“The best version of yourself” | An expose on life
Hi friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get started, check out my post, “The 9-5 paradigm”! It’s a little rough around the edges and was my first blog ever here at home studio basics. But it’s still very thought-provoking!
Other than that,
Today I just wanted to come at you all with a little something different this time around. I have been doing a lot of reflection lately, as well as going through quite a bit of change.
I recently moved out of my parent’s house and started fully relying on myself, and it has been quite a challenge and adjustment, to say the least! I have learned so much in such a short time and thought I’d share some knowledge and inspiration for anyone who might need it. A lot of this stuff has been brewing long before I moved out, and I wanted to get it off my chest.
Sometimes all it takes is a positive word or a situation to pick us up out of a foul mood. It also gives us some perspective when we see that things aren’t as bad as they seem, and could always be worse.
Lately, I’ve had to do some serious “pause and reflect.” It’s sort of like cause and effect but not 😛 Every time I start to think negatively about something, I instead pause and give myself some perspective on where I was before, in relation to where I am now. It can be so easy to get caught up in where we want to be, that we don’t realize how far we’ve actually come! Of course, this is only true if you’ve made a conscious effort to improve your life in some way.
Discipline and Habits
One of the most important things I’ve learned thus far is not putting things off until tomorrow. Of course, we can never be perfect, but relying on ourselves for everything forces us to be more disciplined and form better habits. It also inspires you to change the bad ones into good ones!
If you’d like a deeper dive into habits, check out this post on my other blog/portfolio site 🙂
I challenge anyone reading this to think of something you do daily that could be considered a bad habit. Tomorrow, instead of getting caught in that cycle, switch it up and either change that habit into a good one or develop a separate good habit.
It takes discipline at first to continue with a good habit, but once you do it enough times, it becomes second nature. Just think about all of your bad habits! You don’t even really think about them in your waking life. They are now part of your sub-conscious, and without realizing it, every day we are constantly giving in to them, repeating the cycle over and over again.
The good news is that you can form this same cycle by doing something as simple as making your bed every morning. Something, ANYTHING positive to start out. I used to never do this. But I made the conscious effort to do it enough times that it’s now become a habit. I don’t think about it at all. I wake up and I do it.
This is a small example, but you can see what I’m getting at. Apply this same principle with cleaning your room, hanging up your clothes, conserving electricity, washing your sheets regularly, vacuuming the floor, doing the dishes as you use them instead of letting them pile up, preparing bulk meals for the week, working out, reading the bible, making a conscious effort to avoid fast food, quitting smoking, etc. The list goes on and on.
Instead of saying “I need to do such and such”, instead say: “I HAVE to do this” You’d be surprised what this one little variant in the sentence can do to your mindset. If you say: “I have to workout today” then you have no choice but to work out. When you say: “I need to work out today” it means nothing. It just means you’re aware of the fact that you’re lazy and nothing more.
When you’re dedicated to something, anything, it shows. You put your heart and soul into it for better or worse. You could be dedicated to something extremely detrimental to your progress! It’s hard to truly be dedicated to something all the time, however. We live in a distracted world. Most of us are more into Facebook and other people’s lives than we are our own path. I was the same way. Getting lots of attention on my posts meant more to me than the post itself at one time. I started getting frustrated that my well-thought-out, relevant posts got no attention, while the senseless and hollow ones were the talk of the town.
So I quit using it. I realized that it’s not other people’s job to prop me up, make me feel good, or somehow validate my life. That may seem obvious to you, but how many egocentric, self-indulgent people do you know on Facebook? Ever seen the profile of the girl with about 500 selfies? I rest my case.
We should always be asking ourselves the question, “Is _____ helping me progress or move forward with my life?” If the answer is no, then drop it. Plain and simple. If the answer is yes, then obviously we want to hold on to that thing.
Instead of being dedicated to social media, or something else that isn’t good for you, I challenge you to instead dedicate yourself to something you love to do or want to learn. Take up a hobby, learn about marketing, hone a craft like music, read some books, read the bible, learn to draw or paint, play a sport, etc. Anything that develops you into a better person.
Dedicate yourself fully to something positive, and reap the rewards.
Perseverance and Consistency
Oddly enough, this is still my Achilles heel, and something that I am working on but have had the most trouble with throughout my life. It’s easy to be consistent at something for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. But to continuously dedicate yourself to it daily over a long period of time is one of the toughest things to conquer.
Inevitably you will face obstacles just when you think it’s smooth sailing. It reminds me of a really good Grateful Dead song called Uncle Johns band.
“Well the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry any more, ‘Cause when life looks like Easy Street, there is danger at your door.”
This can pretty much sum up how life works. The key (no pun intended) is to keep pushing through and stay positive throughout every moment in which you feel like giving up. It’s also to realize that you will face setbacks but to be strong through them and let those bad experiences and feelings toughen you up a little.
My mom used to read me a book called the Little engine that could. I will never forget the moment he finally made it up the seemingly insurmountable hill. Reading and seeing that left me with an indescribably blissful feeling. Speaking of inspirational books, whatever happened to our youth? 😛
There are days when my confidence skyrockets and I feel like I can do anything, while other days I wonder what the heck I’m doing and why I’m doing it. When inspiration strikes, grab a hold of it for as long as possible because it comes and goes.
There’s no way to be 100% focused 100% of the time. You will have moments when you’re ready to throw in the towel, and call it a day. Just don’t cash it in for good. A great phrase to live by is that nothing good, or worth doing, happens overnight. What separates the success stories from the rest is the fact that those people struggled and failed over and over before they succeeded. And they LOVE to talk about it.
Michael Jordan in an interview was asked what made him so great. “Was it your talent?” they asked. Understandably he got a little irritated and shot back: “No it’s not that, it’s that I never compared myself to anyone else. I tried to be the best version of me that I could be, every day of my life.”
Those aren’t his exact quotes, but close to it. It illustrates my point perfectly. Comparing yourself to others only makes you miserable. Unless you can draw inspiration from those people and not get bitter, envious, or even jealous, then it’s best to forget about them altogether. Be happy for others, but focus on yourself, your passions, talents, and dreams, and the rest will fall into place. I’m not saying shut out people completely though. Have compassion and empathy for others, but realize that you’re the one who has to live with yourself every day. Make that person somebody you can be proud of. Imagine if everyone did that. The world might be a better place!
“If you want to view, paradise… Simply look around and view it… Anything you want to, do it… Want to change the world? There’s nothing, to it.”
Patience and What goes around comes around
Ahh, patience. That one thing that seemingly no one has. Whenever I tell my Dad to “Have some patience!” he says:
“Sorry I’m not a doctor, I don’t have any patience!”
It can be hard to sit back and wait for something, biding our time. After all, the time we have on earth is limited, so trying to remain calm seems like an exercise in futility. Honestly, you could die tomorrow and that would be the end of it. Still, though, having patience can sometimes be the greatest reward of all.
Have you ever prayed for something, tried your best in all your endeavors, and didn’t see immediate results? Maybe you decided to leave it be for a while and focus on other things. Then later on down the road you finally reaped a reward (or rewards) for all of your hard work and patience?
Maybe you decided to really start going out of your way to help others, and give your time and money when it felt uncomfortable to do so. These are the things that can give us immediate inner strength and comfort, as well as long-term benefits. Giving for the sake of it is the most important thing, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help us out. The more you give, the more you receive.
This is something that I’ve learned over the past year or two. Though I am focused on my goals, the world doesn’t revolve around me. The book of Luke talks about giving more than you feel comfortable with. I challenge anyone reading this to do exactly that next time you come across a stranger in need. Go out of your way to provide them with as much as you can! Even if you don’t believe in God, do it out of a sense of duty, as the great philosopher Immanuel Kant suggests.
The Bottom Line
Work hard, be critical of yourself, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Be the best version of yourself that you can be. Recognize where you were, where you are now, and where you want to be. As long as you’ve progressed in a positive way from the person you were yesterday, 5 years ago, or even 10 years ago, then you’re headed in the right direction. I’ll leave you with an inspirational video that gives me a newfound perspective every time I watch it.
Jim Valvano’s ESPY speech
Well, there are no words left for me to say, that speech pretty much sums it up, guys! I truly hope you took away something from this post. My words were from the heart and had been on my spirit for a long time. Feel free to leave a comment below or just reach out to me in general. I would love to hear from you!
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.