The Ultimate Guide On
How To Be A Better You
I'm sure you understand the feeling of wanting more, particularly the feeling of wanting more out of ourselves.
Not many days go by where we want to have less money, be in worse physical condition, and be even further from our goals or dreams.
Instead, we always want a few more dollars, a few less pounds, less stress, and happier lives.
We know we can achieve more! Have you ever looked at yourself and felt the incredible potential locked up inside of you? I know I have.
The problem arises when we are unsure how to unleash our potential.
Today, I want to help you be the best version of you that you can be. I want to teach you how to be a better you, using exact steps that I myself took to increase my financial freedom, hit my health goals, decrease my stress, and live an overall happier life.
Know Your Why
In his powerful book Start With Why, Simon Sinek discusses how great leaders, organizations, communicators, and people all have something in common: they understand the reasons behind what they are doing.
And not only do the greats of the world understand the reasons, but they allow these ideas to seep into their very soul to provide inspiration to accomplish whatever stands before them.
We, to improve our lives in every way, must do the same.
We must find your passion.
Passion: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.
To truly be a better you, you must find your why. Find what motivates you. Find what gets you up in the mornings. It can be selfish ("I want a better home/car/body") or altruistic ("I want to help children in need") but it must be present.
When finding your passion (and you definitely have one), there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Be specific: You want your passion to be something that you can almost taste, touch, feel, or experience. It needs to be something that feels right outside your reach.
For example, one of my written passions is about my body. It says this: "I want a rocking hot body. I want to run my hands down my stomach and feel my six pack. I want to love taking my shirt off."
When I look at that passion written on my whiteboard in my room, I feel what it's like to have that body. I can touch the abs in my mind. I can take my shirt off and love every second of it.
Make your passion so specific you can touch, taste, smell, and feel it.
Want to go on a world traveling tour? Describe where you're going, how you're getting there, what you're gonna live like when you're there.
Passion to be the best at something? Explain to yourself what it's like to be the reigning champion, what others see when they look at you, what it's like to feel confidence flowing through your veins.
When describing your passion, be specific to the smallest detail. Allow your soul to feel what the fulfillment of your passion will be like.
2. Be honest: Earlier I mentioned that some passions are selfish and some are not. Both are okay.
A selfless passion is fantastic! You want to adopt the homeless, cure malaria, end worldwide hunger, and change the world for the better. That is amazing. I am so thankful for people like you.
But humans are innately selfish and for this reason, altruistic passions are often less effective at immediate motivation than selfish passions are.
Let me give you an example. Let's use my earlier passion of having a super hot body. My end goal for my life is for people to like me so that I can give them the keys to happiness. That's the end goal for me.
I think having a decent body is probably helpful towards the goal of getting people to like me. But it's a lot easier to cheat myself when my goal is further out.
Altruistic, or selfless passions are often largely ideal. They are difficult to touch, feel, and experience in our minds and this makes it difficult to motivate ourselves using altruistic passions.
So what I recommend is to make a passion pyramid. Take your massive, world-changing altruistic passions and break them into smaller, selfish passions.
Because selfish passions are here; selfish passions are now. They can be touched, felt, and are extremely motivational.
Here's an example from my own passion pyramid, including a nice picture.
Up top, I have my greatest passion: provide happiness. Below that, two more altruistic goals: solve people's needs and give people their pleasures.
Since the pyramid gets a bit crowded at this point, let's just follow the "Give Pleasures" branch.
Two of the ways I can give people pleasure is by entertaining them and providing them with convenience. Both of these are also altruistic and selfless.
But below those two passions?
My passions below all these altruistic goals are simple: I want to be funny, be physically attractive, and own a great business.
Below all the altruistic, idealistic, difficult-to-define, world-changing passions are passions that I feel. Passions that I can touch. Passions that make me burn with desire.
Below all my selfless goals are my selfish ones because I am able to immediately take action on these.
The passion pyramid is the best motivational tool for me. Period. And I wish someone had taught me how to do one a lot sooner in life.
Don't allow yourself to believe that you are immoral because your immediate passions are selfish; in fact, a passion pyramid is extremely ethical because out of your selfish desires come incredible joy for everyone else.
But you must be honest.
If your beginning and end goals are selfish, then don't lie and put passions that sound better to outside ears. This is about making you a better you.
This is for you. Be honest with yourself. Don't be afraid to be a little selfish because even selfishness can be turned to good.
3. Write it down: As a child, I noticed an interesting phenomenon in my father: he would consistently make and remake plans or ideas.
As I grew older, I began to realize that he had to remake his plans because he never truly remembered them due to the fact that the only records of his plans existed inside of his head.
So I learned early on that something concrete begins to form when we write things down.
I 100% totally and completely recommend writing your passions down. Make a pyramid, make a list, it doesn't really matter because what's effective for you is different than what's effective for me. Do what's best for you.
I once read in Grant Cardone's Be Obsessed Or Be Average that Grant writes his passions down every day and the things he keeps seeing pop up are the things that he knows he wants to do in his life.
A passion in your head will never be as effective as a passion on your paper. Write it down, keep it with you, and always remember that it will never happen if you don't make it happen.
Let this passion drive you to be the person you want to be.
Let this passion drive you to be the person you know you can be.
There is no short road to improving your life, increasing your happiness, changing your relationships, and achieving your long term goals.
Allow me to phrase that differently: there is no straight road to being a better you.
The road to becoming who you want to be and who you know you can be is long, painful, and filled with twists that are guaranteed to throw you off track at some point.
Anyone saying that self-improvement is easy is setting you up for disappointment in the long run.
Self-improvement isn’t easy.
When we improve ourselves and become the person who we want to be, we are literally waging war on our old self. We are creating fortresses of good habits and making siege engines to tear down our old, harmful habits.
Improving ourselves is one of the most difficult things a human can do because it requires self-awareness, the willingness to be wrong, and the ability to charge head first into something that we know isn’t going to be easy.
Self-improvement requires discipline.
And discipline is never developed in a day.
It is developed in the forges of failure, shaped by the hammers of repetition, cooled by the passage of time. Discipline is both our weapon against who we don’t want to be and our shield against destructive habits.
Discipline isn’t easy.
Discipline is scary.
When it comes to developing discipline, I want to let you know: you are going to fail.
It’s just going to happen.
In your quest to be who you know you can be, your quest to be the person of your dreams, you are going to come up against a lot of resistance.
Resistance to change (“I don’t want to get fit, lose weight, etc.”).
Resistance from your own body (“I don’t have the energy”).
Resistance from time (“I’ve only got 24 hours in the day and it’s not enough time to do that”).
Resistance from family, friends, and other loved ones (“Why can’t you just settle for who you are?” or “But I like who you are now!”).
And one day, at one point in time, when all the stress of life overwhelms you and you feel incapable of doing any more, you are going to fail.
Maybe you are trying to get an amazing body and suddenly, with no warning, the scale says that you instead of losing weight, you gained a few pounds.
Maybe you’re trying to follow a dream and travel and you’ve been saving up some money when out of nowhere comes a random expense that you didn’t plan for. You’re set back months.
Maybe it’s a business dream. It’s a book dream. It’s a family goal, relationship goal, or a habit you’re trying to get into and something stops working right.
In all of these situations you have the best of dreams, the best of intentions, and for reasons entirely out of your control, things just stop clicking. They stop working.
In some way, shape, form, or fashion, you fail.
Maybe it was your fault, maybe not. Maybe it was a random fluke of the universe, maybe not. What is certain is that whatever you were planning didn’t work out for you.
You stared failure in the face.
There’s no true way to prevent all failure in life. Somewhere, at some point in time, you are going to mess up.
That is okay.
You’re human. Have no fear, I do it too. And no matter what your enemies (and loved ones!) say, they fail too.
There’s no true way to stop failure.
There is, however, a way to defeat it:
Stop being afraid of it.
Failure is a pain, a burden. It is a frustrating thing to experience.
It is not a tragedy.
It is not the end of the story.
It is a learning experience.
Of course, the best way to learn is through the failures of those who came before us, but some lessons are not so easily taught. Some lessons must be experienced to truly sink into who we are and make an impression in our memories.
When it comes to developing discipline and forcing your body to obey your commands, I want you to try something.
It's gonna sound silly, you're gonna look silly, and others are gonna look at you funny if they catch you doing this.
Wherever you're at reading this right now, I want you to verbally speak these words:
"I am not afraid of failure."
I just said it as I wrote it and sure enough, I got a funny look from the other person in the room (hi babe!).
And now that you've said that, I want you to do something else.
Every morning (I don't care how you feel upon waking up!) how about you and I find the nearest mirror, look ourselves in the eyes, and repeat those words?
"I am not afraid of failure."
Because in our quests to being the best versions of ourselves that we can be, the version of ourselves we see in our dreams and fantasies, we're going to be forced to stick to hard roads, to travel where others are not, and do what others do not expect us to do.
We are going to have to go against the grain, walk on the road less traveled, and be criticized for not allowing ourselves to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually weak.
We will be forced to develop discipline and the greatest way to develop discipline is to destroy our fear of failure.
And if you feel alone in this journey, I want you to remember: I am doing this with you. Whenever you are reading this, take comfort that I woke up this morning and repeated the same mantra you did. We're in this together. (I would love to hear that you're developing discipline and not afraid of failure. Feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] and let me know).
In your quest to be a better you, one of the most game-changing super powers you can have is the power of discipline. Develop it through trying, trying, and trying again, never fearing what is next to come.
Remember when I said we would take about habits more later?
Well... it's later. We have arrived.
Habits are necessary because life is exhausting.
I can't tell you how many times I have woken up and wanted to hide in the sweet bliss of my blankets, never to see the outside world again.
And I think everyone can sympathize with the feeling of getting home from work, school, or a busy day and wanting to do absolutely nothing until bedtime.
Our self-improvement dreams or goals usually get pushed to the very bottom of the day's to do list simply because we don't have the time to do those things in the morning or the energy to do them in the evening.
When I was trying to get in better shape and have a body that I was pleased with, I wanted to get up early, work out, and get my exercise out of the way.
I inevitably ended up getting a gym membership, going faithfully for a week, and, in not very long at all, going less and less during my precious morning hours. Since I didn't have the time to work out in the afternoon, I usually stopped working out at all.
"Five days a week rain or shine" quickly turned into "Once a week if I run out of other things to do, if it's nice out, and if I absolutely cannot get over my shame of not going last week."
The full cycle was usually complete within a month of me joining a gym.
I'm sure you probably have a few stories that sound pretty similar: an initial burst of enthusiasm allows you to power toward your goal or dream but you are slowly worn down until you place your goal or dream on the bottom of your to-do list.
It's not your fault.
It's human nature.
And the only way to overcome nature is with nurture.
You have to develop a habit.
If I'm any judge, I would guess that most of your habits right now consist of eating three regular (junk food) meals a day, plopping down after work to watch tv or read a book, and telling yourself that you are gonna exercise this week.
I would guess that for most of us, our habits are dreamstealers.
They do not regenerate us, do not motivate us, and do not prepare us for the challenges to come.
Without us ever realizing it, our habits steal our energy, they steal our happiness, and they steal our dreams.
Bad habits are dreamstealers.
Good habits are dreamgivers.
I won't lie to you, developing a habit isn't easy, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easily.
I want to repeat that statement because that's the most powerful sentence in this whole post.
Nothing worthwhile in life comes easily.
Not one thing.
So in your quest to develop habits, start with the mindset that it will not be easy.
In fact, research suggests that the most simple habits in the world (drinking a glass of water upon waking up) takes 21 days to become a true habit.
For more complex or difficult tasks (reading 30 minutes a day, working out, eating less sugar, not participating in useless arguments), research suggests that it can take anywhere from 18-254 days.
Yep, you read that right. Go ahead and take a quick gasp because it could take you a better part of a year to get used to working on your goal.
Any self-help guru promoting less is not looking out for your best interest.
That's the bad news.
Ready for the good news?
It sounds a lot worse than it is because there's a trick to it.
When I was trying to build new (beneficial) habits, I tried to do a lot at once.
Exercise, write, eat healthy, read, give compliments, be thankful upon waking up, and so on.
I ended up forming none of those into a lasting habit.
With some practice, I eventually found some tactics that work best and, using these tactics, have developed multiple habits with only a fraction of the hassle I was having to deal with before.
Here are those tactics.
Master One Habit At A Time: While this will sound counterintuitive, I want to offer you some advice I wish someone had told me earlier in life: no one can multitask.
Leading researchers show that time is best managed when it is managed for one thing at a time, not while multitasking.
This is because the brain is very inefficient at moving from one task to another and according to Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management From The Inside Out, multitasking robs time from us because of the brain's poor ability to switch back and forth between tasks.
This also applies when forming habits.
I recommend starting with one habit, working on it until you have mastered it, and then moving on to another.
And about this one habit you start with...
Start With The Smallest Possible Habit: Yep, another counterintuitive piece of advice.
Here's an example. Let's say you want to get into a habit of fitness. You undeniably have a lot of options for exactly how you want to start on that journey.
I recommend starting with the smallest possible habit. Start by drinking more water, perhaps. Start by skipping out on dinner dessert or that last glass of wine.
Starting small accomplishes two things.
1) It builds a support base for the larger habits. In the example above regarding fitness, you can't truly be fit until you are hydrated. Your body will very literally be running on empty. Starting with an extra glass or two of water per day will be an excellent first step to a healthier life.
2) Small habits take less time to form. I'm going to make up numbers here, but let's say that drinking a glass of water upon waking up takes 30 days to turn into a habit. Exercising five days a week is a habit that may take 120 days to form.
It makes a whole lot of sense to start with the foundational yet easy to form habits. Start by stacking one at a time. Before you know it, you will be so much closer to being the person of your dreams.
Of all the tips, tricks, and strategies in this post, none are so essential yet so neglected as this one.
That is because the key downfall is humanity is our pride.
We believe we are great and, by way of the universe's greatest paradox, this belief is what hinders us from truly being great.
Many people stumble through life, never planning ahead, never willing to improve themselves, and then are upset at the hand that they are dealt. These people, these life-hitchhikers, believe that if things don't work out how they want it to, then it is the fault of someone else.
We are surrounded by life-hitchhikers.
And the key flaw in these life life-hitchhikers is that they never truly understand or utilize the power of self-education.
When I speak of education, I don't necessarily want you to think of college.
While college can be a great form of education (though the cost is rising and the benefits are shrinking), education does not end at graduation.
Education begins at graduation.
More so than the power of a lecture in a crowded classroom, I am speaking to the power of self-education. This type of education is the type that is won through blood, sweat, and tears. It can be found primarily in two forms.
We can learn from our experiences, and we can learn from other people's experiences.
We can learn through practice or we can learn through reading what others have practiced.
Person experience teaches through fire and fury and for that reason, it is preferable to learn from the experiences of others when possible. The primary method that this is accomplished is through reading.
I don't want to be misunderstood here; reading to educate ourselves is fundamentally different than reading for leisure. Reading for self-improvement is not always easy and not always enjoyable, but with a plan, it can always be beneficial.
When it comes to my self-education, I tend to go back and forth between extremely practical and extremely motivational books.
Depending on my mood and what I'm working on, I will usually either be reading a skill-type book (like something teaching how to trade options on the stock market, for example), or a book that inspires me to be better (such as one with stories of successful people).
Both are good, both are helpful, and your ideal ratio of practical/motivational will depend entirely on you and your personality.
Whatever type of helpful book you are reading, I want you to understand the value of educating yourself through literature: through the power of a book or audiobook (such as Audible, which I use daily), we can absorb the entire life of another person.
By reading another person's writing, we can attain 60, 70, maybe even 80 years worth of knowledge and experience in just a few hours.
We can rejuvenate our souls and inspire ourselves to reach better places, places that we know we can go to.
Readers are leaders.
Readers are teachers.
Readers are the people who change the world.
Be a reader.
Education does not end at graduation. The day after graduation is when true education can begin.
Show Yourself Some Love
Few things in life feel so good as achieving a goal when it was thought to be impossible.
When something feels impossible and you do it anyways, there are not many moments in life that can rival that glorious joy.
You hit a weight loss goal, you wrote a novel, you started a business, you healed your family.
Whatever goal you hit, no matter how small (wake up early every day this week) or how large (bring home $100k this year), I want you to do something.
I want you to take a moment and reward yourself.
Positive reinforcement is an incredible way to promote good behavior so if you've found yourself meeting or exceeding your own expectations, take a moment and give yourself a little pat on the back.
This rule comes with one caveat: reward yourself in an arena that your goal was not in.
Let's say for example you got to a weight that you've wanted to be for years! You finally shed those pesky pounds and you've never been more proud when you look in a mirror.
Take some time to reward yourself, but do nothing that will add those pounds back.
If you just lost weight, don't go snacking on donuts.
If you just ended a huge dispute, don't go taking time off and letting things degrade.
If you just got a raise at work, don't go blowing your money on junk.
Keep your goal and your reward in separate categories.
The reason we do this is for one simple reason already discussed above: discipline.
If you hit a weight loss goal and go snacking on donuts, you're going to redevelop that sugar addiction and have an extremely difficult time resisting.
If you just got a big raise and blow the money, there's a good chance that you will wake up the next morning and regret the bad habit you're starting to develop.
Putting your goal and your reward in the same arena puts a major strain on your discipline. Instead, reward yourself in categories unrelated to your achievement.
Here's a real life example. My father owns a business and he recently hit a major income milestone. He considered taking a short vacation and I recommended against it.
Because I knew (and so did he) that if he went on vacation, his income would go below where his goal was at. He would have lost much of his progress up to that point!
When you hit your goals and crush them into oblivion, take some time and give yourself some love. Reward yourself. Write yourself a metaphorical check.
But you will thank yourself if you keep your reward in a different field than your goal. It will preserve your goal, keep your discipline strong, and help you to hit the next goal that much easier.
Be Willing To Change
This is at once the most simple yet most difficult of all these strategies.
To be a better you, you must realize that you have to change.
That is going to be uncomfortable, because knowing that we must change requires us to look at who we are and know that we are not good enough yet.
We have flaws.
We fall short.
To be a better you, you must realize that you have things that you do not excel at and that you can get better at these things over time.
You must be willing to look in a perfect mirror and see your flaws. Avoid the mirror that hides you. Avoid the mirror that makes you look wonderful.
Look in the mirror that shows you for who you are and then change it.
Want a better body? Do it.
Want better financial health? Do it.
Better relationships? Make them.
Better mental health? Create it.
To be the best version of you, the version of you that you know and believe you can be, you must see the real you and decide to change the real you.
You have to be willing to change.
You have to take responsibility, even for things that aren't directly your fault.
Maybe you were dealt a bad hand. Maybe you were betrayed. But in the end, your finances, your fitness, your relationships, and your happiness will be determined by the decisions you make and have made.
Your life is ultimately determined by you.
So to be the best version of you, you have to be willing to look at your environment, take responsibility, and begin the steps to changing it.
You can command your life. That isn't mumbo jumbo, it's not self-help hype.
It's the truth.
Want to know how to be a better you? Be willing to change the current you for the better. Utilize your discipline. Conquer your fears head on. You can be the person of your dreams.
Being a better you starts as quickly or as slowly as you want it to. The ball is in your court now. What are you going to do?
Thanks for reading.
Stay awesome. Have a great day.
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