Is self-improvement pointless?

Topics such as self-actualization, and other metaphysical theories that either explain how to obtain or how to identify the obstacles in the way of becoming what you are capable of becoming, have been of great interest to me recently. In deed, for those I have talked to about this subject the search for self-actualization seems to be a right of passage for those passing from young adult to thirty-something’s.
Self-Actualization is relevant to most people, at one time or another, who come to the realization that we are much more than the business person with the 9-to-5 job, or the homemaker with three children to tend to. We begin to realize that the superficial goals that we set for ourselves are only a small part of who we truly are. In deed, deep down we yearn for something more.
Many people turn to religion hoping it will illuminate the path in finding the true objective of self-actualization. Although, I can see value in taking the religious path to enlightenment, I do not see much that can be gained from only exploring external sources in regards to reaching the ultimate happiness.
There is great benefit in acknowledging that self-actualization starts from inside each of us. One must evaluate the things in his/her life that seems to be causing them stress and discomfort and find ways to alleviate them. Nothing can be gained if we ignore the symptoms and only focus on the cure. We must remember that the first step to recovery is admitting that we have the problem. Once we have found all of the issues that are ailing us we can focus on the solution. With all of the internal distractions out of the way, we can focus on the external tools that we can use to assist us in reaching self actualization. Religious teachings as well as spiritual exercises, such as prayer and/or meditation, are fundamental steps in achieving self-actualization.
The best thing about Maslow’s Self-Actualization theory is that the path to the ultimate happiness is very personal. It provides each of us with an individualized path to reaching the highest pinnacle of being regardless of your religion, nationality, or culture. The only thing that you will need is the desire to reach your goals and the drive and ambition to not let anything stand in your way of being the person that you truly want to become.


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