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A recent conversation with my mom about finding “the one” led to us agreeing that “the one” is not actually another person, but the most authentic and ideal version of ourselves.
When that conversation ended, I was able to summarize my mom’s tips on how one may evolve into the person he or she is meant to become.
These are six guidelines that we may tweak, adjust, or modify in order to fit with our life and personal journey:
Write down your thoughts.
Jot down everything. Keep a journal of what moves you, what made you smile, a line in a song you loved, a text message that tugged at your heart, or a line in a movie that you found poetic and gorgeous.
Not only will these notes serve as a reminder of anything that you consider important, they will also chronicle your journey as a professional, as a dreamer, as someone who struggles, as a friend, fighter, and lover, as someone with a broken heart, as a person who moves on, as a student and teacher, and ultimately, as an individual who is constantly evolving in this journey.
More importantly, examine those notes and identify the recurring thoughts and themes. Most likely, those views and feelings define who you really are deep down. Also, it is a beautiful gift to revisit the ideals and predilections of our younger selves, and to stay in touch with and have tangible proof of our journey and evolution.
Be a resident of your comfort zone, but make it a habit to visit your discomfort zone.
Peace of mind is a rare commodity, and we stand to gain if we don’t constantly subject ourselves to unnecessary stress and emotional burden.
That is the importance of knowing our comfort zone and deciding to be in a place where our thoughts and feelings are not conflicted. It need not be a physical place of comfort. Our comfort zone can be a mindset that we can readily access whenever our physical reality becomes overwhelming.
So, come up with a playlist for any given occasion, be an expert on which movies, foods, or conversations can instantly pick you up, and know which type of personalities you need to avoid when you’re stressed. Our life’s pleasures will collectively create a sweet and happy place for us to enjoy and serve as a safe respite whenever we need one.
However, while we take residence in a place of comfort, we should not shy away from all the discomfort zones in our life. We should know that there is value in being subjected to some discomfort once in a while.
It is in those challenging spaces where we meet new aspects of ourselves, where we toughen up, where we resolve buried issues, and where we manage to come face to face with—and defeat—our demons.
Aside from the figurative comfort zone, it is likewise ideal to have ready access to a physical one. It’s true—nothing compares to the bliss of coming home to the warmth and pleasure of our comfort zone (a home, a room, or even a small corner), after we have accomplished what we needed to do in the various discomfort zones of our life.
Have a role model—an inspiration to better ourselves while staying authentic.
People are great imitators, whether intentionally or subconsciously. We tend to mimic the things that are happening around us. If we are not conscious about how we want to be in the world, we might end up as an awkward mash-up of the habits, mannerisms, characters, and attitudes of people we are constantly exposed to.
We need to be fully intentional on how we want to be shaped. We should pick a role model who will inspire us to mold ourselves into the person we intend to be. The world is littered with worthy icons who can aid us in evolving into the kind of person we wish to become.
So, know what you want, decide where you want this life to lead you, and pick a person who can be your example and guide in achieving such a life. If you cannot think of anyone, imagine yourself in the best case scenario and have that person guide you in your journey to grow and evolve.
Speak your truth—and respect the truth of others.
Everyone has his or her own truth. We are moved by these truths, and we operate based on those ideals.
A lot of unnecessary complexities in our lives happen when we take action based on the truths of others, rather than our own standards and morals. We should not use the same standards upon which other people measure their failures or successes. It goes without saying that we must discover and understand what our own truth is.
We must also know that no personal truth is greater than someone else’s. We need to recognize and respect each other’s truths and take them into consideration whenever we take actions that affect the lives of others. There is much to gain if we remind ourselves not to trample on the beliefs of others—consciously or otherwise.
Consistently communicate with your “Constant Five.”
Jim Rohn says that we are the average of the five people we constantly associate with. To make the most of this truth, we should start with identifying the five best aspects of our lives and pick one person among those circles who best exemplifies each aspect.
Those five individuals should make up our “Constant Five” or the five people in our circle who we trust and communicate with the most. This Constant Five will make cruising through life much more bearable and enjoyable. Everyone needs to have a tribe or a core group that will serve as their source of inspiration through life.
No matter how busy life gets, we should make it a point to always touch base with our Constant Five. Talk to them, keep each other updated, get to know their challenges and achievements, debate with them, respectfully disagree with them once in a while, and discuss each other’s joys, dreams, apprehensions, discoveries, doubts, milestones, and struggles. We’ll see that continued interaction and exchange of ideas with them will shape our life in line with our truth, but in a grander and better way.
Having them will also double whatever joy we are experiencing in life and soften the challenges that are thrown our way. And remember your own benefit—we are likely one of their Constant Five too.
Befriend fear instead of allowing it to bully you.
Most of us are hindered by our fears when on a path to self-discovery and self-improvement. Fear keeps us stranded and unable to grow. It is like a bully in school—it taunts us, pushes us aside, and prevents us from fully enjoying this life.
Fear is merely projecting its insecurities and buried issues to anyone who allows himself to be an easy victim. In the same way, our fears are products of unpleasant and traumatic experiences from the past. And just like in bullying, fear becomes a defense mechanism to hide away deeper issues.
The thing is, fear thrives more when we allow ourselves to be pushovers, to be easy targets. The moment we confront them head on, our fears can become our friends—they become part of our discomfort zone, which we know helps us to evolve.
In fact, our fear can be a reliable ally, a friend who readily gives us a dependable heads up. Whenever we experience fear, we must understand where it is coming from, and then allow it to help us prepare for our life’s challenges.
Let’s all have fun in our journey inward. I believe that we are all capable of evolving into our best selves, into our full potential, and of making great things happen—for ourselves, rather than hoping for “the one” to come along and do it for us.