I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years reflecting on my strange obsessions with everything from experimenting different diets to my many (many) hobbies. The result of my investigation: self-improvement. I’ve always been a continual learner; I crave information and improvement.

However, through my journey over the last few years, I’ve been alone. Meaning that no one has been pushing me (or pulling me) for these changes. I’ve been doing it because I simply want to improve myself. The thing that has kept me going is an obsession with continually impressing myself.

You Are Your Best Critique

A lot of excellent advice will tell you to get a coach whenever embarking on a new challenge; and generally, I agree.

A coach offers you a third-party perspective on things, that you can’t otherwise see yourself. However, YOU are the only person that can offer a first-person perspective.

You and only you know if you are meeting your potential or pushing yourself hard enough to grow. For example, I know my good days from bad ones better than anyone else. I can tell when I’m just behind on a deadline at work versus being in a lifestyle rut and need to break another personal “plateau”.

Reflection Leads To More Improvement

It’s no surprise that things like meditation can lead to relaxation and self-improvement. I’ve tried various forms of reflection over the years. Everything from mantras to daily journaling. No matter what the method, the benefits were nearly the same: an awareness of the current state and planning for change. Meditation has a way of allowing you to remove all the external judgments that are posed on you and simply focus on the needs you want to drive.

It’s Only You That Matters

In the end, on your death bed, it’s really only YOU that matters. YOU are the only person that you’ll need to answer to. Was your life a success? Did you accomplish everything you wanted? By focusing on impressing yourself and not others, you hold yourself accountable to living the life you want.