Self-Improvement for the casual Improver
What is self-improvement? Usually, it's a response to feedback from those who wish to shame us into submission. Note the "self" in self-improvement. This is for you, not them. And it's really not about improvement; it's about perception.
Below I've pulled together some tips on how to diligently improve yourself--with the least amount of effort.
Engage in self-reflection. This can result in feelings of shame, remorse, and other negative feelings we have about ourselves and our pasts--which really should just be pushed down, deep inside, locked away and completely suppressed. This is not about the past; it's about the future. In this case, we are our own judge and jury. Would you really convict yourself of a crime? Or would you let it slide with self-bribery and rig the crap out of that jury? I say the latter, and why not? My self is governed by totalitarianism.
Start a journal. What have I said about writing things down? In addition, documenting your day breeds self-reflection (covered above), and that leads to self-badgering which is the arch enemy of our dear friend, repressed emotions. Fight the urge, otherwise, where does it end? In addition to your self-improvement journal, you could find yourself updating a gratitude journal, a dream journal, a plant journal, etc. Writing it down doesn't fix it; it just smears your shortcomings in your face.
Self-actualize. Maslow's theory of human motivation suggests self-actualization transcends the self. How can you self-improve if you're focused on things "greater" than yourself? I'm not saying be selfish; I'm saying ignore everything that isn't all about you.
Write a letter to your future self. Who writes letters anymore? Email your future self and see if you get a response. If not, waste-o-time.
Avoid negative people. These people actually come in handy with self-improvement. They constantly remind you that your life is pretty damn good compared the others. Don't shirk them; encourage them. The misfortunes of others always lift the spirits of those less trodden.
Gossip more. This may sound counter intuitive, but there's a strategy here. Talk shit about others to redirect people away from your own shortcomings. Highlight the faults of others and people tend to pay less attention to yours. Improve yourself by improving people's perception of you (by denigrating the perception of others).
Blame others. When you make a mistake, don't take responsibility--pass it on to someone else. Even the person you offended. Ever hear of gaslighting? It's popular. Use it.
Change the subject. The less you talk about yourself, the less your faults are revealed. Someone starts asking you personal questions, bring up the war in Ukraine, or climate change, or the price of eggs. Don't let people delve where your sinister side could be discovered. Keep it light.
Set off a fire alarm. Ever get the feeling people are talking about you at work? Shut that down immediately. Pull a fire alarm and everyone will forget about whatever they were talking about. Keep reality more edgy than the gossip people may be spreading about you. Plus, you get out of work for an hour.
Most people want to improve themselves. But ask the question, are you doing it for yourself or them? Do whatever you want for yourself, but them is never the right reason. Just change perception, then you win--with the least amount of effort possible and you can keep being your rat-bastard self.