When my therapist started asking me questions about who I was, what I wanted, I realized that I didn’t know myself very well. I didn't know my purpose in life. All I knew was I needed to live at my full potential.
Everything seemed so overwhelming — so many changes at once… If I failed to change small things over time, my brain could not adapt to so many changes in such a short time.
So I made a shortlist with some principles to follow and build a lifestyle around them. It's much easier to follow 10 rules than 87492302 micro rules.
Over a month, I built my personal system of habits based on these10 general foundations of life. This simple behavior doesn’t require a great effort from me. It comes naturally because I keep the rules in mind and act by them.
Sometimes you just feel is time for an improvement… you know?
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” Buddha.
1. Love yourself.
It’s fundamental to build a strong relationship with your person. The first step is to start asking yourself questions and get to know you well. Learn about your vision, your core values, your needs. Dive deep into your thoughts.
Discover yourself by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge who you are. Develop self-respect and unconditional self-acceptance. Accept you need to work constantly on upgrading yourself.
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
2. Take care of yourself.
To enjoy every moment at the fullest, you need to be healthy. Self-care is vital for an excellent state of mind, body, and soul. No doubt!
Take care of yourself on these three levels by taking daily small action.
Mind — Spend time with yourself. Invest energy in your hobbies. Take breaks to unwind. Disconnect to fully connect. Do things you love: read, sleep, dance, walk, go climbing, karaoke, sleep, paint, write, go visiting, whatever makes you feel good and relaxed. All to help you to grow as a person.
Body — Keep a balance between healthy food and processed food you consume. Drink water and tea. Do whatever sort of move you want: walking, dancing, fitness, but just do it.
Soul — Cultivate love. Love yourself. Love your better half. Love people. Nurture healthy relationships that bring you positive emotions.
3. Find your sense, your meaning in life.
For every single action, you try to keep in mind the ultimate purpose. What benefit you will have if you take that specific action? For instance: you shower because you need to get clean. You have a job to provide money to survive. Why do you go to the store? For groceries. Always ask your mind WHY you intend to do that proper thing. This precept is even more important when it comes to the great things in life like having kids, moving to another country, breaking up with a person. You name it. Ask yourself why. If the answer works for you, do the thing.
Finding your why leads you to a life without regrets.
You are in control. By knowing why you do that thing, you understand better your behavior and what you need to adjust. Whatever you want out of life, you get to decide. Exercise your freedom of choice!
You’ve been given an unknown amount of time on this planet, and you get to decide how you’d like to spend it.
4. Do not waste even a minute of your life!
Time is the most precious asset you have.
I couldn’t be lamer than that, you think… But this cliché is so fucking painful to talk about. We all would love some extra time. But we haven’t. We cannot buy more, even with billions. We often forget time is less and less with every birthday party.
Why do you think the world focuses on the present and the general urge is to live to the fullest, to take risks, to be free, and to try things? Because you will not have too many chances to meet again that opportunity. Time is limited.
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne
5. Aim to live in the present.
In this fast-paced world, we need to slow down, take a deep breath, and feel the moment. Practicing mindfulness would help it, they say.
Feel the moment. No matter what activities are you involved in, be there 100%. If you eat, enjoy the taste and chew that meal! Your stomach will thank you long term. If you work, get off the distractions and dive into it. If you watch a movie, see every move of the actors. Analyze things. Focus on little things and analyze them. Observe more, engage less.
Focusing on one thing at a time helps to beat the bitch called overthinking.
6. Take full responsibility.
Life is a rollercoaster. Now and then some unpleasant situations occur. And you have to deal with them, eventually. The sooner, the better.
When you postpone dealing with a situation, the problems do not disappear by magic. The words are not enough to express the importance of taking ownership of life.
Stop blaming others. Stop blaming yourself. Focus on the solution.
Give up on fake excuses and take responsibility! Face the problem. Then move on. Always move on.
7. Be true to yourself, and others.
You have only one life, live it the way it is. Express who you are!
Stop thinking about judgments and others’ opinions. You should respect the other’s opinion, no doubt. Everyone has their way of thinking. But stand up straight! Don't compromise for fear of being judged. Say what you have to say.
Develop your authenticity by practicing the courage to face your fears.
Stand out from the crowd.
8. Build healthy strong relationships.
We need relationships in different capacities and for different reasons. These relationships not only include family and friends but also the wider communities we belong to.
Try to treat people the way you would want to be treated if you were in their place. Keep close only the ones that make you a better human being and a happier one. Generally, don`t judge people if they are different from you like some people do, hurting feelings.
People naturally focus on their loved ones, sure. So the advice is to create and maintain healthy, positive relationships especially with lover, family, personal friends, co-workers). Many researchers say that meaningful relationships contribute to health improvement for individuals.
9. Create a balanced life.
People make themselves prisoners of bad habits and addictions. Habits define people. Small habits shape a lifestyle.
Addictions control your brain, no matter their type. Get rid of bad habits as soon as you can. Work with your mind and put in some extra effort to overcome any format of dependence. Of course, no one is flawless. We all do bad things from time to time. The secret is to find a balance between good and bad habits — focus also on their frequency and impact.
10. Work what you resonate with for a living.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, right, but you need to have them for surviving. You need to trade money for comfort.
I don’t say to dedicate your life to building your bank account. Look at money as a tool to improve your daily life. Plan your available budget so you never run out of money.
The miserable truth is that poverty makes you stupid. Poverty requires so much mental energy that the poor have less remaining brainpower to devote to other areas of life, as reported by a research based at Princeton University.
When you are poor and limited, the survival instinct is on. I was there a couple of times in the last years. It’s awful to think nonstop where you can get some money for food and bills. I couldn’t function at full capacity at the task I was doing. Not ok, man. That’s not the standard. It’s humiliating. And I let that consume me a lot.
Live with these 10 rules in mind and you will raise the standard of your life.
Take care of yourself.
Find your purpose.
Live in the moment.
Value your time.
Find a proper routine.
Work for your comfort.