The clash between improvement and contentment

Alexandra Horowitz, author of "On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes", re-visits the city accompanied by several experts: An artist, a typographer, her baby, her dog etc. Realizing how relatively limited her perception can be, she writes (bolding is mine):

"I would find myself at once alarmed, delighted, and humbled at the limitations of my ordinary looking. My consolation is that this deficiency of mine is quite human. We see, but we do not see: we use our eyes, but our gaze is glancing, frivolously considering its object. We see the signs, but not their meanings. We are not blinded, but we have blinders." - Alexandra Horowitz

And as non-self-helpy Alain De Botton would affirm in several "sermons" of his - "It's OK". Yes, you do have limits but "Nothing is wrong with you". At the root of this particular mental quirk is the "uniqueness bias". As Tyler Durden put it in "Fight Club" : "You are not a unique snow flake". Joining the crew, Christopher Waltz adds, in the movie "The Zero Theorem", that meaning doesn't stem from your uniqueness but from accepting your non-uniqueness. The frightening meaninglessness of your life. And playing along with it. That is how you fight your ego delusion.

But if one destroys his unique ego and is content with his limitations, is there room left for self-improvement? Why would I want to improve? Amazing Alan Watts writes:

"I can only think seriously of trying to live up to an ideal, to improve myself, if I am split in two pieces. There must be a good “I” who is going to improve the bad “me.” “I,” who has the best intentions, will go to work on wayward “me,” and the tussle between the two will very much stress the difference between them. Consequently “I” will feel more separate than ever, and so merely increase the lonely and cut-off feelings which make “me” behave so badly."

See ? Watts actually solves the clash between contentment and improvement. By accepting our limitations, understanding our non-uniqueness, we solve the schism between a good "I" and a bad "me". Improvement is no longer an attempt at mending this internal split but rather a personal decision to take ourselves, as wholes, into a new direction. Wdyt ? Hit "Reply" if this connected the dots for you :D