“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”
—- Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1896-1957), The Leopard
I have long known that I am the kind of person who is constantly trying to improve myself. I got the comment “wanna be” before, didn’t like it at the time but now more or less at peace with it. (I had a lot of reconciliations with things in my life during the past two months. Well, that’s another story). But speaking of changing / improving oneself, I just had some new understanding of the saying: “it happens from within”. Many books, blogs, speeches have been trying to tell people how to behave to appear to be what they want. Even though I do see some validation in “fake it until you make it”, fixing the surface doesn’t hold long term and real colors will show very soon.
I picture a person as a solid ball-like object. The nucleus is the true values, beliefs, motivations, experiences and etc, the rest of the ball is generated from the blueprint of the core, all the way to the very surface, which is behavior, actions, and even appearance in some sense. The cracks (shortcomings) on the surface can only be really healed from inside, while tips on how to behave and how to pretend to be someone else only add temporary patches to the cracks.
For example, you can decide to talk to others more to appear more sociable, but without genuine interest in others lives and problems, the conversations are almost doomed to be awkward and tasteless. It is only when your central beliefs of what other people mean to you changed, would you appear sincere to others…