At certain times during the year we have a tendency to stop and evaluate ourselves. We determine if we have accomplished goals we set, gotten closer to realizing our dreams, become better people, or fulfilled our potential or purpose. If you are like most people, you probably do this at the New Year.
Depending upon what spiritual or religious tradition you follow, you might not only do this on the secular New Year but also on another date as well—such as the Chinese New Year or the Jewish New Year. You might take the time to contemplate your life in this manner on other days as well, such as on a birthday, especially an important one—your 21st, 50th, 80th. Or you might do this type of review on an anniversary, for example the anniversary of taking a job, moving to a new city, getting married, or changing your career.
Evaluate your life
In all these cases, at that time you go through a process of considering how closely you have been living your life as your “best self,” the “you” that every day comes closest to fulfilling your potential. Of course, it can take a lifetime to actually fulfill your potential, but every day you can take a step closer, do one thing that moves you in that direction.
Each action you take, each word you say, each thought you think can be one that helps you fulfill your potential—or it can be one that moves you farther away from your best self.
Many of us fall into habits that make it hard to be our best selves. Maybe you have gotten tired, lazy, frustrated, or depressed. You’ve begun watching television, surfing the net, spending time on social networks, or drinking or eating too much instead of exercising, learning, connecting with people who can help you move forward, or completing meaningful projects that move you toward your goals and toward fulfillment of your purpose.
You may feel less than, not good enough, unworthy because don’t see your best self. And then no one else can either. You have forgotten who you are. You need to return to your best self and show it to the world. Then others will also see you for who you truly are.
It isn’t until one of those special days comes around, like New Year’s Eve or a big birthday, that you may decide to take a good hard look at yourself. You then become conscious of who you have become and resolve to change. You might make a resolution. You will do what it takes to return to your best self. But why wait until that special day? Every day is special enough to decide—not resolve—to remember who you are, who you are meant to be and to return to your best self.
Today, spend some time evaluating your life. Then:
1. Pick three things you can do to return to your best self. In other words, choose three activities or ways of behaving or thinking that will help you fulfill your potential (achieve a goal or your purpose).
2. Write them down.
3. Write down 5 ways you will support yourself in carrying out those activities. If one of your ways was “Take care of my body,” you might write down, “Walk 30 minutes 5 times a day.” If you wrote down, “Write my book,” you might write down, “Write 500 words a day.”
4. Make time for these activities on your calendar. Actually block out time.
5. Create a vision of your best self. Write a description of yourself acting in the world as the best “you” possible. Use a lot of detail, and write it in the past tense as if you are already behaving in this manner.
6. Read your vision every night before bed and every morning when you wake up.
7. Review yourself monthly. Pick a day…the first of the month, the last day of the month, the full moon, the new moon…any day will do. But don’t wait for a special day. Stay on track by returning to your best self on a regular basis.
If you do this on a monthly basis—or even on a weekly basis—you will always be your best self and fulfill your purpose and your potential