Friday, September 11, 2009

Self-Improvement Goals – Why a “Dedication to Truth” Is So Important

One of the commonest things known to humankind is the broken resolve. The plain truth regarding our self-improvement goals is we’re defeated or victorious at the level of the mind. The will is the all-important device acting for the heart as we progress toward achieving our goals. Yet, it’s the heart (generating moral drive) that informs the will.

The fact of a ‘dedication to truth’ as a pillar of walking life’s narrow way of true success is attributable to M. Scott Peck of The Road Less Traveled fame. So, it’s no secret that when we dedicate ourselves to truth we can live far more successfully, but it’s got to be acknowledged—it’s the opposite way to the world. We find ourselves few friends here.

Truth is a lonely journey. If we can accept this, we can achieve all our goals. Let me illustrate further.

My method of self-improvement is primarily through goal-setting toward habit renewal. The longer I can master a pure habit (to replace an old bad habit) the better my chances of eventual success.

My particular approach—the one that works best for me—is the one-day-at-a-time approach where I make a mark in each day, counting each day of successful incorporation of the idea of the goal. I make this mark in my diary as a mini-success.

Yet, I’ve noticed something that is so relevant to my human nature: my passion toward the goal wanes and the effectiveness of my intensity drops... I, at times... many times, have dropped the ball and gone back to the old habit. Diet is the main area I struggle with in this way. (The mind’s approach to giving up smoking, drinking and all other bad habits and most addictions shares the same pathology.)

But, then it dawned on me, if I’m dedicated to truth and I’m training myself in living truthfully (even/especially even in the small things) I can do this thing with the exposed will, never compromising, not one little bit. We have to be honest with ourselves—even at the level of our awareness.

The mind’s a tricky thing. It has such power at the starting blocks. Then as the race winds on, we get a little comfy, and our minds tell us it would be okay to compromise... but, using the heart-strength commitment to truth we can bolster the waning will.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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