs give out or he finds out he has lung cancer. And we'd only start praying and asking for help when we're at our lowest or when we feel there's no hope.
Most of us only learn to unlock our self-improvement power when our world seems to fall apart. For the most part, we don't think about changing or improving ourselves because it's just too hard to do so, and besides, we often rationalize and talk ourselves out of changing, mostly for the better. But change is inevitable, and so is pain. At some point in our life, something will happen that will prompt us to finally learn and want to unlock our self-improvement power. It isn't because someone is nagging us to change for the better, but because we realize ourselves that we need to change.
One thing you'll notice about happy people is that they don't simply accept change; they embrace change. But you see, you don't have to be the frog dropped in that pot of boiling water in order to realize that you need to improve yourself. It doesn't have to come to that. It can start with you realizing that you don't have to box yourself in. it can start with you simply accepting change, not resisting it and certainly not fearing it.
Most of us tend to program our minds like computers. We become what we think. For instance, if you repeatedly tell others and yourself that you're not a social person, that you're not good being around groups of people. Then you hear your parents, your siblings, and your friends tell the same thing to others. You believe this is the case over the years. The result? Each time people come to your house or you're in a public setting, you'd take a step back, shy away. You retreat and lock yourself up in your room. For years, you've "programmed" yourself that you're not a social person or good at being around others. You believe this story. However, you need to realize that that's not who you are.
Not many people like hearing the word "self-improvement". However, we need to realize how much learning to unlock our self-improvement power can do wonders in our lives. Many dread making changes because it's really hard, but all that's needed is to look at the process in a different light. Instead of counting the days until we're completely improved, it's much better to enjoy the journey.