Removal of Negatives and the Pursuit of Positives

Removal of Negatives and the Pursuit of Positives

Regarding self-improvement, I think it’s useful to differentiate between removing negative aspects of yourself and pursuing positive change. Myself, I’ve recently lost a lot of weight. To me, my obesity was a negative trait I had, displaying to the world a lack of self-control and poor deferral of gratification skills. Making the transition to skinniness displayed to those around me that I had the capability to subjugate the immediate desire for sweet calories for the long-term benefits of improved bodily health. A key motivating factor in the decision to engage in the weight loss journey was my desire to find a romantic partner. Having successfully shed many kilos, I’m still only halfway to my goal. Removing negative traits will not make you an attractive mate, you also need to pursue positive traits.

You can analogize negative traits as a ball and chain weighing you down. In achieving success, it is necessary, but not sufficient to get rid of the negative aspects about yourself. Doing so will make it far easier for you to pursue the virtues and other desirable traits that will allow you to accomplish your true long-term goals. In my case the weight loss clears the way for fitness and strength training. You can’t build muscles and lose weight at the same time, so it was crucial to do one before the other. Completing the weight loss successfully clears my “schedule” so I can pursue other goals. Willpower is a muscle, overuse it and it tires. Now that I no longer need to deny myself so much in terms of food, I can shift my mental energies to other self-improvement projects.

Another way to look at it is that negatives will prevent others from considering you. Be it for a job, a friendship or a romantic partnership. Positive traits are what will attract them and eventually make them commit to and choose you. Both shedding negative characteristics and obtaining positive ones will further you towards your desires. Perhaps this distinction isn’t that useful to you, in your own quest through life. But to me, drawing this dichotomy is a useful mental exercise. It is a tool I use when weighing which projects to engage in next, and how I should prioritize them. If you’re thinking about starting a self-improvement project of your own there are some resources I recommend. They are the tools I myself used to successfully shed a lot of weight in a short timeframe. Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich and How to Fail at Almost Everything, And Still Win Big by Scott Adams. Good luck to you.


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