Hate your life? Wonder when it’s going to get better or if you’ll ever get to win? You’re not alone. So many people feel this way but the truth is that there is a way out of the mire. Millions are loving their lives again and you can become one of them in 2020. The secret to this happiness isn’t self-affirmations, a bigger paycheck, or winning the lottery. It doesn’t come from guru’s and it doesn’t cost any money. There’s a path out of misery and hating where you are in life. In 2020, put into practice the method 99% of people ignore: work harder on yourself than you do on your job or anything else. This is the secret of the 1% who win.
Working on yourself doesn’t mean getting 20 degrees or going to the gym every day. It’s subtle – which is why most people overlook or ignore it – but the results are astounding. It’s the backbone of lasting achievement. Those of us who love our lives master the technique. While the 99% went outward, chasing after external possessions and achievements, we went inward – and reap outward achievements as a side benefit.
There are levels to this too so buckle up.
Working On Yourself
If you want to get ahead, building a solid foundation is key. That means working on your self-perspective. As adults, the trick to winning is usually unlearning or dropping a great deal of paralyzing or self-sabotaging baggage and picking up a new suitcase of enabling perspectives about our self-worth.
Baggage starts early and accumulates subtly. I mean, have you ever seen a newborn and thought, “What a worthless being, what a waste of oxygen”? Unless you’re a horrible wretch of a person, you probably haven’t. Babies are generally regarded as pure, beautiful beings. We don’t judge them or question their worth or value. And they aren’t judging themselves either. Skip forward 30 years and that same beautiful soul will have a thousand hangups about themselves. Society will constantly measure them against shifting standards of success and worth.
By 30, if not before, most of us feel broken or at least fractured in certain places. We’ll be so turned around and messed up that our inner lives will be the major obstacle to our outer success. And yet at essence we’re the same golden soul now as when we came into this world at birth. A great deal may have happened to us in the interim but who we are at base hasn’t changed once we peel off the names someone else slapped onto us and look past the stories that happened to us. We’re also already worthy of our existence no matter what society dangles before us to convince us otherwise.
The 1% realize this and it changes them profoundly. It changes how they see themselves, how they see others, and how they see society. When our perspective shifts, doors open in our lives that we could never imagine – doors to success, happiness, peace, freedom and meaning.
In many ways, to love your life begins with learning to love yourself. In the process, key behaviors and habits begin to form or change. You create an unshakeable foundation upon which everything else will stand firm. This in turn creates larger and profoundly positive changes in your life. When you start loving yourself, you start working on various aspects of yourself. Some are simple, others difficult and take time. Ultimately you work on your body, mind and spirit. This grows you into a person capable of extraordinary feats.
Working on yourself builds self-worth and a renewed focus on making yourself stronger in all facets of your life. Because you care about your body as a vessel that will carry you through that life, you start taking care of it. You eat for health. A leaky, broken vessel won’t go far. It won’t have energy or vitality. Bad health limits your options and can stymie your dreams. When you start focusing on nutrition and exercise, you’re working on building yourself up instead of tearing yourself apart.
This can range from eating healthier, exercising more, to dropping habits that are hurting you like food, alcohol or drug dependencies. It might mean cutting back on going to clubs or staying up late. You might start getting more sleep or enjoy relaxing activities like walking or hiking. You might avoid people who enable your worst aspects and shift toward meaningful relationships with those who encourage your better nature.
This is one of the easiest places to start in the journey of working on yourself but there are important areas working on yourself should include if you want to be successful and happy.
More than anything else working on ourselves begins with healing all the wounds and bruises life has inflicted on us thus far – from society, family, friends, peers and everyone and everything else. Some of those past punches can be pretty debilitating but working on ourselves means resolving to heal – even if it means being our own doctors.
Working on ourselves means facing past traumas – bad memories, abuse, resentments, and anything else that is holding us down and keeping us from going forward. It also means stopping the cycle and starting anew. We can’t grab hold of happiness if we’re grasping onto pain with both hands.
Many people think working on themselves means getting a higher degree or picking up a skill. Sure, this may be necessary and can get you closer toward your goals, but to truly enjoy your life means dealing with, overcoming, and going beyond issues that have hurt and traumatized you in the past. If they’re haunting you today, they’ll haunt you tomorrow even if you win the lottery or get that corner office. Put those issues to rest. It might mean raging, resenting, crying, mourning, forgiving, coping, or letting go but in the end, you’ll emerge stronger for any short-term pain it takes to move forward.
Become Your Own Best Friend
In 2020, you’ll start to love your life when you start becoming your own best friend. Most of us constantly yell or belittle ourselves. We question our own intelligence or abilities. We judge ourselves ceaselessly and usually our thoughts are negative and self-defeating.
Those of us who love our lives and are constantly winning, love ourselves. This doesn’t mean we’re narcissistic. It simply means we see our inherent value and treat ourselves with compassion while also listening to that better part of ourselves that moves us into becoming better people. In other words, we’re our own best friend – a cheerleader and coach all in one. But we go beyond the self-worth work from earlier. We learn how to take charge of and govern our thoughts and emotions. After all, you may love yourself but still treat yourself like crap internally and not know how to stop. Now you work on mastering your mental and emotional self.
One of the best ways of stopping the abusive roommate in your head – i.e. your negative inner monologue – is to learn how to control and direct your mind. Most of us run on autopilot or default but you can actually change the channel from miserable thoughts to more revitalizing and helpful ones. Just like you would a radio station.
We are not our thoughts but the awareness listening to those thoughts. Once you realize this, you can start taking back your mind, your thoughts and the direction they flow. Meditation is a great way of doing this. See my articles 3 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Mental Well-Being, The #1 Secret Behind Emotional Well-Being and 5 Top Secrets of Truly Happy People.
This ability will no only make you more peaceful and foster more happiness and contentment, it will improve your situational awareness and emotional IQ which comes in handy when navigating social situations including family, relationships and work. You’ll go from reactive to dynamic. That’s the difference between driving a go-cart to riding a rocket in terms of how you navigate life and the distance you can cover.
Meet Your Expectations, Not Theirs
Winning at life also means actively pursuing your dreams and goals. The number one regret of the dying is that they lived the life others expected of them instead of living the life they dreamed for themselves. To win, you have to get on the field, practice and run the race. Spectators don’t get trophies. This is your life, not your parents’ or society’s. What you make of it will be shaped by your own determination and resourcefulness.
Don’t live a life of regrets and what could have beens. Life is a stage so act out your play and enjoy every moment of it.
Plant Seeds Today
If you want to win at life and enjoy where you are, do something today that your future self will thank you for. I worked my butt off for years at a law firm but ten years later had semi-retired and now live the life I dreamed. You can do the same but it takes action, not daydreaming. It also takes patience.
The same day you plant the seed is not the same day you eat the fruit.
Winning is as easy as doing one thing today, however small, that moves you forward. Maybe it’s reading one article about personal finance, eating more fruit, or signing up for a workshop that teaches you skills you need for tomorrow. Ask yourself every morning, what is the most important thing you could do today? Let that guide you forward. Maybe you won’t see results in a day or week or even a year but when you stick with it, you’ll be amazed at the life you develop and the person you become.
And the results will start to snowball. It happened to me. The person I was 5 years ago is dramatically different than the person I am today. I can’t even recognize the person I was 10 years ago and I know the person I’ll be in 20 years from now will be different too. I’m looking forward to the journey and to planting the seeds for tomorrow’s happiness while enjoying the fruits today of seeds planted in the past.
It’s a cycle and rhythm but once you start learning the beat, the process gets easier and simpler. The results are truly remarkable.
Become Part of the 1%
It takes strength to win but by working on ourselves bit by bit, healing, and feeding our body, mind and spirit, we gain the energy, motivation and power to go forward. We feed our body and brains with good nutrition, our minds by healing and stimulating them, and our spirits by going after and living our dreams. Our souls benefit from all this inner work, which can become a highly spiritual endeavor generating even more internal energy. These keys develop an unshakable character and vitality when pursued. Meanwhile, those who don’t work on themselves rarely build the inner resilience, vitality and fortitude to pursue dreams, tackle hurdles and achieve lasting happiness or success.
Join the 1% who develop themselves. Be extraordinary. That’s how you win and love every minute of it.
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