This post originally appeared on BrandMentalist.com
Throughout our lives, we are all in search for that something or someone. We want the best; we want the perfect -- the most amazing friends you could ever find, the best job in the world, and the perfect someone to love. We spend months and years endlessly searching. If the thing we get is not the best available or is not perfect, we don't want to keep it. We have a list of criteria that needs to be ticked off. We set standards. We think we have a type. We think we know what we want. But when we get it, we actually realize that it's not what we thought it would be.
About 10 years ago just before my friend's grandmother passed away, she gave him a few words of wisdom which (were passed onto me and) have stuck by me since.
Don't go and look for the girl of your dreams. Instead, focus on becoming the person of your dreams and the girl of your dreams will come and find you.
Hearing this at the age of 17, I realized that before I could go out and find that person I want to be with and the things and people I want to attract in my life, I needed to work on myself first.
Was I where I wanted to be?
The answer was no.
Then I started asking myself the following questions;
- If I could magically become the best I could possibly be, what would I be like?
- What are the steps I need to take to become that person?
- What kind of person or qualities am I attracted to?
- What kind of person or qualities would attract the person above?
- What else do I want to attract in my life?
Asking myself these questions made me realize that instead of going out and searching for that perfect someone that ticks all the boxes, I needed to work on myself first. Because if I remained the person I was, even if I bumped into that perfect someone on the street, the person wouldn't be attracted to me.
There are many things in life we know could be better -- things we know we could improve on. But most of the time we decide to let time pass by and live comfortably with the old habits. We know we are not the best we want to be, yet, we are too lazy to do anything about it. Yes, lazy, not scared. We're too lazy to put up with the uncomfortable feeling that comes with change. We're too lazy to build our willpower. We're too lazy to grow our mental strength. So we just sit around wishing that the perfect someone will come around, hoping that he/she will inspire and motivate us to become a better person.
But you see... it all starts with US -- not fate, not destiny, not luck... but us, ourselves.
We want to meet people who are fit and take good care of their health, yet, we keep eating junk food and rarely exercise. We want to meet inspiring people who are successful and doing interesting things with their lives, yet, we keep hanging out with the same old people and going to the same places. We want to meet people who love traveling, yet, we are too busy working -- climbing up the corporate ladder -- that we only take two weeks off a year to go on a holiday. We want to meet people who are nice, genuine, and down-to-earth, yet, we keep judging people by their looks and their wealth. We want to meet people who are on track with their lives, yet, we seem to be getting wasted every weekend, have no savings, and feel like we do need to get a grip over our lives.
I remember when I just graduated, the first thing my dad said to me was,
Work on yourself first and everything else will work itself out.
I was stressed. I was a little bit lost. At the time, I had been living overseas on my own for five years. I was searching for that perfect job. I was under time and financial pressure. I just moved to a new city and started to feel very lonely. When you graduate, you are handed with a sense of relief as well as a sense of freedom. You don't have to go to school anymore. Life now seems like an open card -- you can make it anything you want it to be. But... with freedom of choice comes uncertainty.
Instead of telling me what to do about career in a "tangible" action plan, Dad advised me to do the following instead,
Spend some time discovering yourself. Find your strengths and weaknesses. Understand your personality traits. And work on improving yourself to be the best you could be. Everything else will follow.
We all seem to want so many things in life. We wish to have this. We aspire to have that. We complain about what we don't have and we tell others and ourselves what we want to have -- whether it be a wonderful partner, great friends, an amazing job, a lovely home, a nice holiday -- or a happy life. We seem to wish upon the star what we want when, in fact, it all just starts with ourselves.
As a smart kid (and so are you reader -- you're a smartie), my dad has always said this to me...
Being smart is a gift. However, without discipline, you're not going to go anywhere.
We all seem to have qualities that can make us successful, but without discipline, self-discipline (to be exact), we're just one big mess that's not going to be able to reach our full potential.
Stop looking around searching for the things you desire when it all starts with the one right here -- the one you see in the mirror -- yes, it's you.
Work on yourself to be the person of your dreams first. Everything else you desire will find its own way to you. That's the law of attraction right there.
Mo is the founder of The Happiness Planner, a planner designed to help you welcome more positivity, joy, and happiness into your life by applying the practices of positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, self-awareness, and self-reflection. She also has a blog called BrandMentalist where she writes about modern life wisdoms, happiness, self-improvement, and entrepreneurship.
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