“Continuous improvement” has been my chosen mantra over the past year because my illogical logic is adamant in believing that remaining idle in our current positions in life restrict us from becoming better versions of ourselves. Thus, if we cannot be better, then we also cannot find happiness as happiness is found in doing more. For that reason, I have endeavored to stay true to this motto and conduct my life in a manner which adheres to the rules I have set forth for myself. Prior to today, continuous improvement meant some of the more obvious archetypal goals of someone who is trying to become better in all aspects of life – searching for a more fulfilling job with a higher paying salary, presenting myself as someone who is well read and well versed in a plethora of subject matters, becoming a healthier individual through food and fitness, and most importantly becoming aware of how to self love. Now if all of the things I have just listed remain in accordance with how I have defined continuous improvement, the execution of these things should therefore bring me happiness. This is true. I am happy. However, I think I can be even more happy — if I continually improve. Do you see what is wrong here?
As I sat in solitude today, I freed my thoughts and allowed them to run wild in my mind. In this time of meditation, I found that happiness is indeed a limitless resource. Knowing that with no upper boundaries to the amount of joy I could feel, I yearned for more. I always yearn for more. What could I do to make myself even more happy? Should I read a book or learn a new recipe? Should I sketch or write out new business ideas?
And only in this moment of self reflection did I come to find how my thoughts and emotions were so incongruous. The idea of “more”, doing more or being more is extremely tiring and unceasing – hence the continuous part of improvement. Being tired and relentless in efforts to chase this higher level of happiness in actuality puts me in a state of deep dejection because ultimately I can always be more happy than I presently am. This idolized state of happiness that I was so desperately trying to achieve is unrealistic because it will always be upcoming, next, and never now.
What I have been so naive to notice and have so easily overlooked, is how precious living in this very moment is with all that I currently have and all that I currently am. Today in my state of isolation, I felt a rush of love for the present day. I am overflowing with appreciation for Now. Who I am now, all that I have now, and where I am right now.
Even though it is probably still in my nature to continue to strive to be a better version of myself each and every day, I am now so aware of the importance of the every day and how today I am better than I was yesterday and that is something to be truly happy about.