Invest in your body. Sweat for at least thirty minutes a day just to feel alive. Experience your own strength. Find your limits. Push yourself to the brink and one step past just to feel that high. It’s better to be sore than sorry. Let the sweat wash all the doubt and negativity right out of your system. Do it early. Start your day with a win you can build on. All it takes is deciding to do it.
Invest in your mind. You don’t know a fraction of what you could know if you just tried harder. So why aren’t you trying harder? Watch a TED Talk every morning, follow a blogger or columnist that challenges your way of thinking. Don’t just read and watch things that reinforce your view of the world. Give yourself the freedom to think about things you don’t have to. Practice thinking. If the only time you’re problem solving is when you have a real problem that needs to be solved – the stakes are too high. Look around you, deconstruct and analyze. What would you do differently? What could be done better? If nothing comes of it, then you’ve just exercised your brain. Who knows? In the process you might just think of a way to build a better mousetrap.
Invest in your heart. Be selfless. Do something motivated by nothing but love. Consciously do something every day to show someone you love that they matter. Consideration goes a long way. Have a big presentation to give at work? Chances are your boyfriend or husband can’t help you too much with the actual work. But you know what? The fact they scraped the ice off your car this morning shows they’re on your side. We all just want to know someone is in our corner and that we’re not nearly as alone in this world as it can sometimes feel. Don’t wake up every day asking why no one is in your corner helping you. Be there for someone else. It sounds corny as hell but let love move you to do something and expect nothing in return. This takes practice. You honesty can’t expect anything in return. Don’t keep a mental list. Don’t bring any of it up in a moment of anger or to hold against someone. An act of love exists on its own. Reciprocity is wonderful but it’s not the point.
Invest in your soul. Nothing in this world feels quite as great as talking to someone about the thing they are most passionate about. Do that every day. But there’s a catch. Don’t tell your story. Don’t try to one-up them as they tell their story. Be curious, as questions, resist the urge to judge or jump to conclusions. You’ll be amazed at how comfortable they get, how much their guard will come down, and how much you can learn from someone when you put your ambition and your agenda on the back-burner. You can’t do this with everyone – but do it once a day. Even if it’s just a five minute chat in the grocery store lineup with a complete stranger. Experience that connection, appreciate their perspective, and find what motivates them and their passion. It will move you.
I’m at my best and having my best day when I take the time to invest in my body, mind, heart and soul. If you can do these things you’ll always be changing, you’ll always feel like you’re progressing, and you’ll become a stronger more balanced person every day.
The hard part? You can’t do it alone. A whole life is meant to be shared. That’s been the biggest change of all. You’ll never be your best if you’re trying to do it alone. You’ll never change if your way is the only way you know.
It’s scary but it’s worth it.