There’s a saying that goes, “only those who risk going so far can possibly know how far one can go.”
Those who go so far will be astonished by how far they can actually go. They’ll be amazed by how many barriers they’ve built around their abilities, barriers that they can easily destroy.
We often don’t realize how strong we are. We think that we can’t go that far because it’s very tiring. However, in reality, we’re capable of more what we think we are capable of.
Think about times when you had to do an important work.
It was very important and urgent. Maybe it was because of a deadline. Or because you were enjoying the work and feeling like you’re doing something meaningful.
Let’s pretend for a while that self-improvement is like magic.
And, to use this “magic”, we need to find that one magical wand that would make it work and would change our lives in the process.
Let’s ask the question “what if there was a magical wand that would make the self-improvement magic work?” and continue the rest of the article trying to answer it.
I’ve tried to answer it myself and I’ve reached the conclusion that there might be such a wand that would turn your life around.
You’ll neither like it nor will you enjoy using it, but it’ll work.
By working on yourself, period!
If you’re looking to better your relationships and make them more meaningful, you need to work on yourself.
That said, you don’t want to start working randomly. In this article, I’ll show you how to work on yourself in a way that will dramatically improve the quality of your relationships.
This is not a quick fix solution and it requires a lot of effort and even time, but it works and it works very well.
The concepts that we’re going to discuss are backed up by research. Some people have been researching related topics extensively and sharing their findings.
“Stop trying to control everything and let the chips fall where they may”
We, humans, are smart, to some extent.
But we’re weird. Like, really weird.
We often try to be something that we’re not. No, I don’t mean faking who we are, I mean we expect from ourselves to have powers that no animal has (or will ever have).
For instance, fortune-telling is impossible. Only con-artist will deceive you to believe that they can do it. So, it doesn’t make sense to expect that we humans should be able to see the future.
However, deep inside, we want to know the future in order to figure out what’s going to be painful and what’s going to feel good, what’s going to work and what will fail, who will stay and who will leave.
Dopamine is the happiness hormone.
Whenever you do something that your brain enjoys, it rewards you with this hormone.
When you spend time with someone that you love, dopamine is released.
Or when you reach one of your goals and succeed at something, you get a surge of dopamine.
Different situations induce different amounts of dopamine released in your body.
You do something good and your brain rewards you by a considerable amount of dopamine. And you usually become more motivated to get more dopamine by accomplishing more or spending meaningful time with those close to you.
Most people think that to beat yourself up is to grow and improve.
They think that by inducing enough amount of guilt, they’ll, somehow, change their situation.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Actually, this guilt and beaten-up attitude can be nothing but a way to avoid responsibility for your actions and the results you get, let alone that it’ll destroy your self-esteem.
In a previous article that talks about handling failure and mistakes, I mentioned that many people, when they fail or do something stupid, beat themselves up, consciously and unconsciously.
Of course, that’s a wrong method to handle your own mistakes and failures. I stressed that beating yourself up will never help you recover from failure. It will never help you pick yourself up. It’ll just destroy you.
Questions are a form of self-talk. They’re one of the best ways to have a meaningful conversation with yourself. And thought provoking questions are one of the best ways to change your perspective.
Good questions can help you create a change in your life, get unstuck, change your beliefs and even help you change your mentality.
Don’t believe that?
Let me give you few examples.
First, people who ask questions like:
- Why me?
- Why is god doing this to me?
- Why am I such a failure?
- Why can’t I get anything right?
What does it mean to change yourself?
Well, we don’t want to get into the philosophical discussion about whether you should change yourself or accept yourself. That’s not the point.
The point is, since you’re reading this article, chances are you have something that you’re not happy with. A flaw (whether perceived or real) that you hate.
We all have our own flaws and imperfections. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. But when those flaws start damaging our lives, we better start working on changing them. Not doing that is something to be ashamed of.
One day, I was sitting down with one of my friends. ‘I hate my life,’ he said in sad tone of voice.
“You know, I even hate life, why am I living, I’m such a loser who does nothing but sleep and eat.” He stated that and started comparing himself to a pan saying that it was better than him.
I wasn’t better than him back then. Maybe Not even better than that pan as well. I hated my life also, even though I had different ways to describe it “my life sucks.” However, it’s still a form of hatred towards life in general and towards mine specifically.
What I’ve learned is that there are stages of hatred towards one’s life.
It starts with “life sucks”, and it can reach a dangerous point where you not only hate your life, but that along with suicidal thoughts, or at least self-destructive behaviors (such as cutting or addictions/bad habits).
We all have problems.
Personal problems. Relationships problems. Financial problems. Simple problems. Complicated problem. Existential problems. And all sort of problems.
When you face a problem, you have 2 options.
Either to face it or to ignore it and run away from it.
We usually prefer the second option because it’s the easier one and we get an instant relief. However, it has disastrous consequences on the long run.
But why do we escape instead of holding our grounds?