We hear the phrase “your best self” constantly in today’s society. A lot of times, it has to do with getting in shape or losing weight. Sometimes it has to do with making a lot of money or living the way you want without making any compromises. Frequently, it is paired with “living your best life” and used in motivational speeches designed to inspire you to make changes in your life.
All of these things are definitely important and, in the right context, can lead to you both living your best life and being your best self. However, at Good Success, we think there is a little more to the “best you” than just having a lot of money in the bank and looking really great. At Good Success, we believe that the best way to be your best self is to live your life on purpose, for a purpose. Essentially, you will experience Good Success (including the very practical aspects of it like improved finances and getting to spend more intentional time on the things that are most important to you) when you identify why you are striving for Good Success and what makes your “best self” the most superlative version of you.
This is complicated for a lot of people, particularly because our culture tells us that “best” is directly linked to “getting your way.” In reality, “best” is usually linked to living for your purpose, working to have to give, and being a conduit, not a bucket, for the blessings you receive. If this sounds like the type of “best self” you would like to experience for yourself, then read on. We have assembled 10 tips for becoming your best self that will help you reach this enviable, “best” state as quickly and with the greatest clarity possible.
- Determine a daily purpose.
Often my coaching students tell me they have wanted to focus on working toward their purpose in life for years but found themselves constantly derailed because the concept of a “life’s purpose” was just too big and intimidating to grasp. While you must work on identifying what your God-given purpose is in this life, you do not have to force a revelation upon yourself. Instead, take things a day at a time…literally. Each day identify the number-one thing that needs to happen for you that day, whether it is something personal or professional. Then, make that thing happen so that you can go ahead and claim that day as a successful one.
Soon, you will find that certain things rise to the top of your success list every time. Those items will help you define your purpose in an incremental, organic way. Soon, the intimidating concept of “YOUR PURPOSE” in life will be fully integrated into your life in a meaningful way that enables you to live each day on purpose, for a purpose, and each day will be more fulfilling, productive, and meaningful.
- Focus and refine your efforts.
There is an axiom in business that says “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.” That axiom stems from something known as the Pareto principle, which is named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who demonstrated in 1896 that about 20% of the population in Italy owned about 80% of the land. The principle, more broadly applied, essentially demonstrates that 80% of your results come from about 20% of your efforts. It follows, then, that your efforts should be concentrated on that 20% of highly productive tasks while the remaining 80% of activity should go to some other person to handle.
You may feel at this point as if you just took a college level course in economics! Well, you did. And, you’re welcome. The take-away lesson here for most business owners is simply that you need to identify the things that you do in your business that no one else can do that are also highly productive, then focus your time and effort on doing those things and allow others to support you by doing the 80% of things that you do that are not directly related to your business productivity. The net result will be better business operations and much greater fulfillment for you in your work. Additionally, you will soon see that your newly focused efforts are creating the “best you” because you are doing the things that are best for you, your business, and, of course, your Good Success.
- Establish a dedicated, intentional schedule.
One of the things I hear most often from members of my Good Success Mastermind who are struggling to take their businesses or their lives to the next level is that they are just too busy. There are not enough hours in the day, they tell me. They insist that they will never get everything done because of the scarcity of time. They are frazzled, impatient, and even unkind as a result. Obviously, that is not leading them anywhere close to their “best self”.
I am going to let you in on a secret: There are at least 2 additional hours in every day that you are not using. Yep, that’s right! There are two hours in your workday that you are almost certainly not using, and, in some cases, you could actually tap into 6 extra hours if you will take a simple step to change the way you work. According to research published by the University of California at Irvine, a typical worker loses about 238 minutes a day on interruptions, and another 84 minutes recovering from the interruptions. That leads to stress and fatigue, which cost another 50 minutes for a grand total of 6.2 hours each day on the extreme end of the spectrum. (I went with two hours because I am assuming that most of you reading this article are already exceptional and recover really quickly from interruptions!)
Now, interruptions are not just someone sticking their head in your office or inviting you out to coffee. They are everything, including internet-related interruptions, like sporadically checking email, and multitasking interruptions, which masquerade as productivity but ramp up that recovery-loss tally quickly. To solve this and take back your time, establish clear working hours (even if they vary daily) and rules to go with them. Have a sudden through about an email you need to send? Put it on a list to do at the designated time rather than firing it off right now. Do everything you can to be intentional about when you work and what working means, and you will soon find you are less stressed, more productive, and closer to your best life than ever. That, of course, will give you time to focus on really important things like identifying how you want to use all this “extra” time I just gave you, and that will help lead you toward your purpose and Good Success!
- Distinguish between “productive” and “busy,” then opt for the former.
It is probably one of the most common complains in business: “I’m just so busy.” Then, of course, we laugh and say, “Of course, that’s a good thing!” because we don’t want to seem ungrateful that we have work for the business! Well, that is a dangerous pitfall you must change in your mindset. Yes, custom, people seeking out your business and the product or service you provide, is good. However, busy, just being active doing something (anything) is not good. In fact, it is downright wasteful. The perception that busy-ness equates to good business is why our culture doesn’t notice the lost hours I tallied for you in #3!
Identify the tasks that yield results for you and your business, then focus on getting those tasks done. You may need to include them in your purpose for the day, which we discussed in #1. You might opt to designate these tasks as vital when setting out a work schedule in #3. Anything you can do to eliminate “the busy” and create more time to work on your business will help you in both your professional and your personal life.
- Mindfully create habits that form good disciplines.
One of the best ways to become your best self is to identify behaviors that you want to change, then establish new habits that replace the negative behaviors. Over time, you will find yourself far more satisfied and fulfilled – not to mention better equipped to live your best life according to your true purpose – because you have a habit of productive behaviors in your professional and personal lives.
This is the first of a two-part series from Good Success on becoming your best self. You can read the second part of the series here when it is published.