If you believe you deserve to have a better life and you don’t know how to do that, improve your life, you probably gotta read this one, extra carefully.
Loving yourself and living a better life. This may sound spiritual and psychological mambo jumbo, that is supposed to motivate you, but it really isn’t.
This article is about becoming a better version of you and learning to embrace self-development. No tricks, no hacks and certainly no advice that will transform your life in some mins.
This is for learning how the machine we call “human brain” works and what to do to grease it up and make it work flawlessly.
(If you want to learn a whole lot more about the human brain, I suggest you watch a 6 episode documentary called the Human Brain with David Eagleman)
So how did the idea for this article came into my head?
Why Love Yourself?
One day, I was at the gym. Out of the blue, I saw an almost middle-aged guy, around his late 40s, taking out his cell phone, and trying to take a photo of his bicep. He tried to do that as discretely as possible, so no one could easily see him.
My first reaction was to laugh, and think that this is something an 18-year-old would do and show it to his gang or his girlfriends. I even started to make fun of the guy, in my head.
But after watching him for a couple of minutes, it hit me. It wasn’t regular case of a guy who wants to show off his muscles.
He was a very confident man that admires himself in a way that’s reassuring and makes him feel in sync with his body. He thinks highly of his physique, so he takes a picture and confirms in his mind, that what he does is working and also, he’s making a bet that he will try to maintain this level of fitness in the future ahead of him.
Wow, I couldn’t believe a guy taking a picture of his bicep would make me think all that. Yet the lesson hadn’t come yet.
After some extra processing of these thoughts, my mind had understood that I am seeing things under MY perspective, which in this case, was to see a very confident person.
It doesn’t matter if I am confident, it matters that I
want to see it, around me.
And that is the reason, I want to share some things with you in this article. I have learned so many things by helping other people, by sharing experiences with other people and certainly by listening and watching them. All those books I have been reading for so long, are confirming what I see.
Loving yourself is a precursor to living a happier life, be more competent in all areas and be more respected. Trust me, there’s not one single successful person out there, that didn’t love himself to think he could make a change.
You can take Alexander Fleming who invented Penicillin or Muhammad Ali who is arguably the best boxer ever. No matter what your goal is, noble or lowly, helpful to medicine or entertainment. There is this same principle.
Loving yourself, being confident, is a prerequisite to becoming successful.
So let’s make YOU a better person, shall we?
The first thing you need to do, when you have a thought about making a decision, is to ask a small question…
Does it serve me?
Always be asking yourself that question. How does this affect me in the long run?
Does it serve my purpose to be better? Does it help me directly or indirectly achieving my goals?
I had a very close friend asking me the other day if he should cheat on his diet or not. At first, I thought, he should be able to answer that on his own, he doesn’t need my validation to do something.
But that was my thought, not his thought. How do we change that?
So I asked him.
“Do you think that having a cheat meal now, is congruent to you goals? Did you hit your weight goal last week? If you have that meal, will you be able to hit your next week’s goal?”
He thought for some seconds, and he answered affirmatively to all these questions. So now 2 things changed. First, he became well aware that the answers are within him, he didn’t any extra knowledge to take that decision and second, he was confident of his actions.
He was going to have a cheat meal without feeling guilty and taking all the pleasure out of it. Plus, he will be hitting his goal next week, as it is planned and scheduled.
Does it get any better than this?
Learn to enjoy the process
Focusing on the process on a daily level (short-term), is what is going to bring you the results you want in the long run.
If you have a process that is giving you the results you need it. Just focus on keeping the process alive and never stop doing it. Focus on making the process a habit, to the point where everything is happening on autopilot.
Now, what happens if the long term goals are not going very well?
If you have a process that doesn’t give you the results you need, try and change that process.
We are back at the same thing, only now we need to change that instead of simply follow it. You have validated that something doesn’t work. You see that you’re not getting the results you want. It’s time for a change.
Take a step back and make some research. Find out how other people succeeded in the area of your interest and “copy” them. Yep, you read right, “COPY”.
Learn what they did to achieve their goals and try to do that yourself. I have faith in you that you won’t be robbing a bank if your interest is in getting rich. There are much more than one way to accomplish this or any other thing you want.
People get very lean by eating carbs and people get also very lean by avoiding carbs. Research and make a decision by asking if it serves you and your long term goal.
Then you have a process at your doorstep. Do everything in your power to protect it. Love it and keep it coming every day.
Putting yourself FIRST is being humble, not arrogant
It means you believe you can be much better and you’re dedicating your time to better yourself. If my priority is taking the time to be better, this means I am humble enough to believe I can be better, then I will be in a better position to help other people.
Have you paid attention to what the flight attendants say to the passengers?
“…If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”
Again, this puts you in a better position to help others.
People listen to your results, they don’t listen to your words. Try and become someone better.
Then let someone ask you for advice. Don’t try to enforce your way of thinking onto people, let them ask you first.
As a friend told me, teaching someone at your own initiative is a “push” method, you should better try a “pull” method. Let someone come to you first, then share the knowledge.
Recreate your best moments
There is something called “Recency bias”. We tend to remember things that are most recent to our mind than something that occurred a while ago.
Now this means that when you find yourself in a bad situation, you believe that this is how it’s gonna be and you can’t really visualize yourself getting out of it. Your whole brain is telling you that the present situation is a “de facto” situation and that is your reality.
The truth is so far from it. If you take just one minute to think past situations, you will definitely find a couple of occasions that you went against the odds and things turned out to be in your favor.
If you think more, there’s more than two. How’s that possible?
It’s easy. Just track your most successful victories and try to recreate them. Especially when things get tough, get back at this time, where you conquered something that wasn’t realistically achievable.
Somehow things now feel easier. You aren’t afraid anymore.
Did something change? Nope, you just came in touch with a better version of you.
So we finally come to the ties that bind all these things we mentioned together. Our belief system.
We understand the world and everything in it, according to our previous experiences and our current perception.
If we see a very muscular guy on the street, one person believes this happened with steroids, one other person believes this happened by extreme dieting and exercise.
We choose to believe what correlates with our “reality“. Regardless of how the guy got so muscular.
So how do you choose which side you should be on?
Easy, you pick the side that serves your long term goal.
If you believe the guy is on steroids, you will most probably think that you can’t reach this level of fitness and you better stop trying so hard.
But if you believe that the guy actually put some hard work in it, you begin to think that you might need some extra effort yourself. That if you try more, you may one day achieve his level of fitness.
Once more, it doesn’t matter how the guy did it. What matters is…
- Does it serve you?
- Does it make you enjoy the process?
- Does it help you, put yourself first?
- Does it create a “happy” moment?
- Is it approved by your belief system?
There are times when you won’t have a very clear mind to distinguish if a thought should be in your belief system. But that’s why we do all these things. To become better so we can have moments of clarity that will be recreated in the future.
You won’t always know all the answers, but you need to have faith in your judgment and be super confident.
That’s why you need to love yourself.
There is a great book called “Love Yourself” by Kamal Ravikant. It is a very short but valuable book that can teach you the virtues of living life to the fullest, by getting in touch with your better version. Worth every page.
If you have some other thoughts on how you can be better, please share them with us in the comments