How to Become the Best Version of Yourself
First of all, I am going to discuss why that's an admirable goal and quality for those of you who are wondering right now.
Humans can become great in many different aspects of life through discipline and constantly improving themselves. There is no clear definition for a great human being but I think if you follow certain principles and patterns you are getting pretty close to becoming a great human being and more important, the best version of yourself!
If you follow these principles you will not only elevate your own life but also the lives of your friends and family in the process. This is of course a wonderful way to make the world a better place, starting with you and your closer environment. Positive habits and attitudes tend to spread a lot faster than bad ones, especially if people close to you start implementing them in their everyday life.
Let's get into the important stuff that you can start doing right now! I will sprinkle in some quotations from time to time in order to get the message clear. Those are mostly from books I've read and loved (take notes).
Some of these will sound like the biggest clichés but I promise they are not without a reason well known and supported.
People often cringe when they read about the meaning of life (I did as well), but think a minute: are you truly happy with what you do? Wouldn't you mind doing that thing for the rest of your life?
If that's not the case, maybe you should reconsider your personal meaning of life.
Anyways let's get into it!
Habits usually take form within a month and become automatic behavior after two months. That said you can imagine how powerful habits truly are.
First of all, brainstorm a few minutes and note down every habit that you might have accumulated throughout the years, note good and bad on different sides. Is the list equally long on each side? If the good ones overweight, that's definitely a positive sign. You will have a couple of bad ones and that's OK because nobody is perfect. It doesn’t matter though how many there are because you can get rid of every single one of them if you want to.
You should however always concentrate on establishing/deleting one habit at a time.
It will be hard because humans are getting comfortable too easily and tend to stay in that comfort. Unfortunately, this way you will never reach your full potential and see what could be possible.
Your mind is the strongest tool you have, it commands everything you do and think. That's why you have to train to control your thoughts and an easy way to start is by establishing a habit.
If you truly believe that you can achieve something and basically get rid of scenarios that don't support your goal, there is no way you can fail. Of course, you have to put in the work and effort required - just laying in your bed will achieve nothing!
And that's how we get to our first Happy Habit:
Rise early and use the first hour of each day wisely.
Take a (cold) Shower, take a walk, meditate, eat healthy food, read, get some work done to put you in the right mindset for the day. Getting up early is hard, especially if you have no idea what to do after you leave your bed. That's why I don't use curtains at all and let the sun/daylight wake me up. You can also let the alarm handle it but it's not the smoothest option for sure. If you note down the night before what you have to do, it's easier to get those things done and have a motivation to get out of bed. Once awake write down three things you are grateful for and maybe journal about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24h.
This is especially powerful because it creates positive vibes that make it easier to proceed with the rest of the day and week.
Or let's say you wake up, take a shower, get ready for work and catch the train each morning. Most people tend to let their thoughts drift while listening to music or reading the newspaper during the train ride. What if I told you you can use that time more efficient by listening to a podcast or audiobook of your choice. Reading is great but sometimes you are occupied in a a task and are not able to have a book at hand - in that case Audible comes in handy!
Try Audible For Free Here.
The second happy habit is to do one act of giving or kindness daily. This means basically, bringing a smile on a person's face with a friendly gesture. You will feel better afterward and it is easy to do, so why miss out? A nice compliment, asking how a friend is doing or simply holding the door for someone.
The third happy habit concerns savoring the moment. Train to truly appreciate your surroundings and you will always find something to be happy about. Look up at the sky (not the sun) and let your thoughts wander, observe nature, or start meaningful conversations - the possibilities are endless. We have so much to be thankful for; just recently I thought about the chances of being alive and how insignificant we actually are. Look at the picture and prepare to get mind blown. Chances of you being born are 1 in 10^2.640.000 when you consider your family tree and the possibilities of your ancestors being born in the correct order. You can compare that to 2 Million people throwing dice with 1 Trillion sides at the same time and every dice shows the same number on top.
Other desirable characteristics and habits are:
Exercising and reading daily
Being responsible and not blaming others
Engaging in meaningful activities
Make more time for friends
Practicing having a positive attitude and perspective
Control your expenses -
first, ask yourself: Do I really need this, does it add value to my life?
the ask yourself if you can afford it (Could you purchase *desired product* 5 times and still have a reasonable amount of money left?
2. Treat people how you want to be treated
‘One person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others, create a win-win situation’ - Stephen R. Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This one is a very classic saying that you've probably heard a million times by now but now you are hearing it for the 1.000.001. time because it's so true. Humans with class treat everyone with respect and equally, no matter the race, gender, social status, or age.
If you remember this quote in every interaction you do, you will easily create new powerful connections and have many eye-opening experiences.
This can also be used in slightly different scenarios for example you have a new girlfriend and her family invited you over to feast with them. Now you are getting nervous and don't know how to act.
Simple and true advice would be: just be yourself. Another advice would be: think about how you would want the future boyfriend of your daughter to act. How does he speak, dress, and behave overall - you just do the same cause chances are every father wants the best for their daughters.
3. Finding your Purpose in Life
‘Most people die at 25 but aren’t buried until 75’ - Benjamin Franklin
This means that the majority of people settle for a convenient route in their life that they aren’t happy about at all. Society, family, and friends often, unfortunately, push you to take that path and you end up being unhappy because of your 9-5 job.
Of course, it isn’t easy to go against the rules, that’s why most people go to a university after high school and then start their ‘Dream Job’ only to notice that it doesn’t fulfill them at all.
Finding your purpose in life is closely bound to finding your passion.
Think for yourself what the ideal life looks like to you and picture yourself living it. Now you have to reverse engineer your vision, which basically means working your way backward. Think of ways how you can achieve that great dream life and then write down an exact plan. I can almost guarantee that your ultimate goals have something to do with money, health, and freedom because that’s what most humans seek. Ironically you won’t get rich by having a job and working for your boss, plus you lose valuable time and energy.
So you have to reconsider: is it worth giving up my passion for drawing so I can start as a financial adviser next month? In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.
In today's day and age there are so many possibilities to earn money following your passion, so why limit yourself to simple tasks a robot will cover over the next years?
People want to make you believe that having a job is the safest route but it actually isn’t. Amazon forces dozens of local and online stores to fire their employees in order to cut back the enormous losses they are experiencing.
Soon robots will take over simpler tasks and soon more complicated ones; Elon Musk’s (Founder of Tesla and SpaceX) number 1 fear is a takeover of robots in the future.
So as you can see it is becoming more and more important to follow your dreams and listen only to yourself.
Finding your passion and purpose in life can be difficult, that’s why I’ve listed some neat books below, that can help you with that.
You can also ask yourself the following questions to get an idea:
What am I paying money for on a monthly basis?
- This would be Netflix for example. so my guess is you are into movies and series. Why not start getting into videography and cinematography on YouTube?
What do I do in my free time that fulfills me with joy?
- This way you can note down some activities and hobbies that you enjoy. Chances are you are good at those activities, so why not become a professional and teach people?
How to win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz
12 Rules for Life - Jordan Peterson
The Why Are You Here Cafe - John Strelecky
Rich Dad Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
Factfulness - Hans Rosling
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Robin Sharma
4. Seek to improve constantly
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ - Theodore Roosevelt
The constant desire to improve yourself in every aspect of life is a very noble goal and is definitely worth practicing. While doing so, please don’t compare yourself to others; I often notice myself doing this in the gym with guys who have been training five years longer than me - where does that make any sense? It just makes you feel small and insignificant although it’s completely normal to have a slight build when starting out.
If you happen to start going to the gym consistently with a friend, you will automatically compare yourself with him/her. This is motivating for some people, since they grave a sense of competition, for others, it’s the complete opposite: it makes them feel weak. The most reasonable approach you can take is to compare yourself to whom you were yesterday. Don’t look at what others do and how they succeed in life, only concentrate on yourself, your goals, and accomplishments so that you can outgrow every other person around you.
The thing is, comparing yourself with others is normal, but we can train to cancel that thought as soon as it hits our brain. If you manage to achieve breaking that thought process once it occurs, you are 95% ahead of the competition. Because they are still going to envy their friend who just got a promotion instead of sincerely celebrating with them.
Ways to improve yourself are basically listed under the Happy Habits from point 1.
By becoming more disciplined and dedicated to your passion and work, you will slowly but surely increase your productivity. If you add consistency to your daily tasks you are going to see great results with time because every little action you take will add up, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Eating that one oreo before bed, pff what’s the matter with that, right? It does matter though because it can become a bad habit and later on in life cause a heart attack or diabetes. Eliminate that risk by being disciplined with your eating habits and other aspects of life.
Another advice I want to give is that you have to learn from your past mistakes. It sounds simple but people don’t do it. They get angry when they lose a bet on some Premier League game but proceed to bet month after month because they want to gain their money back. That’s not how it works though, football is unpredictable so why waste your money?
The One Thing - Gary Keller
The Compound Effect - Darren Hardy
The Slight Edge - Jeff Olson
5. It’s never too late for a change
I will now quote a paragraph from D. Waitley’s ‘The Winner’s Edge’
‘The winning human being realizes that everything in life is volitional - even being alive. Everything “I decide to do” - nothing “I have to do.”
You don’t have to work, pay taxes, have babies, or even get up in the morning. You decide to do things because they are profitable to you and the best choice among the alternatives available to help you along toward your goals.
People who have to do things are irresponsible. They are not in control. They are puppets caught in the habit of letting life happen to them. They are losers.
Losers let it happen - Winners make it happen.’
Now we admit this is a bit harsh, but the fundamental point is true: If you don’t like what is happening, change the situation to your advantage. You are always in control of your life and what you do with it - be responsible and stop blaming others or luck. Be proactive and worry about the things you CAN control. Have the guts to quit something if it doesn’t work or isn’t making you happy, you can always change your current situation.
If you think of the most generic excuses now like ‘I have a job and need to pay my bills’, ‘I am too old and have been working there for 30 years now’ etc. think again!
If this job doesn’t fulfill you, look for a new one or even start a business yourself - you only have one life, why waste it? I promise you won’t be sleeping on the streets, it will never come that far, especially if you follow points 1-4. Our world is full of opportunities, especially in today’s day and age.
‘Success is not the key to happiness - happiness is the key to success’ - Albert Schweitzer