I’ve got a lot of work to do to become the person I want to be. I want to weigh less, earn more, and get to a place in life where I can consider myself “successful.” I have spent a lot of time [probably too much] exploring the concepts of self-development and leadership in order to take action and implement the lessons I’ve learned into my daily life.
So, what are some tools and habits that I have found to help along this journey? Here are a few to start with.
Learn to love yourself.
Loving yourself is not about gazing into your own eyes in the mirror, taking a million selfies, or complimenting yourself on Facebook. Self-love is about developing and recognizing your own value. It’s about working to improve and understanding that you are worthy of love and happiness because of who you are.
Your self-worth comes from within, that’s why it’s called *self* worth, and nobody can take it away from you. We have to start teaching this to our youth and stop instilling the idea that single means alone and miserable, while in a relationship means happy and complete. You are a whole, complete person all by yourself, and your happiness is in nobody else’s hands.
Only when you learn what you deserve will you be able to stop settling for less.
Be willing to be wrong.
Wait, how does being wrong help you live a better life? Because being wrong is the first step to learning something new. If you are always right (or think you are), then you won’t think there is anything new to learn. This would be it, right now. This would be the best you’ll ever be. The most you’ll ever know.
The willingness to be wrong is the willingness to grow. To learn. To improve. Let go of your ego for the sake of your future.
Decide what you stand for, and stand for it.
As the old saying goes, “someone who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” Our view of the world governs how we act on a daily basis. Each decision we make, big or small, will alter the trajectory of our life, and it is important that these decisions are in line with our values. So, without these values, our choices will bring us all over the map and we will find it increasingly difficult to live a fulfilling life.
Perhaps even more important though – is making sure we remain flexible and open to new information. The world is constantly evolving around us and new information is being presented every day. There is no shame in changing your views after learning something new, it is the only way to learn and grow as an individual, and as a species.
Find a mentor.
This might be one of the most important ones. Some of my most profound enlightenment has come from just sitting around with friends who have already created the level of success that I strive for. The thing that I’ve found about successful people is that they are often willing to help others become successful, as well. Especially those who have made it by starting a business or taking a chance in life.
If you are not already a patient person, it is an undervalued quality to possess. Considering how dynamic and challenging the world can be, someone without patience will constantly find themselves stressed out and on edge. This will in turn put stress on those around you and add tension to scenarios where it doesn’t have to be.
Remaining cool, calm, and collected is a sign of maturity.
Stay well groomed.
Regardless of what your style of choice is, there is a right and wrong way to pull it off. When you look better, you feel better, and when you feel better – you do better. Your appearance plays a big role in how others see you, and how you see yourself (literally). Get up, dress up, and show up.
Being able to recognize greatness in others is a quality only outweighed by your ability to let them know you’ve recognized it. If we make it a habit to regularly compliment others, it becomes apparent how rarely positive qualities are actually acknowledged in today’s society.
As far as I know, nobody has ever actually felt worse about themselves after giving someone a genuine compliment. It is something that magnifies both of your happiness. Sometimes the best way to receive is to give.
Always be respectful to those around you.
Real kindness is not something you give to people because of who they are, it’s something you give to people because of who you are. Whether you are on a date or just living everyday life, people are more apt to show respect to someone who shows it to them, in return.
Why should it be your responsibility to be the first one to add courtesy and respect into the interaction? Because that’s just the type of person you are, dammit.
Listen more than you speak.
If you need help developing this habit, just remember that you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak. Not only will this give you the ability to absorb and learn more from the world and people around you, but it is also an important part of being a good friend or lover.
It is only when you listen that you take in new information and can more effectively speak on the topics at hand. Plus, everyone likes to be around somebody who actively listens and pays attention to what they say, it shows you have depth and character.
Be the first one to make a move.
Whether it be in intimate situations or in your professional life, hesitation often leads to regret. Start small, and make a commitment to yourself to take action immediately after a situation presents itself. It could be anything from picking up a piece of trash from the ground, to going in for the first kiss. It is better to look back on memories of “oh wells” than it is to look back on “what ifs.”
Leaving actions that affect your life in the hands of others is just asking to be disappointed. Take control of your own life, and live it.
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