Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Self improving

I strongly believe that every day of our lives has or can have some impact on our personalities. Our work experiences, everyday choices, routines, travels, the way we spent our free time, are all affecting our well beings and personalities in a good or bad way.

Ultimately, I would like to gain from all these experiences and become a better person. I want to try new things in life, study more, learn about various things and visit different lands and cultures if I am given the chance. I want to make this restlessness I sometimes have into something productive. I’m already thinking of new things to try like yoga, wall climbing, trekking, refreshing my French, learning some Afrikaans, even starting a degree in computer science.

In the same way, I want to find and improve flaws I know I have. I don’t believe that self help books are generally any help and just rely on people’s insecurities. I might be wrong here, but I don’t think that a book can make you thinner, a non smoker or find you the perfect relationship. It can only give you some advice on things that you mostly already know or can google about. A circle of good (slightly intelligent) friends can give you much better support.

Anyway, what I think I lack and I should work on is being more competitive and more a perfectionist. Since I was young, I couldn’t be bothered about how some things are done as long as they are done and finished. I fear that this emotion that can be described as a general Greek trait is bad and can be unproductive.

I’ll give you an example: my physical fitness. I train weekly with my friend ‘gb’. He’s French, around my age and far more competitive than I am, in everything! When our personal trainer asks us to do something, ‘gb’ will ask for more weights or he’ll try to do more repetitions than told! I’d never do that. I’d be happy to do as told and have the exercise over and done. This difference in attitude allowed ‘gb’ to have a six-pack and a fitness level far greater than mine. I never ever had a six pack in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally happy the way I look and I don’t really want to be as competitive as he is (to an irritating point). For him everything is a competition. He needs to be the best at everything from his nights out, his relationships, his work situation. It can all be very tiring…

However, I do believe that if I managed to slightly improve myself in that sector, it would improve my life. Even in a professional level I don’t like confrontations and I let some things pass, sometimes in my expense. I am ambitious and I want to achieve things in my life, so I should start taking some things more seriously. The problem is not about organising myself but setting some difficult goals where the only real ‘opponent’ is me and forcing myself to accomplish them. I simply can’t be easily bothered to compete with myself… I need some more ‘Madonna’ in me (I’ve always thought of her as the ultimate perfectionist).

I don’t know if I explain the problem well and I am not exactly sure how I’ll manage it. I’ll try to take baby steps. For example, I have made charts to keep track of my running sessions to set personal records even if I don’t always accomplish them. I’ll even post them online to force myself into getting better…


  1. I think you have plenty of ambition, and I wish I had some of yours. Making an effort to learn some Afrikaans is impressive. Something tells me you'll be putting it to good use someday.

  2. @cubby thanks. We'll see how it turns out.