Luke Healy rejects the culture of self-mprovement

by Luke Healy

I am terrible.

Lots of people are terrible too. Lots and lots and lots.

But some people are great. And I want to be one of them.

So what makes a person great, or impressive? Well, I think that’s fairly different for everybody. For me, it is somebody who has some semblance of control in their lives. Someone that has achieved great things, or honed a great talent. Somebody with the kind of attitude that says “I am great, but I’m not trying to rub it in your face, I swear”.

I’m trying to shy away from the word cool here. The word cool is a little to ethereal for me. Some kind of transcendent trendiness that allows you to wear leather jackets and sunglasses at night without being hit by cars

So why is it that people seem to think that any kind of self improvement is impossible to achieve, without obnoxiously quoting the Bhagavad Gita at every turn? I want the kind of self help that doesn’t prohibit negativity. The kind where “positive-thinking”, “spirituality”, and “self-empowerment” are dirty words.

Pragmatic self-improvement, if you will.

And I know I can’t be the only one. But how can lowly laymen like you and I improve our own lives?

I’m not some kind of guru. I definitely don’t have things figured out, or under control. I’ve never even had a chat show on Living TV.

Well, being a child of the nineties, and former World Of Warcraft addict, I decided to do it in the only real way I knew how. A few months ago, in a desperate attempt to raise myself from the annals of awfulness, I developed a points system.

I earned three points.

So it wasn’t exactly a massive success. I was still unfit, still unskilled, and still unhappy.

So can it be done? Can you really turn yourself into a better person without paying €39.99 for some Deepak Chopra audiobook? Well, I don’t know, but I certainly hope so.

And If you started reading this article hoping for some kind of tips to improve your own life, then I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t have them. But neither does the white lady with dreadlocks, trust me.

When I was particularly lost, and googling things like “how to improve your life” and “I am really sad, fix me”, I would have loved to stumble across a blog didn’t shove Ghandi quotes down my throat. A blog where there isn’t a picture of a tooth-bleached author in the header, posing with their loving husband and family cat.

Look, the truth is that there’s no one mould for happiness. For one person, it might be making art, and having amazing friends and for another it might involve puka shells and obnoxious B.O. And that’s fine. As long as I don’t have to talk to them at parties.

So maybe one day I will find a system that can really help me to improve. But I know for sure it won’t involve prayer mats and group chanting.

Or you could accept yourself as you are, I guess. But why would you want to abide by some bullshit platitude like that?

Nah, one day we’ll be great, you and me. We’ll make it. Just you and me against the world, and we’ll come out on top.

What I’m really trying to say here is, do you want to be my friend?

(If you want to read more about Luke’s journey for self improvement, you can do so at http://www.hatethyneighbour.wordpress.com)

By luke healy

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