What can I do to make sure I am becoming the best version of myself? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Milena Rangelov:
Here are some ideas:
- Observe yourself. Watch your actions, habits, what makes you happy, what pisses you off, how do you behave in crisis, what sustains you, what drains you etc. Observe yourself over the course of the day or a week. (You can make a funny writing exercise out of it. Here is the prompt.) Then you can proceed to next ideas. Observation is the starting point.
- Identify your bad habits. Start eliminating or mitigating them slowly. You might not even be aware of the amount of time you spend in front of TV, scrolling mindlessly over your Facebook feed. You may not realize how often you grab a midnight snack. Observe yourself first. Then work on eliminating at least some of the habits that squander your time, energy, creativity, health.
- Create a routine that helps you show up at your best. What all high-performers have in common is a routine, a set of habits, that they perform every day no matter what. These habits help them show up at their best every day, without significant fluctuations in mood of performance. Some examples: 8 hours of sleep, meditation, glass of green juice in the morning, any kind of spiritual practice, writing 10 ideas every day, exercising etc. Define what are the things that, when done regularly, help you show up at your best. Create your optimal routine. Prioritize it.
- Focus. Whatever you do (and I'm sure you will do many things and wear many hats on the daily basis), focus. If you cook, cook. If you study, study. Multitasking is fancy term for doing more things poorly at the same time. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work. "Winners focus, losers spray," said Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You.
- Slow down. I claim slowing down is a one thing that changed my life in most magnificent ways. Slowing down will help you understand yourself and others better, have better reactions in any situation, do any type of work in a better way.
- Use the resources that you have right now. We are so often stuck in stories: "If only I had XYZ, I would..." How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have? I know hundreds of people that have fancy cameras they never take with themselves. Isn't that a pity? How many wonderful moments will just slip? How often we whine for the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes forgetting about the ton of stuff we already have? Grab the camera that you have, put on your running shoes, explore your neighborhood, do something interesting today. Fancier gadgets won't make you better. Action will.
- Be yourself. Unapologetically. Focus on your strengths. Leverage your contrasts. Be a weirdo. Be different. You are awesome. In her book Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin created her own commandments and the first one was "Be Gretchen". The significance of this commandment was great, she basically encouraged herself to follow her intuition and her own rules in many situations. She stopped forcing herself to enjoy music, food, parties just because the society puts emphasis on these things. She let herself love what she loves. "Becoming YOU is your life purpose," said Danielle Laporte. Welcome home.
- Implement. Let's say you want to lose the weight and I give you 10 diet books. Which one will help you the most? The answer: the one you actually implement. (OK, we can discuss food science in more detail, but that's not the point here.) You will receive tons of great tips and ideas on Quora and elsewhere. But only the tips that you implement will make a difference in your life. Read, explore, come up with ideas. But don't forget to implement.
- Foster your relationships. Call your parents, siblings, friends. Be there for them. Be generous. Open your heart, your mind, your wallet. Make someone's day. Show your gratitude. Give a praise. Give a support. Accept. Don't judge. Love. There will always be more work to do and more dishes to wash. Share your love and care today.
- Laugh. (Last but not the least.) Start with laughing at yourself. Talk crap with your friends and laugh together. Watch a comedy. Read jokes. Relax. "Laughter is more essential for the survival than fighting," said James Altucher. And it will certainly pull out the best from you.
Let's wrap this story up with a beautiful quote by Ernest Hemingway : "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."