10 Philosophies For Your Best Self

1.  Expect The Best From Others

When introduced to a new place, group or situation, always expect the very best from those around you. It’s easy to fall for stereotypes and allow yourself to be immediately judgmental or to assume that the worst is on it’s way, so I challenge you to put up a new façade that you may find yourself happily submitting to. For example; when you scramble into the theater that’s showing that movie you’ve been dying to see, you sit at the edge of the seat, candy and popcorn in tight grasp, expecting something great. This is how you should approach every day and meeting. You may be surprised by the inspiration surrounding you, waiting for someone to open their eyes to it.

2.  Don’t Compare Yourself to Anyone

Look at you! You’re so beautiful. A good portion of that observable beauty is your uniqueness, inside and out. No two people are given the same opportunities, advantages, or lessons to learn. Stop looking around and wishing that you’re different than what you are. You have something crucial to contribute to the world, and who you are is incomparable to any other being. Trying to compare two individuals is like trying to compare their fingerprints. It’s impossible! Love the mind, body and soul you have; it’s the only one you’ve got.

3.  Be Proud of Who You Are

Wherever you are in this very moment, stop and think about your journey in life so far. You’ve spent some time laying down and a few too many hours watching TV, but I bet you’ve been through some tough stuff. Congratulations! You’re here, and you’re stronger than ever. You have done so much to establish the being you are now, and you have a lot to be proud of. Little goals achieved are worth being made a big deal over. Did you get an A on that test? Did you take care of yourself on a rough day? Did you do something, as small as smile at a sad face, to get another through their day? Applause is due for you, friend!

4.  Count Your Darlings

It’s natural to get on a roll and to allow the busy world around us to take over. Sometimes, people forget that they have it pretty well in life in many ways. Good things deserve to go noticed, but since life is so consistently gorgeous, you can’t possibly acknowledge every little nice thing. When you’re in the middle of a break, maybe walking outside or snuggled up in your room, try to think of at least two positive things you’ve encountered during the day or recently. Examples range from friendly gestures to the bright autumn colors entertaining your eyes between classes. Whatever the good things may be, tip your hat to them, and breathe in the warm feelings they gave you upon first contact.

5.  Want Something? Go Get It!

With hard work, diligence and complete dedication, anything is possible. Try hard not to envy good things that happen to the people around you, even your closest friends. Sometimes, opportunities fall into place, but more often than not, they are found only after extremely hard work is put toward a goal. Recognize your talents and channel them into your academic passions. In life, you only have yourself to compete with. Be genuinely happy for others who get the job first, and know that your time is on it’s way because you aren’t going to give up.

6.  Mistakes are your Friend.  

Nobody learns to speak in perfect sentences, and you certainly never rode a bike without scraping your knee once or twice. Messing up is the best way to learn, because you are forced to correct yourself by taking self-initiative to problem solve. As difficult as it may be, trying to forgive your old self is enough to start you off as a more forgiving person in general. You are your worst critic. Bad things happen, mean things are said, and people behave like people. The natural way of improvement is evolution. Remember this; the person you’ve held a grudge over or wasted energy on since last year may have transformed and experienced a change in perspective. If you want a second chance, don’t object to giving second chances.

7.  Take A Break From Your Devices

You won’t believe how different the walk from the library to the dining hall is depending on whether or not your face is in your cellphone. Simply put, excessive use of social media is literally a waste of life. All around you there are people to see, things to hear, and words to read. Wrapping yourself in drama online certainly doesn’t lighten your “to do” list, and can cause stress that you don’t need on top of everything else you deal with daily. Setting a limit on screen time is helpful when it comes to kicking the habit, and the need to reach into your pocket whenever the dreaded boredom strikes will cease to trouble you.

8.  Be The Right Person

Recall a time that you needed someone to help you get by. On a smaller scale, spend your days being the person that people need to see when something isn’t quite right for them. Don’t jump the gun and think that this requires you to be best friends with everyone you cross paths with, you already have enough of a burden. However, you have the power to smile at everyone you make eye contact with. You also have the power to sit with someone who appears to be lonely at a meal, taking as little as twenty minutes to see that they have a nice experience instead. Some people who are in trouble are as close as a wave or a compliment to feeling motivated to get better. All you have to do is be pleasant whenever you can be, and you may find yourself to have made a big difference. (Psssst. You might not find out that you’ve helped, or get credit. That’s not the point).  

9.  Tame Your Cats

Catch your bad thoughts before you allow them to get the best of you. Every thought has the potential to become an idea, a word, and eventually, some form of physical manifestation. Thinking bad thoughts about yourself or others accomplishes exactly nothing. This isn’t to say that you’re a person who thinks bad thoughts on purpose, as it’s natural for people to experience the negative. Know that getting down about undesirable people or circumstances will only get you further away from changing the situation into something better. Even if you really believe that another person deserves to be called out for something you disagree with, try hard to be civil when challenging them or decide not to waste energy at all.

10.   Know That You’re Loved

Know it first, and then believe it. All around you there are people who would love to make your day better. There are people whose days light up because they see you smiling. Why this occurs doesn’t need an explanation. Before letting yourself think that you are totally alone or “unloved”, think of how hurt the people who put time and energy into your happiness would feel knowing that you perceive it that way. Think of family or friends. Even professors expel a certain amount of love for you, through their passion for the subject that they really want you to succeed in. Most of all, know that loving yourself is normal, and the best gift to have of all.