I told you that remark from Joel made an impact on me.
I am a fan of character growth. I am a fan of striving to be a better you. I am a fan of identifying where you lack and working to fill in the gaps in those areas. I think these are good things.
But, as I look backwards at the things I have sometimes worked to change in myself, I realize that some of those things I've tried to change have not always been bad things. I haven't changed them even because I thought they needed to be changed... but because there were others that did. They weren't even always people I cared about that much. But, I just felt that changing was what I needed to do to make them happy.
The more I explain this, the more idiotic it seems. Why on earth would I do that?
Change is good. Growth of character is good. But, go after it because it's something you earnestly believe needs to be changed in the way you conduct yourself. Don't chase change just because someone else would like you better if you did. If that's their basis for being able to love you, then they don't love you really, and they aren't worth your efforts.
Photo Credit: Thomas Tolkien