1. Love Yourself
In order to love yourself you must know yourself. Think about it, who knows you better than anyone in this world…? Take ya time…
Most likely, your family. Whether it be your mother, your sibling, your spouse or your pet, no one, NO ONE knows you better than those with whom you spend the most time.
Now think about this: no matter how well those people know you, they will NEVER be able to know you better than you know yourself. They don’t share every thought, cry at the exact same scenes in every movie, or stand up to dance when your song comes on. It’s impossible to share the same passing thoughts day to day. We experience vastly different things and perception is always personal. This makes the world entertaining and you have permission to be different from everyone else in the world. Permission to be special.
That romantic notion of “I want to be with someone/someone’s who knows me better than I know myself” ends now. (S/O Justine Skye “Know Myself” btw). It’s cool though, don’t let this seem overwhelming. This should EXCITE you. You are a VAST universe worth exploring and understanding, no less important than the moon or the stars.
People tell me all the time “I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t know what I’m good at. I don’t have something unique.” It’s cool to have more than one “passion”, and more on that in another blog post, but for our purposes this is your blueprint for getting to know that beautiful self of yours:
- Invest Time
MAN, I used to struggle with this one. I still do. As an extravert, I know loneliness can drive you to fill all the time with people, and parties, and fun and only God knows what else (thankfully). Be with yourself in the stillness. Be with yourself daily. Be with yourself in the decisions you make and the actions you take. Take steps to be more conscious daily and you will be surprised how much time you spend “on” yourself instead of “by” yourself.
- Invest Energy
Believe me, I watch a LOT of movies. I love being immersed in a good story and deep characters. But… you HAVE to do more than sit on your couch smoking a bowl with some Netflix. Life happens in real-time and if you watch how you react to and with others, you will learn SO much more than you ever could in your bubble.
I sat in my room for two years teaching myself how to play guitar and sing and WASTED sharing this growth with others out of fear. Take my advice, don’t take my advice from back then.
- Invest Resources
I’m fully prepared for this one to hurt.
Where will these resources come from…? (Smacks lips and rubs hands together) Mmm, think about this: you have ALL the resources you need.
It is time to ALLOCATE them accordingly. Make pennies matter. Make minutes matter. Waste is a killer in life as much as it is in business. View yourself as a business trying to go lean.
I sympathize with the mothers and fathers of large families, the impoverished, and the disabled because time is so appropriately devoted to the things to things that matter. Self-actualization isn’t always available.
However, if you truly TRULY don’t have the resources to allot to your personal development, guess what? You just learned something about yourself. Maybe its time to get/give what you deserve. Isn’t this fun?
- Remove Obstacles
EEK! This has been a popular share of mine in conversations with my friends lately: I know I’m in trouble when I start a sentence of with “Well…” or interject “just” somewhere in there.
Sometimes the obstacles aren’t visible. Most of mine are not, so I’m some kind of fortunate and cursed at the same time, right?
I had to invest time in myself to learn my own tendencies (see Point “a”) and develop awareness to them. Now I’m working on ways to deal with them.
Be aware of what your eating, where you’re spending your time, and who you’re pouring yourself into.
Love yourself, YEAH!
2. Change What You Don’t Like
Funny thing about change is that, more times than not, it is a road with no map and you’re in the pitch dark of the desert.
I’ve had a NUMBER of different instructors and mentors in my musical journey on my journey to this day. More than I thought I would ever have. I had to make tough decisions on when to move on and who to trust, knowing full well I would have to abandon large amounts of work put into a relationship, strictly in honor of MY progress. It was uncertain the first few times, but you learn there is a wealth of knowledge and resources outside of your bubble.
The worst of the worst will allow you to continue on in a circle of their limited potential (for you) or try to stop you from moving on. (Man, there are a lot of parallels for bad relationships here…)
Don’t let your will to change be discouraged by lack of quick results or fear of hurting someone. If you end things appropriately and cordially, there’s no need for fear or sadness. You’re simply taking the next step in your journey. The real ones will get this!
Change is NECESSARY!!!
3. Embrace What You Can’t Change
This is surely the toughest but almost certainly the most liberating. You know those massive and inspiring talents playing instruments without a hand or performing in spite of several unfortunate circumstances (S/O to my favorite national anthem singer Marlana VanHoose).
Yes, they are great, and yes they have unreal resolve, but do you know what they did to get there. They have accepted (at least to a manageable level) their current situation!
YOU CAN DO THIS. It may seem herculean, and it is, but it is nothing outside of your capability!!!
I came from a family of ZERO musicians. Zero. No one played or has any experience. I was going from scratch. I sought out those who knew more than me then those who knew more than them.
Good, bad or indifferent I now stand at the precipice of my second album in as many years having attained skills and talents that will pay for years to come.
Face it. EMBRACE IT!!
The funny thing about all of this, however, is that we are (or at least should be) evolving, moving forward in thought, in mind, and in action. Would you really want to be a person that can be fully explained in 50 pages? I’d read that book then stuff it into an overcrowded shelf to donate to charity in 12 years.
It’s a tall task that I have charged you with, but you must, you MUST fully devote if you want to become your best self. These are the things that separate the realized from the unrealized. What would you rather be?
Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert
Outliers: Malcom Gladwell