In this entry, I scaled a mountain to make a philosophical point pertinent to the titular topic. This talk is a bit less than an hour long. The main ideas:
- We sometimes think of self-improvement only as a means to an ulterior goal, such as money, fame, sex.
- Use the example of climbing to the top of the mountain in hope of finding those “rewards”.
- Elaborate on the connection between the transactional view of self-improvement and the concept of entitlement. The latter was also covered in my previous talk about loss, entitlement, and presence.
- Explain that self-importance is okay but how it can go awry. A relevant theme was covered in my talk about On self-importance and elitism.
- Discuss how philosophy helps us overcome the self-centric view. We do not expect rewards.
- Talk about expectations and entitlement, with a view to how they can make a person turn their disappointment into a weapon that is used against others.
- Remark how philosophy helps us remain calm and not go to extremes.