Every single self-improvement I've ever pursued was fueled entirely by my hatered of being American.
It started simply enough, low-hanging fruit: obesity, the most visible American trait. I was never obsese, but I had a few pounds to spare as a 15 or 16 year old, so I cut my food intake in half and the pounds melted off. It was easy because I was on a medication-- still am, actually-- and it has a curious side effect of making me unable to feel hunger. Anyways, I never broke the 99 pound barrier, only ever got down to 104lbs, but it was enough to slot me into size double-zero jeans and XS shirts. I was proud, I was thin, I was giddy with the fact that I was in no way shape or form 'some fat American'.