Dear ladies, in this short piece you will find out how to remove old thought and behavior patterns and how to effortlessly reach the ultimate goal of self development which is to put an end to your personal development and naturally cease the quest for self improvement. For starters, Jim Carrey explains in the featured video why material gain is not happiness and how living authentically can lead to the best life.
What is self development?
Self development or personal development is the sum of activities aimed at bettering yourself by learning new skills or overcoming bad habits. You think, talk, attract and write about the specific experiences you need in your life in order to grow. You think, ruminate and talk incessantly about that specific area you know you need to work on, to improve, to bring to perfection. The underlying motivation for everything you ever do is to live the best life, to feel happy, to find as much pleasure on Earth as possible. Let’s see how you can speed up the process and finalize the lifelong project of self development rather sooner than later. First, a few words about the beginnings of personal development.
Self development in antiquity
Around 2500 years ago, Confucius wrote in his Great Learning: “The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.“
About 2300 years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined personal development as a category of practical wisdom, where the practice of virtues leads to eudaimonia, commonly translated as happiness but more accurately understood as human flourishing or best life.
Self development in the 20th century
Psychology became linked to self development in the early 20th century starting with Alfred Adler and Carl Jung. Adler originated the terms lifestyle, self image and work-life balance while making the point that aspirations are not limited to unconscious drives or to childhood experiences. Jung made contributions to personal development with his concept of individuation, which he saw as the drive of the individual to achieve the wholeness and balance of the Self.
Self development activities
Self development includes but is not limited to: self-confidence, positive thinking, improvement of self-awareness, self-knowledge, character, patience, inner peace and balance, health, social status, increased learning capabilities, enhanced self-esteem, an overall improved lifestyle and the discovery of spiritual identity.
However, you will never understand yourself, find inner peace or simply improve your existence as long as you are stuck in old and useless mental processes and patterns. In order to develop, you need to remove old inutile patterns from your life.
Where do behavior patterns come from?
Thought and behavior patterns come from parents, relatives, friends, experiences, teachers, books you read, the music you listen to (think how many songs you like are about sex, lust, losing love, pain, crying endlessly, drugs, being single and never needing a partner, co-dependency, making easy money, etc), the way you have learned to process information, and in general, from the way you think you should behave in certain situations.
While studying people from all walks of life, forensic psychology experts observed “The way that people do one thing is the way that they do everything.” This means that your default behavior system is nothing if not consistent.
My experience with focus and behavior patterns
Just like you, I have been stuck in innumerable old behavior patterns. Unfortunately, for a long time I kept looking only at particular areas of my life, those that needed change, completely ignoring huge chunks of my everyday life. Consequently, I used to solely focus and write about the benefits of yoga when I first started going to yoga classes. I went through the twin flame stage and I kept writing about twin flames and eternal love when I was co-dependent.
I kept ruminating and overthinking every aspect of my life, missing the most important part: being free to take things as they come and stop adding value and meaning to everything that was happening to me.
A shift in focus towards freedom
Taking things as they come is an effect of mindful processing of events and complete acceptance. It is one of the ultimate goals of self development.
When you decide you want to run your life’s show and take control of your thoughts and actions, the Universe supports you. It presents you with new choices that lead you to complete acceptance. Cleaning your wardrobe and friend list, routines, slowing down, speaking less and listening more, they all come naturally and align on your life’s board.
Let me reiterate: you only think, talk, attract and write about experiences that help you grow. This is how you were designed; you develop into a better version of yourself using all your available resources at any and every point in time. In hindsight, it may look like you made tons of mistakes, but they were lessons that helped you improve.
You don’t pay attention to things you had already dealt with. As you don’t need to work on those issues anymore, you don’t need closure or improvement. In fact, you dismiss 99% of what is going on around you (think how much of what you see you can remember after a drive from work.) Maybe some ad or a cool car only. Your reality matches your experiences that match the patterns you had learned.
How can you remove old behavior patterns?
Thinking that things “should be” a certain way is the worst enemy of self development. There is no room for improvement when you are not flexible and open-minded. Remember when your Mom told you that it is healthy to eat spinach? Well, next time anyone gives you “facts” like this, think with your own head, or even better, listen to your intuition and do what makes you happy, not what is “good for you” according to others. You can remove old behavior patterns by identifying, understanding and re-writing them according to your own will and needs.
If you want to change and evolve, you need to pay attention and keep track of your own thinking patterns and to study your templates and cycles of behavior. Being mindful of your behavior patterns helps you identify why you take specific actions and why you are sometimes keen on doing things the same way over and over again. On the one hand mindfulness is a great tool for taking control over your life, and on the other hand it helps you realize that nothing is really under your control and the only way out of this conundrum is to accept what can’t be changed and have the strength to change what you can. Mindful and conscious control starts with slowing down. Here are some tips on how to slow down and become more mindful:
How to know when you are done with self development
Again, until you are free, you think and talk only about what you still need or lack. All your stories, memories, observations are personal development triggers, life teachers or gurus that you should pay careful attention to if you ultimately want inner peace and freedom. The second you think of something new and you focus our attention on a new area of improvement, the world turns. You open a new chapter. You start a new journey and you concentrate on a new part of yourself that needs development. When self development becomes a conscious decision, you are very close to ending the personal growth cycle for this life.
If you are at that point where you see how permeable and impermanent everything is and are not trying to change yourself or the world around you anymore, you’ve achieved something admirable: you are now at the point where you don’t attach meaning to what is happening in your life and you live in a harmonious flow.
Attaching less meaning
If you are 40 plus, you know that life is a sum of events that most of the time you cannot control. However, it is your duty as a member of the human species to try and become a better version of yourself.
Go back to Jim Carrey’s video and see if you agree to his idea that the ego needs material gain and acquiring in the first part of life, while happiness comes later when you choose to live authentically and drop all your created avatars.
As Mark Manson puts it: “…the only way to truly benefit from self improvement is to one day arrive at a place where you no longer need it. Like a cast for a broken arm. Or a bandage for a deep cut. You put it on, let it heal you. And then you take it off and move on with your life.”
To sum up:
The ultimate goal of self development is to go through your personal growth experience and reach the point where you are the best version of yourself and need no further improvement. That is the moment when you take things as they come, you stop attaching meaning to your human experience and live in the flow.
Before we say goodbye for now, please visit other related posts on The Vivi:
Vivi has been writing about the process of self-realization through mindfulness and compassion since the age of six. She has dedicated her last years to helping people know themselves and live their best life. In addition, Vivi has taught around 10,000 students since 1990, and she blogs about the role of cooking at the intersection of food and self-mastery using simple recipes and copyright food photos. Subscribe to this site to stay updated with new posts on living the best life.