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Self-Improvement: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Where’s the line?

You’re at the gym three times a week; you’ve picked up the latest book on relationships and plan to read it on the weekend; quinoa is now a staple in your breakfast smoothie; and yes, you are attending the financial seminar to boost your investment savvy for 2013.  All wonderful initiatives but at this dizzying rate of self-improvement, are you on the path to true fulfillment or maybe burnout before bliss?

In fact, you may be wondering right now why all you’re doing to “make yourself better” isn’t necessarily making you feel content.  Why is this so?  Surely self-improvement is the road to happiness, isn’t it?

If you are finding yourself saying, “Sorry, can’t meet you this week, got to get in my training runs,” or “wish I could make it but got some back-reading to do for that design course I mentioned I’m taking,” and you haven’t seen your friends or visited your folks for- it- seems like ages, then it may be important to re-assess the time you’re spending on and with yourself.

Bottom line:

We all need and thrive on connections with our family, friends, and community.  When the emphasis on self-improvement shifts to start excluding other people, the growing lack of connection and intimacy can affect us emotionally.  Despite all our well-intended activity, we feel empty because the self-improvement has crossed over into self-absorption.

Gazing at your navel while doing crunches is a good thing: persistent “navel-gazing” can rob you of exactly what you are pursuing:  joy and fulfilment.

Kita Szpak is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.