The Year You Decided to Put Yourself First

Love and work, tenants that psychologist Sigmund Freud would argue was the meaning of life is crucial for your well being. You are the captain of your ship and so that means you better be in top shape. Hence, loving yourself and working for yourself makes you love the day that much more.


Loving yourself

1. Say I Love Myself

In the book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It, the author Kamal Ravikant writes about the exercise he does every day where he says “I love myself”. Don’t think for a second if this sounds wacky. It works.

He writes: “Imagine the feeling of catching yourself loving yourself without even realizing you were doing it.” Do it even (and especially) if you don’t believe it. Because if you do it long enough, you will.

In the book, Kamal introduces 3 steps he uses to gently remind himself to return to self-love every day:

  1. Mental loop
  2. Meditation
  3. Question

Mental Loop

Repeat, “I love myself” over and over again and it will become automatic and become your reality like most mental loops/beliefs you already have. Lay the pathway for that loop to run again and again. Eventually, it will take hold whether you believe it or not.

You need to create a thought that is deeper than those unhappy and unhelpful thoughts you’ve solidified over the years.


Each day, the author listens to a 7-minute piece of music that he likes and thinks, “I love myself.” Here’s his pattern: Inhale > Think “I love myself” > Exhale > Let out whatever thoughts you have.


“If I love myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?” The answer was always “no” for the author. This question gently shifts your focus from wherever you are to self-love.


2. Believe You Are Enough

This technique is provided by therapist Marisa Peer. I first came to discover this when I heard her talk at Mindvalley.

She would tell this story of a celebrity who had everything he ever wanted – cars, houses, women and yet he going through his third divorce and depressed. She assigned him a simple exercise, which is to write the words “I am enough” with lipstick on his mirror every day. He did this for a while. The result? It changed his life and now he is a lot more content and happy than before.

Other followers of her technique suggest setting a reminder twice a day at 8am and 8pm that says simply: “I am enough.”

In one of her blog posts she wrote:

“The repetition of that simple phrase over and over (both out loud and in your head) will eventually make it difficult for your mind to object to it. As the audience member said, even though she didn’t feel rich enough, smart enough, thin enough, or successful enough when she first programmed the words into her phone, slowly but surely she began to believe the powerful message itself.

In my 25 years as a therapist, I’ve discovered that the root of so many modern problems—hoarding, excessive drinking, compulsive shopping, and over-eating—come right back to a need to fill the inner emptiness of not feeling “enough” with external things. The more you tell yourself you are enough, the more you’ll believe it. It sounds so utterly simple—and it is—and all you need is the commitment to do it and the belief that it will work.”


Working for yourself

1. Place your own personal tasks first before doing your work tasks

The biggest learning I’ve learned from morning routines after doing it for a year is that you have to get your most important tasks for you by you done first.

Everything, even your job has to wait for you to get to your stuff done.

Getting other people stuff done first may provide relief and assurance, but it won’t give you happiness and the feeling of “I’m winning at my life”

Examples of your tasks would be meditating, reading that book, writing your blog posts, promoting your own work or business.

What they said on the airplanes was correct – “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.” You can’t help others to the fullest until you help yourself. Without you taking care of you, who will?


In a nutshell

Telling yourself you love yourself, that you are enough and putting your own personal task before your professional tasks are just some of the 3 things you can start doing on your path to self-care. Love yourself and you will love life all the more.

How to Be Happy Right Now

The greatest pursuit in life isn’t money or fame. But it is the pursuit of happiness.

We often confuse between a means goal and an end goal.

An example of a means goal is making money and exercising regularly.

An end goal is the reason why you do it in the first place.

Why make more money? To have more options. To be able to know that everything is taken care of.  But what is it that you want to take care of? Yourself? Your family?

Why exercise regularly? To keep fit and to be healthy. For what? To be able to enjoy life and take care of our loved ones.

The end goal should always be at the top of our heads.

Means goals are the fancy ones. The ones that sell. Lamborghinis & Rolexes.

End goals aren’t so sexy. Feeding your family, loving your family.
It’s not glamorous but it gives you the reason to stay in the game.

End goals are to be your focus if you want to be happy right now.

Delaying happiness is stupid at best and destructive at worst.

All you ever needed was around you. But you rather wait and claim it once the dust is settled.

There is a TED Talk titled Be A Man and the speaker, Joe Ehrmann who has been at many deathbeds during his service always heard the same two questions spoken by men in their final moments (and it wasn’t about the things they owned):

  • Love
    Was I a great father, husband, son?
  • Legacy
    Will I remembered? What have I contributed for the betterment of the world? What footprint did I leave behind?

These questions are real and true and it gives a you a perspective on what people in their limited time genuinely cared about.

Warren Buffett was once asked in an interview what his definition of success was and he said that having a big bank account doesn’t make you successful. He has met many wealthy people who are depressed and hated by their families.

To him, the definition of success was simple – that the people who you wished love you love you.

He said money can buy sex, but it can’t buy love.

Some of you may say, “Easy for him to say, he has $60 billion!.”

Well, it is exactly because he is very wealthy that he is qualified to say it.

Would you take him seriously if he were poor?

What is your definition of success? Or put another way what warms your heart?

Tony Robbins, the life strategist, was given a task to take a quadriplegic man who became that way on his honeymoon with his wife after he dived wrongly into the hotel swimming pool and broke his neck. He can barely move clench his hands and can’t feel anything from the chest down. His wife has to change his diapers everyday and his catheter every 2 hours.

When Tony was asked to turn their lives around, he had to question his beliefs on what makes a great life and his conclusion (which I suggest you write down somewhere) is AN EMOTIONALLY RICH LIFE.

So what he did was take them to sky dive. It was a first for the both of them. It was unreal.

After that, they made the guy play murderball – a sport played by wheelchair bound players, and he succeeded in going through it.

He wrapped it up by re-enacting their wedding ceremony on stage with the same people present in their previous ceremony.

It was a spectacle to behold and a great lesson to learn.
In that, life can take away something from you. But how you react to it is what makes the difference.

You either be mad or depressed, or look to the bright side and practice happiness regardless.

You can start being happy now by knowing that tomorrow is unknown and that what is certain is the present day.

Keep working towards your goal, but don’t let it be an excuse for you to not be happy.

3 years of being unhappy so that you can enjoy a moment of achievement?

What ever happened to singing in the shower?
Or laughing hard at a joke?
Or dance like a moron while listening to your favourite song?

It was all emotion. The things that make you feel alive was all emotionally rich.

To wrap up:

  • Remember the bigger picture: Love & Legacy.
  • Live an emotionally rich life.

“Every day set out to be the happiest person on the planet.” – Tony Robbins

Can’t go wrong with that.

Live a life of emotion and practice happiness now.


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