Self-improvement, as a concept, seems to be misconstrued by many. Especially today, so many people pretend to abide by the principles of self-improvement in hopes of convincing others that you “hustle.” Sure, bro, get your bread. I’m not telling you not to. I am saying, though, that when it comes to improving the quality of your life and the content of your character, you can’t just fake it till you make it. You must work, not pointless busy work that you get inspired to do after a ten-minute Gary Vaynerchuck video, but real and valuable work that will push you closer to your goals.
Here are some self-improvement categories I think you should should focus on.
College, for many, provides an introduction into the realm of the spirit. The mind. On every campus in the nation, the volume of pot smokers you encounter dwarves the standard for high schools. I’m not roasting you, I’m sure you’re super in touch with your spiritual self. If you were, perhaps, interested in traveling down a path that takes you closer to psychedelic experiences and (possibly drug induced) epiphanies, undergraduate studies could be a great opportunity for you. I don’t mean to sound like Joe Rogan advocating DMT, though honestly I love Rogan and do agree with him. The opportunities for spiritual growth aren’t all illegal, or frowned upon. Yoga and meditation, even the practice of journaling—these can all help place your mind in a more spiritual and nature-connected setting.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but people cry in college. A lot. I happen to have some major issue that prevents me from joining in the fun; I haven’t been able to shed a tear since my sophomore year of high school. But enough about me, guys, let’s talk about what you can do to enhance the emotional aspects of your life in college. The first thing I’d recommend that helps would be to fasten yourself to a network of fascinating and genuinely caring friends. Doing this can be doubly effective because you get a) a nice safety net of people to talk to about difficult things and experiences and b) all the phenomenal benefits to your emotional state that come with having close friends. Another thing that I think everybody should consider would be. Regularly going to therapy can change the entire course of a person’s life, and my friends, you could be that person. There sadly exists a certain stigma attached to “relying” upon therapy. I’d ask you this, though: what seems better, relying on therapy to be happy or being depressed? I’d take therapy every time. It shouldn’t be thought of as a character flaw, in fact a general rule, the people who deny therapy with the most vigor just might actually need it most.
Social improvement can be easily attained on a college campus. Parties. Parties. Parties. Did I mention parties? College campuses all around hold lots of students, sometimes upwards of 50,000, all in the prime of their lives. We tend to be funny, sexy, quirky, zany, athletic, smart and ambitious, and we want to meet others just like us. Meeting people comes natural to some, but for many it takes practiced social skills, just like a sport. I would argue, and feel free to disagree, that most people would not be able to throw a touchdown pass against the Gator’s starting defense (no matter how bad our recruiting class is).
For a lot of people, social interactions can be the same. Even the socially capable have difficulty in this area. Social maneuvering becomes an obsession, wherein the goal to gain more and more control over all situations they find themselves in consumes their entire life. College provides a great space to practice, to become the social butterfly that you always wanted to be ever since you saw Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love. So, go to parties, make some friends. Don’t over-analyze, don’t scrutinize every word you utter, but allow for healthy reflection. Which jokes killed, which ones bombed? Were you making people uncomfortable and why? Were you uncomfortable and why? Answer these and keep striving to enjoy your social life as much as possible.
GAINS, baby. Gains. What can life be called if it has been stripped of the ultimate glory of getting jacked? I have to say, the most important area of all of this self-improvement stuff can be found in the weight room or on the track. Two reasons for this exist. First, let’s talk about being hot. I’m extremely well-versed on the subject, I have been hot for years with rippling muscles and a jaw line that could cut down an oak tree. It’s a lot of fun, but you know what? Maintaining the physique of Adonis doesn’t come without hardship. It comes with a strict diet, workout plan and healthy lifestyle. It does do wonders for your mental health though; looking in the mirror and getting (just a little) turned on can be a wonderful situation to incorporate into your day.
Second, working out has actual health benefits. Picture the feeling of endorphins racing through your veins as you walk out of the gym like it’s exploding and you’re The Rock in his newest action movie. Now, picture that all day long, every day. That’s what you all stand to gain from this healthy lifestyle I’m proposing. Your university probably makes it so easy. Use your gym membership and use the healthy food options provided on campus. You’re paying them anyway, so you might as well get swole on the dime of your school.
Self-improvement has helped me navigate through college life. I don’t know what our purpose on this Earth could be. I’m not sure what capabilities any single one of us may hold, or why we possess them, nor am I certain that in all of the chaos there exists any meaning to the direction the human race is sprinting in. I do know, though, that you matter. So do I. We all do. It’s time to focus on yourself, enjoy what you like and improve yourself as much as you can. Get better. I promise, wherever the destination of all this will be, self-improvement provides the best way to get there.