We talked about goals. And how it’s important to know exactly what your goal is. And to write it down.
Now that’s all fine and dandy.
But do you have a goal for yourself? Do you know who you want to become? Do you know your ideal-self?
Why am I talking about this?
We want to live in the world we dream of. And central to the world in which you dream of… is you. YOU are the most important ingredient. The only ingredient.
So just as important as setting life goals, we need to have a version of ourselves to aspire to. The concept of our ideal-self is an almighty weapon we have in our grow-stronger arsenal.
In this post, we’re gonna nail down why our ideal-self is such a powerful idea, how you can find your “ideal-self”, and how you can use it to get chasing some dreams.
What and Who is Your Ideal-Self? How Do We Find It?
Your ideal-self is you. In the future. IF you make it happen. Your ideal-self is something that you aspire to. It’s who you want to become.
Think of the traits, the skills, the personality, the lifestyle, the habits, the friends and the relationships you’d love to have.
Imagine you have all these things – and that is your ideal-self.
Most of us have some inkling of who we want to be. But to harvest the fruits of the ideal-self tree, we really need to get specific.
“Yeah, I want to have loads of money, have a big-ass house, have a high flying job, and have 6-pack abs.”
No. That’s not going to cut it. Dump the generic stuff at the door, and let’s get to work on thinking about our ideal-self.
So. Think to the future.
Who do you want to become?
What kind of character traits do you have?
What does your ideal-self do for a living?
What are your ideal-self’s habits?
What is your ideal-self’s routine?
What type of relationships does your ideal-self have?
How does your ideal-self contribute to the world?
Ask as many questions like this. The more questions you ask the more answers you’ll get. And the deeper the questions, the better the answers.
Ideal-Self? So What? Why Is This Useful?
Goals. You need to know your goal, and write down your goal to make it happen. The world that you dream of won’t just happen. You’ve got to go out there and make it happen.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” ~Michael Jordan
It’s the exact same deal with your ideal-self. If you don’t know exactly who your ideal self is, and you’ve not got a cool-ass diagram to boot (see later), then you’re not turning your thoughts into a reality. Your brain won’t employ any extra workers to be on the ideal-self case. You won’t be paying attention to it.
So. Think hard, identify w
ho your ideal-self is, and turn it into a diagram.
By turning thoughts into something physical, you break down a massive barrier and are already one step closer to achieving it.
Second point: The meaning of life. Deeeeeeeep.
Seriously, what journey could be more rewarding and more satisfying than the epic quest of becoming your ideal-self? Whether we’re in High School, university, having kids, had kids or embracing 80 years young, you can always be striving to become your ideal-self.
What makes it so rewarding? Because it’s a journey strewn with blood, sweat and tears. The path is lined with failure. And this makes it tough. And maybe this is why people don’t do it. Because you’re gonna fail.
But failure is the stepping stone to success. With each failure, you learn something about yourself. With each failure, you expose an area in which to grow stronger. Each failure helps you become your ideal-self.
So yeah, embarking on your ideal-self is a pretty rewarding gig.
Third; it’s an idea, and an aspiration that you can carry around everywhere. You can use your ideal-self as yardstick to measure your current success, and an indicator as to where you are in your life.
If you’re getting closer to your ideal-self, then congratulations, life is goin’!
If you’re getting further from your ideal-self, then it’s time to re-evaluate.
Whatever situation you’re in, ask yourself “What do I need to be doing right now to become my ideal-self?” If the answer is “Doing what I’m doing, right here, right now.” Then give yourself a massive pat on the back. Congratulations – you’re on the right path.
I spent my summer in Madrid. Starting out with no job and nowhere to live; it was the most incredible adventure of my life so far. I was spending time reading in the park, I was working out, I was building up the blog after a day of journalism-interning, and I was enjoying the amazing life Madrid has to offer.
I was living the dream.
One night, I was walking with my incredible friend and she asked me, “If you won the lottery, what would you do?”
At that moment, I stopped to think. And my brain came up completely empty. What would my ideal-self be doing? If I won the lottery, I’d still be in Spain, I’d still be embracing the challenge of building a blog and getting ideas out there, and I’d still be putting myself into crazy and uncomfortable situations and I’d still be living with the same people. Damn.
If I won the lottery, I’d be doing exactly what I was doing at that moment in time. I wouldn’t want the money, because then that would rob me of the skills you develop when you earn money? Why would I want money that makes life easier when the real reward is in the delicious challenges that lie ahead?
Mo’ money, mo’ problems.
So, a long story not cut short at all – your ideal-self is a perfect way to determine if you’re on the right path. Yes, the going will be tough, and you have to bust out course-work with sleepless nights, but it’s probably the path you need to be taking to become your ideal-self. Keep your head up, and keep your eyes on the prize.
By asking yourself “Am I becoming my ideal-self?” every week or month, it’s easy to regroup your thoughts, and chase your goals and dreams with renewed focus and enthusiasm.
“Am I becoming my ideal-self?” – “Hell yeah!” or “No. What can I change up then?”
“What do I need to do in order to become my ideal-self?
This is a great tool to find out what you can focus on short-term. “What 30-day challenge can I do to get closer to my ideal-self?”
Public speaking? Join a toastmasters group and watch a ton of Ted talks and motivational speakers for a month.
Eating healthy? Then commit to eating 5 portions of fruit and veg for 30 days.
Meditation? 5 minutes a day, 30 days.
Having closer relationships with your friends? Organise X amount of social events a week. Movie nights, walks, kick-abouts, pick-up basketball, pot-luck dinners…
Look at your ideal-self, then compare with yourself at the moment. What can you focus on in the next few months to bridge the gap?
In that way, you’re focused, and you can make sure that you’re always growing stronger. Take tiny steps towards your ideal self each day. Then every week and every month, re-evaluate.
Lastly, having that vision of your ideal-self in your head is a great way to keep you strong, and to keep you on the noble path during the day.
When there comes a choice between what’s easy and what’s right, ask yourself, “What would my ideal-self do?”
Then take one step closer to becoming your ideal-self.
“Would my ideal-self admit that I’m wrong and lay my ego aside?” Absolutely.
“Would my ideal-self keep going till the end?” Yeah.
“Would my ideal-self be skipping this workout?” No.
Your Ideal-Self Call To Action
Ok y’all. Now let’s put this into action.
Here’s an awesome, fun little exercise; the anatomy of your ideal-self.
Draw yourself as a stickman or stickwoman. Then annotate yourself with all the things you associate with your ideal self.
Surrounding the stick-you, write down the habits, the character traits, the personality, the skills, the routines, and the lifestyle of your ideal-self.
With every skill you give yourself, write down a habit to back it up. For every habit you write down, write down the character traits that you’ll need to develop to build up the habit.
For example; I see, in my ideal-self, being able to relate to anyone I talk with. Which means I’m going to need knowledge in tons of areas. Which means I have to read more books, and push myself into more new experiences. What are the habits that I can develop to take me there?
Doing a new activity every month. Reading books every day. BOOM. Now I have action steps to take me closer to my ideal-self. That’s what this is all about.
What are the character traits that I’ll develop in order to get closer to my ideal-self? Courage, to venture into the unknown and try new things. Discipline – to get enough sleep and read everyday.
Do it with yours too!
The point of this exercise is;
- Know who your ideal-self is.
- Know the habits and associated character traits you need to develop to become your ideal-self.
- Know the actionable steps you can take right now to become your ideal self.
Once you’ve done this, stick up your piece of paper somewhere you see it a lot. On your bedroom wall or something. Someplace that you’ll see it every single day.
In this way, you’ll get constant visual reminders of your ideal-self.
Also, think of your role-models. Think of the people you hero-worship. Chances are, your ideal self has the traits that you admire in these people.
Why? The simple fact that you admire something in someone else means that you have that quality within you.
So stick up posters of your role-models or people with ideal-self traits around your room or your house.
Know who I’ve got stuck on my wall?
The famous Da Vinci diagram, and Daniel Craig’s 007 from Quantum of Solace.
Knowledge. Innovation. Creativity. Courage. Bravery. Cool under pressure. Discipline. These are what these posters scream out to me every time I look at them. These posters remind me of my ideal-self everytime I look at them.
Who can you stick up on your wall?
So that’s it everyone. Draw the anatomy of your ideal-self, have some fun with it, and stick it somewhere you’ll see it everyday.
Ask yourself what 30-day challenge you could set yourself to get closer to your ideal-self.
Cover your house in role-model posters.
And let us know how you get on!
As always, Dream Big Start Small!
Love you all,