Did you know that people who treat themselves like their best friends live 5x longer than their counterparts?
Now you are probably saying, “But Elliot that is some bull! You are basically saying PWTTLTBF’s live for 100 years while others live for only 20 years!”
Well yeah, I am exaggerating a little bit but PWTTLTBF probably do actually live longer because they are less stressed, happier, more optimistic, and better at the game of life than others.
(If you don’t believe that PWTTLTBF live longer, then check out this article from Harvard School Of Public Health that basically says being happier = live longer)
Now there are actually people who treat themselves like they are worth absolutely nothing. ( I treated myself like my own ULTIMATE Best Friends Forever before).
And then there are PWTTLTBF, who love themselves for who they are and simply love life.
Now I understand why some people would hate themselves because I used to REALLY hate myself. (emphasis on the used to)
One small example of mine is that I used to punch walls until my knuckles literally turned purple (with a hint of blue…I was in pain for months…it really hurt) and I didn’t ask for help from anyone for months because I believed I deserved that.
And I know that it is an abnormal amount of hate, but one lesson you can take from this is that ANYONE CAN CHANGE for better.
Now I’m not trying to be one of those people who always complain about their lives, believing that they are the only group who went through life with so many struggles.
I understand and accept the fact that there will always be someone who struggles about life more than I have. (there are BILLIONS of people on this planet)
But understand that there are benefits to treating yourself like your own best friend. These benefits include increase productivity, become happier, and making better choices in life. (also you will live longer…you want to live longer, don’t you?)
Anyways from my experience of going from literally wanting to kill myself to motivating myself by giving myself a pep talk in the mirror, here are 12 things PWTTLTBF do.
1. We don’t beat ourselves up for making mistakes.
We are HUMAN BEINGS. We are not perfect, and we can never be perfect.
There is no benefit in beating yourself up for making a mistake; in fact, it is toxic.
All you do is make yourself feel bad; and when you feel bad, you are less motivated; and when you are less motivated, you don’t want to do anything.
And when you don’t want to do anything, you become depressed. And when you become depressed, you become even more depressed about the fact that you are depressed.
And when you are too depressed, you think about all the mistakes you made in your life and it’s a NEVER ENDING SPIRAL OF DEPRESSION.
Now you don’t want to be in the never ending spiral of depression, do you?
So you might be asking, “Elliot what can we do to avoid depression?”
First, you have to accept that you will make mistakes in your life and that is a normal occurrence. (Expect mistakes instead of praying for no mistakes…you are a human beings) DON’T MAKE IT A BIG DEAL!
Second, don’t see mistakes as mistakes; see them as feed-backs.
For example: Let’s say a guy named Steve who was trying to talk to a cute girl at a bar; but the moment he speaks, the cute girl’s face cringed at Steve’s horrible breathe.
So, of course, she signaled her friend that she is not having a pleasant time speaking with Steve’s nasty breathe, so in the end the cute girl got away.
Steve can either beat himself up for messing up for hours OR he can save hours of his time and mental health and see that having horrible breathe = girls running away.
Third, learn from your feedback and come up with a solution.
So in Steve’s case, he can either carry gum or breathe mint or get his mouth checked out by a dentist because his breathe is straight up nasty. (Steve is a fictional character in this case)
Fourth, use your solution and put it into actions and see what the feedback would be.
If the feedback is negative, then repeat the process again and continue (NO MATTER WHAT) until you find a solution that produces positive feedback.
2. We reward ourselves when we did something that deserves a reward.
Have you ever done something that makes you feel accomplished? Like finishing a huge project, getting that raise, or simply getting a lot of things done.
Now, some people don’t even reward themselves and go back to work right after feeling accomplished. They don’t give themselves a break and will break down in the future.
For example, Steve finished a project that takes 20 hours to do. If he finished the project and goes on to the next 20 hour project without a reward, he will feel less motivated and accomplished when he finished compared to the first time.
When we do something that makes us feel accomplished, we have to encourage ourselves to continue doing those things that makes us feel accomplished.
We are not robots that can work 24/7, we are human beings and we need to give ourselves incentives.
So when you are about to tackle a big project or get a lot of things done, plan a reward of something that you REALLY want. Not some pieces of candy like some people suggest as a reward. REALLY treat yourself.
Note: Reward yourself based on the difficulty of the task. For example, a 10 hour project would get a different reward than a 2 hour project.
3. We value our time like it is diamond.
I believe that my time is extremely valuable because you can never get back the time you wasted.
People who hate themselves don’t care about their time because they don’t care about themselves.
They just want time to go by because they hate their lives and they don’t want to live in it a second longer. So they waste their time by escaping the reality instead of improving their own self-worth so they can actually live a life they love.
But PWTTLTBF value their time because they love life and want to spend every minute enjoying life and doing things they love.
We don’t bother with things that makes us utterly miserable and we always try to find an alternative way to do things if the current way makes us miserable.
So what you can do now is understand that if you love life, you value your time because you want to spend every minute enjoying life and doing the things you love.
Cause nothing else matters besides if you were happy with the choices you made in your life. So try to make the right choices and if you make a mistake just remember the process I told you about in #1.
4. We take care of our health.
I understand people who don’t care about their health because food taste so good. It’s hard to control yourself in these days when there are so many fattening and unhealthy foods around.
It’s even cheaper to become unhealthy too!
But you need to understand that your health is extremely important because this is your body. And last time I checked, we only have one body, so we need to take care of it.
And I’m talking about staying healthy not six-pack abs healthy. You don’t need six-pack abs to be healthy (but it doesn’t hurt to try).
Mainly, watch your diet and skip the potato chips and find healthy options instead. (seriously stay away from junk food, they are mostly filled with artificial preservatives with a bunch of chemicals).
Also get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep and maximum of 8 hours of sleep. Oversleeping is unhealthy too because you will have even LESS energy, motivation and time to get things done. (Check out this article about the negative side effects of oversleeping from WebMD.com)
Lastly, have a scheduled exercise routine that you enjoy doing. My example is that I like martial arts, so I bought a punching bag and I go nuts for around 20 – 30 minutes a day. All you need to do is get your heart rate pumping.
But if you want to lose weight as a serious goal, you should really consider weight lifting in your exercise routine. But there are literally TONS of information on weight loss on the internet.
So use the trusty old google to find ways to lose weight (By the way don’t trust “magic” pills).
5. We are not lonely when alone.
Some people can’t stand being alone because they don’t like themselves that much. They want someone to make them forget that they are lonely.
However PWTTLTBF don’t feel lonely when they are alone because they always find things to make themselves feel good. Whether it’s cracking jokes, remembering funny things in the past, singing, or whatever thing they enjoy doing alone.
What you can do to help is not focus on the fact that you are alone. The more you focus on the fact that you are alone, the more lonely you will become.
Instead, focus on something that is worth your time. (remember your time is like diamond.)
If you need to exercise GO WORK OUT. If you need to get some reading done START READING. If you want to relax START RELAXING. (meditation is great)
Start focusing on things you can do or should do when you are alone and start getting things done you champ.
6. We are constantly improving our self-value.
Now by improving our self-value, I mean we constantly get better and better in all areas of our lives. If something needs to be improved, we simply improve.
PWTTLTBF want the best for themselves in life and everything. We don’t give ourselves excuses for things we need to improve upon.
For example: When I changed from hating myself to loving myself, I realized that I need to improve my social skills. In the past I would give myself excuses why I can’t improve myself; saying things like I have ADHD, I’m dumb, and I’m too shy.
But the moment I started to love myself, I began to want the best for myself. I want to have things that I would not be able to get. So I have to improve my self-value, my self-worth.
So I stopped with excuses and said, “Screw it, why not?”
So first stop with the excuses. You shouldn’t even care about why you can’t do something because someone else probably did the thing you want to do with MUCH harder and harsher conditions.
Also excuses already implied that you will fail. And when you believe that you will fail at something, you won’t give it your full effort.
If you KNEW that you were going to completely fail in a competition, would you give it your full effort?
Well no, no one would because normally it is just a waste of energy and time.
Once you get rid of excuses or any reasons why you can’t do something, you have to figure out HOW to do it. (the internet is very use in finding out HOW to do things)
Then you need to figure out WHAT you need.
That is all you need to do to figure out how to do anything.
After you found out all the information, then TAKE ACTION. You could gather all the knowledge in the world, but if you don’t use it, that knowledge is useless.
7. We don’t take life too seriously.
It’s not that we don’t care, its that we don’t care TOO much. But essentially we do care.
But you don’t see us doing flips over little problems and issues. We don’t freak out and we keep our cool because we understand that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
But that does not mean we don’t ever take things seriously. We take things seriously when it is appropriate.
For example, if a friend’s family member passes away, we aren’t like, “That isn’t THAT a big of a deal, get over it man and don’t take it so seriously.”
But you might be asking, “why should I not take life too seriously. What does it do for me?” If you are a really serious type of person, understand the more serious you are, the more stressful you will become.
If you were serious 24/7, it would be tiring, stressful, and overwhelming.
Think about it. If you were serious like you are defusing a bomb with only 30 seconds left ALL the time, you would be stressed, tired, and overwhelmed.
So go meditate and relax and give yourself a break for God’s sake.
8. We surround ourselves with people who brings positive emotions.
Ever hung out with someone who is constantly depressed or how their day is horrible?
It sucks. Period. They just use you to make them feel better and cheer them up (I know…I used to do it too).
Remember, we cherish our time like it is diamond, and we don’t have time to waste on people who wants approval or validation.
They just suck the energy and time out of you and make your day worse.
Now I’m not saying be a mean person and drop people once they become depressed.
I mean if your friend is going through a tough time, you shouldn’t be like, “Well Elliot told me I should drop you because you are killing my mood. So good luck dealing with your dog’s death.”
But a majority of the time, we surround ourselves with people who brings good emotions and have high self-value. (meaning we can learn a thing or two from the people around us…remember we are constantly learning)
9. We are self-motivated.
When things get tough, hard, or brutal we find ways to motivate ourselves because we understand that to get the things you want in life, you have to make the hard choices sometimes.
We want the best for us because we love ourselves. You would want the best for the people you love in your life. You wouldn’t want your loved ones to fail and suffer because you want them to feel good and all that good stuff.
So why wouldn’t you want the best for yourself? It’s the same as wanting the best for your loved ones.
So then you might be asking how do I motivate myself to do anything?
Well first you have to reconnect with the compelling reasons WHY you are doing whatever you are doing.
For example: If you want to lose weight, you have to reconnect with why you started. Maybe you want to get in shape to keep up with your kids never-ending energy or simply want to look real nice when you look in the mirror.
Then you have to re-amp yourself by doing something physical while smiling. You can run for 2 – 4 blocks, running as fast as you can while smiling. (Do anything physical to shock you out of your old negative emotions.)
And then reconnect one more time with your compelling reasons and then come up with small steps to get your bigger goal.
(You can also think about what you will lose if you stop taking action towards your goal.)
Then put your complete focus on the smaller steps one at a time.
And all of a sudden you are motivated to take action towards your goal. Great ain’t it?
10. We live in the moment but occasionally dream about our future.
We live in the present because now is the time to make changes and do something amazing. We don’t think about the past because what is in the past, stays in the past.
Unless they are lessons or great memories to cheer us up, we don’t dwell on the past. Whatever horrible thing you done in the past, has to stay in the past.
Just accept that you USED to do those horrible things but you won’t do them again because that is not who you are in the present.
If you live in the past and let it control your life, your future will fade away because you will only live in your past. You will let your past dictate your future and what you deserve.
Remember you CAN change no matter what you did in the past. The first step is to accept that you used to do those horrible things, then the second step is to actually WANT and NEED the change. Third step is to commit to your change and basically swear on your life you will continue with the positive change.
Now not everyone has done something horrible, but it can be something negative. So if you want to change something negative about you, you can do it too! (we all have a negative trait, we are not perfect)
And sometimes we dream about our future because we all have a future goal in our lives. But if your future goal doesn’t excite you at all, then you need to change your future goals into something that excite you. (Only YOU can find out what you want, NO ONE else can)
But if you have a future goal that excites you, then imagine yourself already having those things. You will feel excited about your future and your life. (meaning you will be happier)
11. We break the rules…when necessary.
Sometimes rules need to be broken to get the things you want in your life. Remember there are ALWAYS exceptions in life. There is never only one way to do something.
There are exceptions even in the law of science. One example is mercury. Metals is defined as a solid BUT mercury is still considered a metal even though it is a liquid.
Even in religion there has to be exceptions. One of the ten commandments is do not kill, yet soldiers kill to protect their country. Remember there are exceptions to ANYTHING in life.
But there is no one way to know exactly when to break the rules, and there is always a risk when you break a rule. You have to evaluate if the reward is greater than the risk and if it goes with your moral ethics.
For example there are unwritten rules in society that people normally follow. One of those rules is to keep to yourself when meeting with someone of “higher status” (celebrities, CEO’s, interviewer, or your boss – basically people who have power over you)
Normally you can’t act like the best friend with a “higher status” person. People normally keep to themselves to not offend them and make a fool out of themselves.
But think about it. If everyone was acting reserved around you, wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a person speak out his mind without any reservation? (well not racism or anything obviously stupid – it has to be something intelligent that showcases something positive about you)
But sometimes that backfires depending on the personality and beliefs of the “higher status” person. If the “higher status” person is arrogant, ignorant, selfish, and a jerk in general, it’s better to act reserved to avoid contact because you don’t want to be associated with a jerk. (But if it’s your boss then find another job secretly, your time is too precious to deal with an arrogant and ignorant boss)
Remember there are lot of things to take into consideration when making a choice. You have to try to gather as much information as you can before you make a choice, and make a choice once you gathered enough information. (Don’t procrastinate making a choice by saying you need more information…just gather the information you NEED and then make a choice)
12. We unconditionally love ourselves
Living through life hating yourself completely sucks. It’s like having a permanent roommate that you hate everything about.
It depends on you, whether you hate or love yourself. The choice is yours to make. No one can make you hate yourself or love yourself.
What I do is to give myself pep talk every so often while looking in the mirror. (lock the door…)
But first you have to stop with the negative self-talk (it’s when you seriously talk bad about yourself, it becomes more serious than just a joke)
Then start with positive self-talk and continue with it for the rest of your life because negative self-talk is toxic to your mental health.
It’s like choosing between an amazing massage and an extremely painful torture…which would you pick?
Then start doing things that prove that you love yourself…like those I mentioned above.
Now go out there and start loving yourself and your life!
Featured photo credit: Young woman portrait via flickr.com