Be brutally honest, as this is just for you. No one else needs to read what you’re about to write, although I’ll share personal info with you.
Write down your top 3 bad habits. Here are mine:
● Self-doubt — I have a tendency to doubt myself when others do, especially if it’s a family member. In actuality, their opinions shouldn’t affect mine, any more than considering what someone else has to say. This takes away my power, and it weakens my personal ‘GPS for life’, which guides me to make the best decisions possible.
● Attachment to outcome — When I was a young boy, I was obsessed with ‘process’, rather than outcome. I used to enjoy every moment, rather than care about the result of my efforts. Somewhere along the line, I learned the result of my efforts was more important than my efforts, themselves. So, if I tried hard and received a ‘B’ instead of an ‘A’, I would be disappointed in myself. If I underperformed, was late, or was “supposed” to do something differently than it resulted, I became disappointed in myself. Today, I’m much better about this than a couple years ago, but I still could use some improvement. Learning to enjoy the process correlates to enjoying my life, rather than only enjoying milestones.
● Expectations — I learned to ‘expect’ from others, because people expected of me. The higher I’ve raised the bar, the less satisfied I’ve become, and the more likely I’ve become to be frustrated, resentful, or unhappy with others. Today, I make it a point to remember ‘expectations lead to frustration’ and remind myself of this whenever I feel dissatisfied. I’m making progress, but I hope to remove expectations completely.
Then, write down your top 3 healthy habits. Again, here are mine:
● Love — I am a very loving person. I make it a point to tell those I love how much I care on a daily basis, or often more frequently. I take actions that show my love, and make sure to demonstrate my love on a regular basis in person. I also make it a point to understand what helps someone ‘feel’ I love them, and I do those things, as well. I’m proud of being loving, and I hope to set an example for everyone in my surroundings.
● Diligence — I’m willing to practice. Whether this is a dietary change, exercise, mindset, patient/client care, or career achievement, I am committed. I may not be the smartest, fastest, or best at anything, but I’m willing to do what it takes to improve myself or make an impact for someone else. Once I add something to my routine, it’s concrete.
● Perseverance — When I commit to something, there’s no stopping me. I’m willing to fail, try again, and fail as many times as it takes. If it’s important, you can trust I’ll get the job done. I’ll work on something nonstop until I achieve my goal, and then I’ll stay on top of it for as long as I live, provided it’s still relevant. This has been true for me all my life, whether in sport, life, family, or work. People trust my level of commitment, and I own it.
If you want to grow/improve, the first step is learning ‘how’. Fix bad habits and focus on good ones. It’s as simple as that.
Today’s lesson: be honest with yourself in a way no one else will be. You already know yourself, and if you take the time to check-in, you’ll be able to re-center on what’s important to you and achieve anything you set your mind to.
You are so powerful. You are so loving. You are perfect.
And I love you.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on April 10, 2017.