Make it Happen Monday: Self-Discovery over Self-Improvement


It’s been quite a while now that we’ve been pumping out these Make it Happen Monday posts over here at Loving the Bike…..and what I’ve always thought I was doing was sending out positive, inspiring pieces of writing mixed in with my own thoughts of the world.  Basically I’ve been pumping out self-improvement messages just like many of today’s best sellers and motivational speakers do.

But I’ve come to the realization that the term self-Improvement is nonsense.  The word suggests that people are broken and need to be fixed.  What I’ve also learned is that nothing could be further from the truth…..each one of us is perfect at our core.

What I’ve always thought and tried to impress upon each and every one of you is that certain changes must be made within ourselves in order to live the lives we wish to live and go on the rides we wish to ride.  But that is wrong.  Those of us who seek to find our best life and live out the desires of our heart…..must be dedicated to inner discovery, not outer change.

Sometimes telling people how they should live, or suggesting ways to help make their lives better and more meaningful just provides them with guilt and shame.  If any of my writings have ever created these feelings….I apologize.  But I do stick to the fact that we are all in need of development…..improving upon what we already are.

We actually start our lives with all it takes to live our best life.  As a child we were innocent and pure, creative, passionate, imaginative……we expressed our truest essence as a person and we totally lived in the moment and savored every simple gift we received.    We saw nothing but abundance and we saw the world as a place of enormous possibilities…..but then something happened.  We betrayed ourselves.

In order to “fit in” we began to rationalize, judge, and worry in order to become a “pleaser”.  The process of socialization kicked in as we did what we were told and acted so that we conformed to the world around us.

Without getting into too much detail……what we as Adults are striving for in our lives is to get back to where we started.  We don’t need any freaking Self-Improvement….we have it.  We just have to look inside to find where we hid it all those years ago.  From now on I hope to make these Make it Happen Monday posts based on self-discovery rather than self-improvement…..and help us all get back to the natural greatness and perfection we had when we were born.

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9 Responses to “ Make it Happen Monday: Self-Discovery over Self-Improvement ”

  1. Heather Nielson on August 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    You’re so right Darryl, I love this!  One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to be 130% me.  We are who we are and the best thing we can do for ourselves and the world as the best version of ourselves. 

  2. Susan on August 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    This is another take on something my college sculpture professor, Mr. DeLonga believed.  He believed that children have perfect composition.  They know the elements to go into a work of art and the colors to use and how to lay it out.  What they lack is skill.  With practice the motor control comes in and they are better able to get their vision on paper.  They also experiment and don’t care that it isn’t “right.” It is as close to their vision as they can make it and are content. No starting a work then crumpling it up part way because it isn’t good enough. 

    He felt creativity is crushed in school art classes when you get graded on technique. He felt technique should be taught, but you should be allowed to practice and decide for yourself if the technique should be incorportated into the repertoire.  If so and the joy of art isn’t crushed then you will pursue the practice to bring you up to master standard. 

    He saw his job as reintroducing the joy in art that may have been crushed or trained out of his students in junior and high schools. 

    One still has to conform for some jobs, but I’ve learned to conform there.  In my own life, I’ve taken it to heart and after picking myself up after a set back I like to pursue things as an experiment to see where things go and get back to that essential self.  Try it to see if I like it. Memories not stuff. Creative adventures can be had, not just in art, but in anything.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your comments.  Your professor sounds like he had the right idea and it’s great to see teachers with that kind of perspective.  You sound like one incredible person.

  3. Sara Hawkins on August 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    There is always the opportunity to improve upon what currently exists. However, in that there needs to be the belief that another way is better than what currently exists. Why reinvent the wheel when what we need is a power meter to determine what the wheel is really doing? Hence discovery. Discovery allows us to find that which needs some extra attention and make changes – not necessarily improvements – but changes that will allow us to operate at our full potential.

    Excellent post! I arrived here via a tweet from @CarltonHawkins:twitter

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      Nice….and thanks to @carltonhawkins:twitter for referring you over.  I like the way you summed this up in your comment and appreciate you dropping by to check it out.


  4. Joel Phillips on August 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I was recently asked, after giving a speech about goal setting and overcoming personal obstacles at a motivational seminar, what’s the single most important thing I’ve discovered about myself on my journey so far?  That was easy to answer, “If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will, believe in yourself and astonish others”.  Each day I struggle with believing in myself, as each day belief in myself is challenged.  The road to self discovery is as rewarding as it is steep, jagged and unyielding, but believing in yourself will see you through the most dangerous and difficult passes, I promise.  Thank you Darryl, for reminding me of the power I have within myself each week with Make it Happen Monday.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      I always love reading your comments, Joel.  Thanks for another great one.  I love that quote: “If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will, believe in yourself and astonish others”.  I’ll remember that one.

  5. Anonymous on August 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I would think inner discovery has the potential to lead to outer change.

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