We pursue our goals because we want to create (or expand) the best version of our lives we can. But our lives aren’t divorced from who we are. They are reflections of who we are. So if we want to create our very best lives, we need to start by living into being our very best selves.
Here are some thoughts on how we can do that . . .
Start Your Day On The Right Foot
The tone you set at the start of your day will likely carry over through the rest of your day. While lack of sleep may make it easy to default to crankiness when that alarm goes off and for the first few groggy and frustrated seconds thereafter, it’s entirely our choice how we proceed from there.
We can get out of bed cursing ourselves for staying up too late, and hating the very idea of having to go to work. Or we can make a deliberate effort to control our own attitude.
So . . .
Don’t crawl out of bed. Leap out of it, like when you were a kid and it was Saturday morning.
When you look into the mirror before brushing your teeth, turn that slack jawed frown upside down. Smile large, and say to yourself, “It’s great to be alive, and today is going to be amazing!”
Never start your day with the news or social media! That’s like the mental and emotional equivalent of having ice cream and potato chips for breakfast. It will only give you indigestion of the soul and make you miserable for the rest of the day.
Be Deliberately, Actively Kind
With all the crazy stresses of life in the year 2020, far too many of us have allowed our kindness muscles to get flabby.
In fact, a frightening number of people have become downright vicious. So it’s more important than ever for the rest of us to pick up some of the slack of humanity and be deliberately, actively kind — To make kindness a daily practice. I’m not talking about the faux compassion of those who virtue signal online with social justice memes. I’m talking about simple, everyday, good old fashioned, person to person kindness.
Because that’s where kindness lives. It’s in a thousand little courtesies that make life easier for everyone, and cost us nothing more than to stop fixating on ourselves for a moment or two. It’s . . .
- Complimenting the barista
- Thanking the bus driver
- Writing a thank you note
- Writing a positive review for once
- Smiling at the passing stranger
- Opening the door for the her
- Letting him cut ahead in line
- Taking time to listen, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak
- Assuming the best intentions, rather than the worst
- If you can’t make it better, then at least not making it worse
- Forgiving and forgiving again
- Making it a goal: Do a good deed every day
Every single day we’re confronted with a myriad of opportunities to be a bit better, and make someone else’s lives a tad brighter — To practice at being our very best selves and in the process grow that much more into our very best lives.
Ingrates rarely thrive. How could they? All they see is scarcity, lack, and all that they don’t have in life. There’s nothing motivating in that depressing worldview. It’s the kind of attitude that simply doesn’t wear well on anyone, and doesn’t fit at all on those who are committed to being their best selves, living their best lives, and thriving in life.
Those who believe in The Law Of Attraction say that deep and abiding feelings of gratitude naturally attract more of those good things that cause you to feel grateful. When looking at the lives of the happy and successful people, this sure seems to be have some merit.
But even if you don’t believe in The Law Of Attraction, it’s pretty obvious that being grateful makes life happier, which in turn makes you more effective in life.
To put it another way . . .
If you’re grateful you’re more likely to be happy, and if you’re happy you’ll be more motivated to work hard on your goals, so you’ll be more likely to achieve them, which will give you even more reason to be grateful!
Not to mention, people who are grateful are just nicer to be around than blamers and complainers.
So be a person of gratitude.
Don’t Be Jack
All work and no play made Jack a very dull boy, so they say.
Don’t be Jack.
Work and work hard in pursuit of your goals, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way.
One way to do this is to set goals related to having fun. It’s the best of both worlds: You get to play with no other purpose than to enjoy yourself, but you also get to satisfy that goal-achiever instinct that always wants you to be accomplishing something in everything you do.
It’s funny how this works. If you just go fly a kite, then your Inner Goal Achiever may bark that you’re wasting valuable time. But if you write down “Go Fly A Kite,” and afterwards put a big red checkmark in front of that badboy, your Inner Goal Achiever will applaud you.
Humans are weird.
Strive With Ease
It’s important that we honor the best self and best life we’re striving towards. To view the deepest dreams of our heart as the sacred things they are. To honor and not squander our allotted time, for it is precious. To focus on the positive as much as possible each day. To be a source of kindness, to be grateful, and to have fun along the way.
It’s also important to remember that your best self, like your best life, will always be a work in progress. That’s the thing about best selves and best lives . . . they just keep getting better!
As much as they are achieved, best lives are also cultivated, and best selves are nurtured. We honor ourselves by always striving to grow, while at the same time being kind and forgiving to ourselves when we don’t grow as fast as we’d like.
So strive . . . but aim to balance that striving with a bit of Zen. Strive with light feet, strive with a smile, strive ease.
What are your strategies and secrets for living into your very best self each day? What are the biggest challenges? Discuss below!