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Jun 9, 2016

Why pursue radical personal development, and until when? Is there an end goal?

These questions have been on my mind for a long time, and I finally feel that I have a good answer to them.

The end goal is independence, or even better, becoming self-contained:

“Having all that is needed, in itself.”

We gain great benefits from relationships: the ability to powerfully fulfill our needs and have a support network that is far superior to what we can create on our own. But entering relationships with great neediness is a recipe for disaster.

When we don’t have the inner resources to meet our needs to an at least satisfactory level, our connections go from being a great boost to being a lifeline - hence codependency, jealousy, clinginess. Also, it grants immense power to the other party - and that rarely ends well.

This applies both on the emotional level, but also on the financial one. Abusive partners and abusive bosses stem from the same source: a lack of independence, or a lack of belief in one’s ability. Once you win the lottery, the tables turn. And since that’s not going to happen, you must build skills instead.

Once you’ve developed a base level of emotional support skills, self-esteem, productivity and financial stability, you really have the power to only allow win-win relationships in your life. Where you are the least developed is where you’ll have the worst relationships - hence a broad focus is the richest approach.

You could carry this vision further, and aim for total independence: how about being able to build your own house? Provide your own self-defence? Grow your own food? When you start on the path of radical personal development, these might the 80% of effort, 20% of reward skills. But there may come a time, when more basic levels are stable, when this becomes a priority.

Aim to be free of needs that you can’t meet on your own. Aim to be self-contained.

This is, in it’s essence, a state of mind - but it is earned through building skills. It is knowing how to be gentle and supportive to yourself. It is knowing how to build and maintain a list of valued friends. It is a bank account, or a vault of gold, or a bitcoin wallet.

These are the building blocks of independence, and independence is the end of goal of personal development.

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