4.16. Don’t Use Self-Improvement as an Excuse

Don’t let your own personal challenges, obstacles, and struggles get in the way of giving what you have to give to the rest of the world.

In the previous video, I was talking to all the social justice warriors out there.

I argued that self-care is so important because a lot of people—the non-social justice warriors—choose not to get involved in good causes, because it looks to them like everybody who does ends up miserable.

I argued that if we show people they don’t have to give up their sanity to make the world a better place…we’ll get more people involved than if we keep trying to shame them into it.

In this video—the last one in this series on self-care—I want to talk to the non-social justice warriors. The people out there who know, deep down, they aren’t doing as much as they could to make the world a better place.

To you all, I just want to say one, really important thing:

Don’t use self-improvement as an excuse.

Don’t use self-improvement as a way to hide from all the awful stuff going on in the world.

Don’t let your own personal challenges, obstacles, and struggles get in the way of giving what you have to give to the rest of the world.

I don’t think selfishness, laziness, apathy, or malevolence can explain why so many people aren’t getting as involved as they could.

I think if there were more role models out there, showing people how to genuinely make a difference while living a happy, healthy personal life…there’d be a whole lot more people doing it.

I think there are a lot of people who deceive themselves, and say things like: “Once I get my own life in order, once I’m where I want to be in my own personal development…then I’ll get more involved in fixing all these problems in the world.”

But seriously, folks: it just doesn’t work that way.

Self-improvement is a lifelong project. If you’re waiting until things are just right in your own life to get involved in making our society better…you’re going to be waiting until the day you die.

I don’t know what you’ve got going on in your life. I’m not in a position to judge, if you feel you don’t have anything to spare. But this isn’t a time when we can afford to let good people who can really make a difference sit on the sidelines.

Billions of people are suffering. And there are problems out there that threaten our entire species.

None of us asked to be alive during these crazy times. But here we are.

We’ve got to solve these problems, whether we like it or not.

But even after more than ten years of studying just how complicated these problems are…I still believe we can solve them. I really do.

And even after more than ten years of wrapping my head around how much horrible suffering they cause…I still believe you can be out there, making a difference, and still have a happy, healthy, fulfilling personal life. I really do.

I don’t blame you, if you don’t believe those things are possible.

But I hope you’ll at least give me the benefit of the doubt, and the chance to make my case in the coming videos.


This is the 76th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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