For Self Improvement Success, Don’t Stress and Strain to Develop Yourself!

For Self Improvement Success, Don’t Stress and Strain to Develop Yourself!

“No thought, no reflection, no analysis, no cultivation, no intention; let it settle itself”….Zen Quote by Tilopa.

How does this quote apply to our lives? It gets to the secret for self-development.

How many self-help books have you read? I’ve read a lot of them and most of them never seemed to help me – at least at first. At the time I read them, the concepts seemed overwhelming, I didn’t have time to do the exercises, etc.

Many of the books conflicted with one another, and my ego “infected” the information. My mind would over-analyze the information, think about reasons why it wouldn’t work, and find ways to reject the book, and procrastinate in applying its principles.

At the time, I thought I had wasted a lot of time and money on the books. Then, one day, boom! I started to get it. Nothing from any particular book. I just started to think differently – less ego-driven, more process-oriented. I was more optimistic, more centered, more focused in the present moment.

I attributed my breakthrough not to books, but to an technique. A walking meditation technique I called present moment awareness, where I walk around, concentrating on the present moment.

But, did I have my breakthrough because the books made me ready? Did they work like a primer – getting me set-up to experience a change in consciousness?

Even now, if I go back to the books, I’ll start getting confused and sliding back. So, I try to avoid most self-help books now.

So what does this all mean? I think that books point to the truth, but they carry a lot of excess intellectual baggage.

Read the books, but don’t treat them like text books from which you will be tested. Just read them as a pleasant exercise. Read self-help information wherever you find it, but approach it in a light-hearted manner. Don’t try too hard to apply their principles. Don’t expect the books to change you directly. They are setting you up for a breakthrough.

Tao of Simplicity is my blog on simplicity, minimalism, zen, taoism.