There are many ways of measuring success in life, ranging from the thickness of your wallet, to the titles you have before or after your name, the recognition you get from others, how early you get to retire, or the amount of free time you have at the end of each working day.
But above all, perhaps the most important determinant of your success in life is simply how well you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel a sense of pride and satisfaction, rather than shame and uneasiness.
People will hire experts such as the Sydney Tree Company to deal with the natural scenery on their properties, but they will often neglect to ask themselves one very simple question: “am I the kind of person I would like and respect, if I met myself?”
If the honest answer to that is no, or if you’re not sure what the answer is, here are some tips for becoming the kind of person you can like and respect.
Always tell the truth
Many people go through life telling “white lies” and justifying it to themselves by saying it’s all for the greater good, or it’s to make people happy, or to avoid drama. Ultimately, though, very good arguments can be made that any form of lie is immensely detrimental.
When we tell our significant other that their outfit looks nice, when we think it looks terrible, we’re preventing them from making a positive change which would not only make us happier, but would potentially even affect the way other people would treat them, in a positive way.
When we say “it’s fine” when it really isn’t, we only trade an argument today for bottled up resentment and a much bigger argument later.
Always telling the truth — in a tactful way, mind you, not as a weapon — builds integrity and forces us to hold ourselves to a higher standard, too.
Stop doing things that you’d be ashamed of other people knowing about
Is there anything you do which you would be ashamed for other people to know about? If so, be sure that you’re damaging your self-respect consistently, on a subconscious basis.
While it’s normal to be horrified at the idea of strangers seeing you naked, for example, you are not ashamed by the fact that strangers know you get naked when you take a shower.
But you would probably be ashamed if strangers knew you stole, or betrayed, or wasted opportunities, or were a drunk.
Stop doing things you’d be ashamed of other people knowing about.
Work on improving things by small degrees, day by day
A big part of self-respect is the knowledge that we are capable of facing the world head-on and making the best of. Knowing that we can make positive changes in our lives and master our circumstances is an immensely uplifting thing.
Work on improving the conditions of your life by small degrees, day by day.
Perhaps the house is messy. Tidy it up. Then you’ll like yourself a little bit more. Make similar small, positive changes each day, and your self-respect will rise dramatically.