Before we dive into the colorful world of self-exploration and self-discovery, I would like to briefly explain what might otherwise become a misunderstanding. While aware of the following principles, I am nowhere near my best self, and yet I have always been no less than that, and I have a feeling that you are likely in the same conundrum.
And although named the ultimate guide, this is by no means a shortcut to happiness. On the contrary – this is my attempt to emphasize the beauty of the journey itself, not the destination alone, and to share with you how my own life has been unfolding ever since I began understanding the following truths.
Love your imperfections
Living in a predominantly photoshopped, filtered era, it’s no wonder we have a tendency to strive towards the impossible. It’s the modern-day equivalent of tilting at windmills in an attempt to achieve the perfect social status, the perfect body, or the perfect family, all of which are, coincidentally, non-existent outside of magazine covers. Or it depends on how you define perfection in the first place.
It took me a while to not only realize, but start loving my own imperfections as indelible parts of my personality and start chiseling them in accordance with my own preferences. We all have those quirks and flaws that we’d never choose, but they make us so beautifully human and relatable. I’m still mastering the art of walking on high-heels, but I make one hell of a breakfast omelet!
Abandon the comparison game
As the extension of the previous principle, this one reminds you that you’re not meant to fit in anyone’s mold of life. It’s one thing to be inspired by another’s success, and strive to be your absolute best in whatever you do, but it’s a thin line between inspiration and envy.
“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.” – said E. E. Cummings once, thus summarizing the greatest inner conflict of our time. Strive to recognize your own voice in the loud chorus of the society, and let go of comparing yourself to others to finally enjoy your true self.
Nurture your inner oasis
I’ve always been in absolute awe of my best friend’s ability to meditate amidst a busy street, in a buzzing conference room, or a chaotic line at the post office. For me to be able to reach my inner calm, I would need absolute silence, half an hour of breathing exercises and then I just might relax.
As a result, I would treat myself to a weekend in Gaelforce on Palm Beachwith her, or a week-long road trip of New South Wales, just to escape the crowded streets of Sydney and slow down. Whether you are like her, or you are more like me and need a true piece of paradise to unwind, indulge in whatever brings you this serenity and you’ll allow your true self to grow and purge yourself from the accumulated stress of everyday life.
Forgive yourself as well as others
Holding onto grudges and allowing negative emotions to fester will only hinder your genuine self-love. We’ve all had our fair share of unfairness from life, losing loved ones, facing fears and failures, but these inevitable experiences are precisely the lessons that teach us the gravity of forgiveness.
When you let go of the burdens that are past hardships and memories of injustices, you can finally enjoy the present moment in all its splendor and build your life on habits and everyday choices that are no longer clouded by your past.
Once you start living these principles, you’ll quickly understand the first thought I shared with you in this article: you have always been your best self. You will only start to uncover other hidden bits and pieces of that beautiful soul as time goes by. And as you become aware of all those traits and quirks you possess, you will enjoy the never-ending process of re-affirming your identity and finding new, healthy, and positive ways to express and evolve your true self.