4 Essential Lessons for Your Self-Improvement

As you might know, I have a background in software development. I majored in IT, and computer programming is one of my passions.

I’d like to share with you some self-improvement lessons I have learned from the world of software development.

In software development, an application (or app, for short) always has a version number. It’s usually 1.0 for a new app, 2.0 for its major upgrade, and so on. With each new version, the app gets better and better.

A good app never stops having new versions. The company behind it is always working on an upgrade. That, for instance, has been the case with Microsoft Word for more than thirty years.

When a new version comes out, it contains one or both of these:

  • New features: new capabilities that the app has. These are things that the app previously couldn’t do, but now can.
  • Bug fixes: fixes for errors in the app. The fixes make the app work the way it’s supposed to be.

I think there are lessons here that we can apply to our own self-improvement. If you apply them, you will become a much better person. Here they are:

1. Always work on a new version of yourself.

Never be satisfied with where you are. Instead, always work on a new version of yourself. There are always things that you can improve.

2. Add new “features” to yourself.

With each new version of yourself, you should add new “features.” These can be:

  • New skills. For example, you can teach yourself design skills. There are many resources online that you can use to learn new skills.
  • New good habits. For example, you can build an exercise habit to live a healthy life.
  • New experience. For example, you can go to a foreign country or join a new social club. The experience will expand your perspective.

3. Fix “bugs” in your life.

In addition to adding “features”, you should also fix “bugs” in your life. That means breaking a bad habit that you might have.

The bad habit could be procrastinating, watching too much TV, or something else. Break it for a new version of yourself.

4. Think about what “major upgrade” you could have.

Most of the time, your improvements will be incremental. But every now and then, you should do a major upgrade of yourself. This usually involves a big change in your life.

An example in my case is when I went to study overseas. The experience upgraded me in so many different ways that it qualifies as a “major” upgrade. Further examples are starting your own business, changing your job, or moving to a new city.

Ask yourself: what is something big you can do to take yourself to the next level?


These are simple lessons, but if you apply them, you will have a much more advanced version of yourself in a few years. You will live your life to the fullest.

Any thoughts about this? Comments here.

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  1. Exactly! In addition, people like a program should be useful for other people, helps with some kind of pain, be valuable

  2. Great article, Donald. 🙂

  3. That is exactly why some people succeed and others don’t. As people I think we were made to improve, to learn, to experience and if we do we blossom and if we don’t we wither and die. We were never meant to remain in one state or position.
    Thanks for a another great post.

  4. Donald,
    I’m also a computer science grad and one time developer. I think it’s really important to keep improving.

    Some bugs (and life issues) can be hard to resolve but it’s always best to deal with the underlying issue!

  5. I believe the pendulum has swung too far to the self optimization side. We are _not_ programs, not even machines. Putting the pressure on everybody to constantly self improve will and does have an adverse effect. For example, for item 1 precondition is that you are not satisfied with yourself. That is a big door for self-doubt and insecurity. Look at all these teenagers who suffer from eating disorders – that’s a direct consequence of the self improvement program broadcasted everywhere – and especially in advertising.

    Note that I do not say, you should not improve! But there is a fine line between healthy improvement and the never ending struggle towards perfection that haunts so many fellow humans.

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