25 Ways to Become the Best Version of Yourself

be-best-version-of-yourself


Is it possible to be happy with yourself right now and still want to change your life?

Can you be content and evolving at the same time?

I believe you can.

In fact, I think this is a powerful balance we should strive for every day — the balance between happiness in the moment and action toward the best version of ourselves.

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits recently wrote a beautiful post on contentedness. He suggests that you don't need to wait for change, for something better, for the future, before you are content. You can be content right now if you choose to see all of the good and beauty around you.

I know this is true. I know we experience life right now, in this moment. This moment is our only reality. If right now is spent longing for some vision of the future, we haven't truly lived and enjoyed the blessings of right now.

Longing and struggling against “what is” causes suffering. Wishing for more, for something different, for something better at the expense of contentment in the moment robs us of life.

However, as someone who is a seeker and has spent most of my life intrigued by personal development, I have a vision of the best version of myself. I know that inner and outer change, evolution, and transformation will happen to me whether or not I define how that will happen.

But I know that I can define how that will happen. I have that personal power, and I'd much rather be the creator of my life rather than a reactor to it.

So how does one be a creator and be content at the same time? How do you become the best version of yourself while loving yourself just as you are?

Here are some of the concepts I've embraced to help me find that critical balance between contentment with now and a vision to be the best version of yourself.

1. Awareness

With the awareness that both are possible, you reduce the tension between knowing that you should be content right now and the inner urging for something more. There is a way to find a balance for your on-going contentment and happiness.

2. Process

Begin to view the process of personal evolution as place for happiness and contentment. Rather than holding back happiness while you await an outcome, enjoy the process. Every step along the path, every stage of life, every small action should be savored and celebrated. Life is process. Reaching outcomes is a fleeting moment.

3. Shift

During the process, you will experience tedious, boring, or even painful moments. Rather than resisting or struggling against these times, breathe into them. Shift your thinking so that you become aware of even the smallest value these moments add to your experience of life.

4. Failure

Failure is part of process. And even though failure stings, the venom it injects actually serves our growth. Failure means you are engaged in life because you've taken a risk toward your vision.

5. Values

If you haven't defined the best version of yourself, begin with values. What are the most important values in your life and work? What values will define the person you are now and want to be in the future. Get very clear on those.

6. Vision

Give yourself the gift of time and emotional space to create a vision for your life for the next few years. Use your most important values as a framework for this vision. Look at every aspect of your life and define how you want it to look. Write it down. And remember to enjoy the process of creating a vision. It is creative, life-affirming work.

7. Plan

When you have a vision for yourself, you need a plan for materializing this vision. You need action steps. Prioritize your vision and create a strategy for action. Break it down into small steps that are manageable.

8. Ritual

A ritual is an action imbued with purpose and meaning. Each action step along the way to your vision is a microcosm of the outcome. Rather than viewing each step as a boring task, turn it into a ritual — something beautiful that is a crystalline drop of your beautiful vision.

9. Relationships

Relationships are the most important part of our lives. Nothing matters more. Define the best version of yourself in your relationships. Who do you know yourself to be inside? How does this person want to interact with loved ones and others in your life? Find the beauty in letting this person emerge as you release anger, jealousies, frustrations, blame, and hurt. Enjoy the process of releasing the old you to welcome the real you.

10. Priorities

Our time is limited. We can't have everything, be everything, do everything. If we stuff our lives with too much, we are scattered and unfocused. Life is abundant, and it tempts us with so many options. Choose what is most important right now and gently release all else for another time or for good.

11. Focus

Whatever you are doing, focus on it. Savor it. Roll around in it. Love it. Even if it's pain. There is beauty even in pain. Don't struggle against or wish for something more. If you are doing it now, it is the most important thing in the world.

12. Simplicity

When you are focused, many other things in your life fall away naturally. Things you don't really need. Begin to sweep some of these things out the door. Simplify your life, your thoughts, your relationships. Give yourself the space and energy to focus and love the moment.

13. Experiences

Experiences almost always trump money and possessions in long-term life satisfaction. Experiences stay in your memory and create residual happy feelings. Put your efforts and income more on experiences than on things.

14. Recess

Give yourself a mental and physical recess, a time for play and creative introspection. Remove yourself from stresses and demands to clear your mind for new ideas, inspiration, and recharging. Being in nature supports this process.

15. Intuition

Regardless of how analytical or brainy you may be, pay attention to intuition. Intuition arises from an accumulation of all of our memories and experiences. It has something important to say to us, so listen up.

16. Stretch

Stretch yourself. Go a step or two farther than you think you can. Push yourself a bit into the discomfort zone. Do this regularly, and you'll be amazed at your capacity for greatness. Breath into the stretch and enjoy it.

17. Forgive

Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Whatever it is, put it in a red balloon and release it. Ah, freedom.

18. Heal

Where you are wounded, where you are hurt, where you are frightened — seek healing. Restore yourself. Get well again. Do what must be done to heal. You can't be the best version of yourself when you are emotionally, mentally, or physically unwell.

19. Move

Your body houses the best version of yourself. Your body is beautiful and miraculous. Support your body as it serves you by staying fit and healthy.

20. Nourish

Give your body the proper fuel to feel your best so you can enjoy every moment to the fullest.

21. Gratitude

Spend a few minutes in gratitude every day. Remind yourself of even the smallest blessings in your life. Allow the emotions that accompany everything you are grateful for to rise to the surface. This will heighten your sense of gratitude and happiness.

22. Serve

Happiness is associated with service. Whether you are simply listening to a friend, giving a hand to a neighbor, or volunteering, serving others provides fulfillment that no other activity can afford. It doesn't matter how you do it, just find a way to do it.

23. Learn

Have a beginner's mindset in all things. Accept that even if you are an expert, there is always more to learn. You can learn from the humblest among us. You can learn new ways of thinking. You can learn to appreciate many points of view. Stay open to all possibilities with eager expectation.

24. Seek

Once you know the best version of yourself, seek new paths for evolving into that person. Open your mind and heart to wise people and mentors. Face the truth about yourself or others. Be relentless in your personal evolution, but relish and celebrate each new level of growth.

25. Refine

Regularly hit the refresh button on your definition of your best self. As we evolve, change, and grow as individuals, even our vision of our best self shifts and evolves along with us. Be content with being the best self you can be in each moment — because you will always be in the process of becoming. Make each moment your destination.

What is your best version of yourself, and how are you working to become that person? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. Thank you so so much for this article!
    I LOVE the one about Failure..that it’s actually growth:-)
    Not a way we usually view it, but I’m sure it would help us evolve if we did.
    Thank you:-)

    Hugs
    Cheyenne

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      You are so welcome Cheyenne. Yes, embracing failure is a hard one — but a highly evolutionary practice! There is always something to learn from it.

  2. Glori | Crazy Introvert says:

    In short, simple acts and things we tend to take for granted…
    Thanks for the reminder!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Yes Glori. Most evolutionary practices are simple acts. We try to complicate things too much — but the basics always hold the truth. 🙂

  3. Barrie..

    You have summed up the very essence of living mindfully in this post. Beautifully written. I feel trusting one’s intuition is the first step towards knowing oneself. And I also feel values are really important though we keep ignoring them but yeah, they help us in being more with ourselves.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Thank you Surabhi. Intuition is so powerful. It takes some peace and quiet moments to truly know what your intuition is telling you. You have to step back to really hear it. And your intuition can help you define your core values as well.

      • Yeah..!! you are so right.. And I am sorry for typing the same message twice. Internet at my place is pathetically slow and in an attempt to publish it, I might have pressed the button twice.

  4. Thank you for this post Barrie, it is very timely for me. I am naturally a very future oriented person who focuses on the end game and outcomes and have increasingly realised that life is now and I am letting that go, while I continually look forward. I am working on a number of the areas that you have mentioned and it has also made me aware of others that I can become mindful of. All of them are very powerful alone – I am now intrigued though – what was number 3?

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Haa!! Mandy I didn’t intentionally leave out #3. I just missed it. Now it’s back in. I know what a goal-oriented person you are and how successful you are becoming at making things happen in your life! But you are wise to bring yourself back to the present moment whenever you can.

  5. lissette says:

    Just wanted to thank you for this whole post on becoming the best version of yourself i really needed to read this today out of all days in my life. This messesage came just in time. Thank you

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Lissette,
      I am so glad this came at the perfect time for you. I love it when that happens!

  6. Vusumuzi says:

    Hi please allow to say this document just arrived at a perfect time as I am personally going through bad patch in my life. Yet not blaming anyone as some of the things happened during my point of life searching.

    As I write I am in a blink or in a way have to move from a comfort zone. Reason being loosing time yet certain matters due to be done or attended to at hold. Secondly, challenged spiritually, which is something that also happened some years back. I have struggling to figure how I now fail each event in life. Take a matter of work promotions, relationships, finance and the likes. All came to a roadblock.

    For that I wholly say to you thank and thank again for the wonderful package of information. Luck I write down all important information that I observe will be helpful to me and others.
    Finally note that my ambition is to see myself being a life coach / motivator.

    Thanks for the valuable eye opener.
    Vusumuzi.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Vusumuzi,
      I am so glad you found the post helpful for you. I think we all go through times when we feel like everything we do comes to a roadblock. This may be a great time of learning and transition for you if you look for the lessons in everything that is going on in your life. I wish you great success in your goal to become a coach and mentor. The world needs more of both!

  7. “I know that inner and outer change, evolution, and transformation will happen to me whether or not I define how that will happen.” Great reminder!

  8. simply awesome

  9. Barrie, what great questions to ask ourselves! To be content yet still growing defines how I’d like to live each day. While I may lose my footing, these things bring me back: thinking about process more than content, relationships more than things, and facts more than worry.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      “Content but still growing” is a succinct way to encapsulate this post Marci. That is exactly the balance we need to find. Thank you for that.

  10. Thank you for sharing this great article. Simply love the tips and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thank big thank you for the reminder.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      You are so welcome Lorii! I’m so glad you found it useful for you.

  11. Barrie, seeking, refining, learning, and following my intuition through it all is working extremely well for me. I am living so boldly that people stop to ask me more and more often, “What are you doing differently?” Hooray! Love your emails and your blogs and your great service to all of us!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Rose,
      How wonderful that people are noticing the positive difference in you! Your happiness must shine through. 🙂

  12. agarwal danish says:

    really loved the message conv.
    eyed but the thing is that we adopt the advices

  13. Gloria Martinez says:

    Thank you so much for your blog and thank you for everything you write that encourage us to look for positive things in life no matter what. Your writing and your positive energy has help me so much. 🙂

  14. Thank you so much! This is more than inspiring, and I can already feel the positive impact of these ideas on my outlook on life. God bless you!

  15. What an amazing article, so many great steps!

    Do have any tips in regards to keeping your mind, body, spirit clean? I always find for me that using herbal bath helps wonders. I would love to know what tip you use.

    http://abstrusefaith.com/2014/10/02/opportunities-are-closer-than-you-think/

    Sincerely
    Leslie

  16. This has to be one of the best articles I have come across in a very long time. It might be connected to the place I am at right now, but I have felt such a connection and inspiration with almost every point with such beauty it is a refreshing pleasure to find all the right sentiments in one eloquent list!

  17. I totally agree with you Michelle on every word you wrote about this article.