Is self improvement a goal in itself?

Only one principle governs how I carry out the majority of my daily actions: productivity.

Our life is one of optimization. How can I get the most out of my day? The most money out of my hour? The most satisfaction out of my dollar?

Thus, the most obvious way for us to improve ourselves is to improve our productivity. The improved person is the optimized person.

But in the pursuit of becoming more productive, I feel as though I’ve lost sight of what I’m trying to be productive for. Self improvement started out with making myself a better instrument to attaining my goals, and now self improvement seems like a goal in itself.

I am consumed in self improvement like an athlete who sees the perfection of her craft as her primary goal, and the winning of tournaments as its by-product.

Perhaps there is nothing wrong with that. If anything, might this not be the most virtuous way of living? Now, we are living for the sake of improving life itself. Now, we are people trying to make people better.

But better for what?

Here I become lost, and my resolution fails. I recall simpler times. []