Self-Improvement and Disease of More

Dreaming Person

Many people think human needs to constantly improve and develop their personality. Still, if to chase one's happiness and perfection, it is possible to not see a life at all.

Among sportsmen, there is such a definition: disease of more. It was introduced by Pat Riley, one of the greatest NBA coaches of all times.

Riley thinks the disease of more to explain why talented teams lose championship titles soon after winning them. Strong rivals mostly are not the main reason.

Players, just like our authors and other people, dream about something bigger. First, they want to win the championship, and they think it's enough. But soon, their victory stops being the limit. They want more money, more glory and fame, more awards, more indulgences. Team's psychological shape changes. Something that was the perfect combination of players' skills before, starts being uncommon, chaotic efforts. And the team gets its failure as a result.

More Does Not Mean Better

Disease of More in Life

In 1980-s, psychologists made a research in order to understand what makes people happy. They gave pagers to many people, and asked them to note two points after the signal:

  1. How happy you are at the moment? Mark 1 to 10.
  2. What event of your life influenced this feeling?

Researchers received thousands of such notes. The result was something unexpected. Almost all people marked their happiness level with 7 points. Buying milk on the market - 7. Watching my son playing football - 7. Discussing marketing with the boss - 7.

When any misfortune happened, the level decreased to 2-5 points for some time, but later it came back to 7. Same thing worked with happy events. Lottery win, vacation, wedding: this all increased the "happiness grade" slightly, but soon the level was 7 again.

People can't be happy all the time. They can't be constantly unhappy either.

Despite any circumstances, people constantly feel moderate happiness, though not satisfying one. Most part of time they feel everything is fine. But still, they cannot forget that life can be better.

People think, they lack just one single thing to become completely happy. They feel the need to go "just a bit" further, and their happiness level will reach 10. Mostly, people continue living like that: they constantly pursue their happiness.

As a result, they put huge efforts on something, and still feel themselves unsatisfied. They think they're stuck on one place. The chase after their future perfect happiness gradually makes them forget about their present life.

Does this mean people do not need to seek for anything? No.

But people need to be motivated by something else. Abstract happiness is not enough.

Self-improvement is Just Like Another Hobby

We all hear about writing down our goals, analyzing our wishes and ambitions, and then about writing down every step we need to accomplish what is wanted.

But self-improvement just for itself does not make any sense. This is another popular hobby: something you can get busy with, and then discuss it with like-minded people.

If something can be improved, it does not mean the need to improve it immediately.

Improvements as they are cannot be called as problems. Reasons that make you want to improve something in your personality and life are important. When the human does not have any other wish except of making themselves greater, their whole life turns into the light and pleasant form of narcissism. In the end, this is going to make them unhappy.

Life Is a Constant Exchange, Not Improvement


Many people perceive life to be the process of the linear grow and development. It is so at the very beginning. While being a child, human increases knowledge and gets better understanding of the world every year. While being young, people continue developing their skills.

But once the human achieves maturity, becomes a pro of any field, life transforms. Constant improvement turns into a constant exchange.

You put lots of time and energy to get skilled in your field. When you change your activity, you don't improve as a personality, but deny certain possibilities you could possibly get. For instance, if the writer decides to become a musician, the possibility to write a book will be exchanged to the possibility of learning how to play on a certain musical instrument.

The same happens to sportsmen after an important victory. They exchange time they could spend on training for the possibility of shooting in commercials or buying expensive houses. As a result, they suffer a defeat.

To Conclude

Be careful. Do not rush for self-development just for itself. Do not dream of something more in order to just get more. Choose new goals carefully, otherwise you can lose happiness and success you already have.

Life is not a "to do list" where you need to put checkmarks. Life is not a mountain you need to conquer. Life is a constant exchange. You'll have to choose what to put for exchange without stepping away from your values. If you are ready to forget about them in order to get additional 10-point mark on your happiness indicator, you are likely to be disappointed in the end.

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