Why I Stopped Trying to Be 1% Better Every Day

Chronic Evolution Issue 27

Hello! 👋 

Welcome to Issue 27 of the weekly Chronic Evolution newsletter, where I share mindfulness tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you evolve your mindset in 5 minutes or less.

Let’s get right into it.

Why I Stopped Trying to Be 1% Better Every Day

I used to live by the motto: Become 1% better every day.

I even wrote it in a cover letter for a job. It was that ingrained in who I was and who I wanted to be.

Now? I kinda think that’s silly.

I’ve entered a new era, and it’s not about becoming better, faster, and stronger at everything I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have goals and ambitions. But I’ve found that a certain peace comes with slowing down and showing yourself unconditional love right now, in this exact moment.

Here are three unexpected lessons I learned by stopping my endless pursuit of growth and embracing myself as I am.

1. The reverse domino effect

Ever heard of the domino effect? It’s the idea that knocking down just one domino can cause a cascading effect that takes down countless others. But there’s also a flip side to it – instead of instigating a chain of events, pause and welcome stillness.

Pausing helped me see the natural flow of my life. I started asking myself what do I need right now? In some moments, it was to be productive and work hard. In others, it was rest and stillness. Hitting pause on the constant pressure to be and do more allowed me to slow down and give more to myself.

2. Forgotten joys

I was so focused on growing and evolving – on improving my future self – that I forgot to embrace parts of my past that still served me. I needed to step back and rediscover some of my childhood pleasures again.

So, I started doing fun stuff. I got my hands dirty painting rocks and making paper mache lanterns. I sticker bombed my home with flower “stickers” I made from my own garden. I started doodling in notebooks, jotting down poems for fun, and spending more time baking. Each of these activities felt like little stolen moments of happiness. No pressure, just fun. I didn't have to impress anyone, not even myself.

3. Time travel

When I stopped trying to mold myself into a version that I deemed lovable – and chose to love myself now – I had a greater appreciation for the child I once was. The child who prioritized having fun. Who could spend hours making creations in the dirt or catching beetles in yogurt containers. When did I stop looking at the world as one endless possibility and start seeing its dangers instead? How could I get back to that? I’m still answering that question, but embracing forgotten joys has been a good step in the right direction.

I also reconnected with my future self in an unexpected way. My present was no longer a stepping stone to get to where I wanted to be – it was valuable in and of itself. I started adopting the mantra that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And I mean really living it, not just speaking it back to myself in the mirror in a tone of disbelief.

I let go of my worries for the future. Let go of the constant drive to become the best version of myself. The future is simply a continuation of my present story. And if things are unfolding exactly as they’re supposed to be now, then it’s inevitable that they’re guiding me to a future that will serve me as I continue on this path called life. If they don’t, then I’ll remind myself it’s just a chapter, not the full book.

Want to give it a try?

I invite you to join me in slowing down, reconnecting with yourself, and embracing all you are. If you feel called to step in the pause as I have done, here’s where you could start:

1. Check in with yourself 

When you’re feeling tired, frustrated, angry, bored, or any sort of negative emotion, ask yourself, “What do I need at this moment?” and listen to the answer without judgment. Then, honour that need in whatever way you can.

2. Find joy in a hobby

What did you love doing as a child? Pick one thing, and dedicate an afternoon to the activity without any objective in mind. Just do it for the pure joy of doing so.

3. Find a mantra

Create one or two mantras that resonate with you. It could be "I am exactly where I'm supposed to be," or "I embrace the joy of today." Write them down and place them around your home, scribble them on your mirror, or set them as the home screen on your phone. Say them out loud to yourself with conviction, especially during moments of doubt.

To your chronic evolution,


P.S. Know someone who would enjoy this newsletter? Click the button below to share it with them.

If these emails ever become a burden rather than something you look forward to opening each week, I encourage you to unsubscribe. (No hard feelings.)