Few of us humans live an ideal life. First, we just drop into human life and then we wing it. So life would have to be ideal in order for us to live it ideally. Even then, anything approaching ideal mental function on our behalf would be purely accidental. The odds are not in favour of this, not at all. Second, human life is not ideal. Bad stuff happens. And it happens from the start, processed by us throughout our most immature years here. We feel, think, and learn our beliefs as babies, and children, when we are not capable of maturely responding to life, not capable of taking responsibility for ourselves in life. Life just keeps happening. And we wing it. The humans here ahead of us can’t help us learn ideal use of our thinking, ideal handling of our feeling, nor idea understanding of what's going on and what to do about it so that we don't compile a pile of data that turns into an unideal network of life beliefs. While adult in size, the humans caring for us and teaching us about life are often themselves not all that mature or responsible. Either way, it is highly unlikely they know how to use the human mind with ideal skill.
Rare is the human who knows how to take an ideal approach to the living of human life. Instead, we all grow up learning to use our minds purely by accident, even as adults winging it in hit-and-miss fashion. We start out unable to care for ourselves or even think for ourselves. It takes a while to even learn to use our thinking tool, but if no one teaches skilled use we won't accidentally learn skilled use. If life itself were ideal and nothing bad ever happened to us, maybe our mental function would be ideal. Or maybe it would just seem to be ideal. We wouldn't be skilled at use of our mind, its various levels. We would be functioning well mentally, but without any clear command-central idea or control of that function. And if something bad happened sometime later in life, and let's face facts, even in an ideal world, something bad is eventually going to happen, to all of us, and then we can easily find ourselves lost and unable to function at all, never mind well. But life is not ideal. There are no guarantees of good stuff only, and no bad stuff, not at the start of it, not through the run of it, and not at the end of it.
Bad stuff will happen, from the start, when we're newbies, new to life and learning about it. And bad stuff will cause hurt feelings. Hurt feelings can morph into bad feelings. Hurt or bad feelings will cause bad behaviour. Bad behaviour will invite more bad stuff. But bad stuff is inevitable anyway. Life isn't all bad stuff, of course. Good stuff happens too. We want good stuff. Good stuff causes good feelings. We want good feelings not bad. As stuff happens we form conclusions about life, how we should live it, how we want to live it, and why. A major theme for all of us is naturally going to be the getting of good stuff and avoiding of bad. Good feelings can cause good behaviour, and bring more good stuff, but they can also result in bad behaviour if we decide we want do anything to for more good stuff and less bad. The conclusions we draw about life become our beliefs about how life works, and why it works that way, as well as what to do about it all. Born into life fresh, the depths of our mind slowly but surely fill with conclusions about life, stored as data, a network of beliefs that tell us what's going on, why, and what to do. Human life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is human life's not-so-ideal, but currently very real, meaning.
We can change this. Psychology can help us change it. Self-help psychology is best because we can live life, simply reading books in the background. We could steadily read one book after another, slowly and steadily accumulating skill at living human life more ideally. Just some light reading and learning will help a little. But reading each book a little deeper, almost as if we were studying it, would help a lot. It would help even more if we applied what the books teach us. I describe this process as working with self-help psychology. I took it seriously because it was part of my personal mission. I also found it fascinating, for the same reason. But the bottom line is that it is simply practical. Doing this will, slowly but surely, help us find our essential self, ground ourselves there, and live our life as ideally as possible, certainly much more ideally than we are living life now. It will change us, change life, change our world, all for the better.