How To Be The Best You Possible

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‘First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do.’ Epictetus

What is the point to live a life below your potential?

What reason can you and I give ourselves if we never rise up to the challenge that life presents us with – and that is – to live life to its fullest, to go beyond the call of duty, and to extract every last vestige of possibility out of every single day?

It comes down to this – that you and I must do as the great philosopher Epictetus prescribes.

First, say to yourself what you would be.

Second, do what you have to do.

Let’s take a deeper look into the depths of these wise words.

1. Say To Yourself What You Would Be

Before you can say what you would be, it is important to pose yourself a question: ‘What do I want to be?’

That’s right, if you are to define the course for which you are the specialist, the guru, the expert – what would it be?

I remember doing this exercise on a number of occasions throughout my life. So here are just a few examples to help you understand this point.

  • I said that I would be the best father for my children, that I would provide them with the best possible example upon which they could build their lives. I would love them unconditionally, and provide them every opportunity to soar when they left the eagle’s nest.
  • I said that I would be the best husband ever – that I would be my wife’s best friend and would love and respect my queen and provide her with all she needed to blossom and to become all that she was created to be.
  • I said that I would use the talents and gifts endowed upon my life and sharpen them until they were formed into a powerful weapon for good – lifting people, encouraging people, exhorting people to rise up and to be the very best that they can be.
  • I said that I would pursue my passion, become pre-eminent in my passion and profit from my passion. When it comes to the expression of your passion I love what Leo Babauta writes in his article Finding Your Voice.

2. Do What You Have To Do

It’s one thing to say, but the second half of the quotation is as important as the first.

This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where the application of consistent action is necessary if you ever wish to eat the fruits of your success.

I cannot expect to become a good writer if I do not write on a consistent basis.

And in the words of Emerson, ‘Every artist was first an amateur’.

But once you have said to yourself what you would be, you then need to act as though you are already what you have said.

Some call it ‘fake it until you make it.’

At times I have purchased a brand new suit to help me fully understand what it feels like being a professional.

Even when I drove vehicles below my pay grade I treated them like a limousine by keeping them in pristine condition.

On my desk I have within a beautifully crafted wooded container a gold pen. It too is a constant reminder of the excellence and the richness that I demand from my life.

My office is always kept clean and tidy, for I am a professional and want my work environment to reflect what is going on inside my mind and my heart. On my desk each day I have a list of the 6 most important things that day that I plan to complete in order for my life and business to move forward.

So once you have said what you would be, make certain that you then reinforce that statement by doing what you have to do – daily.

So what have you said to yourself that you will be, and what are you doing about it?

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