You are here on this world for three main reasons. The first one is to experience as many different things as possible and enjoy life to the full. The second one is to create, contribute, share, and leave a positive legacy behind.
And the third reason why you’re here on this planet is to improve, evolve, grow and become the best version of yourself. So the question is: what can you do to make sure you become the best version of yourself?
The initial step towards becoming the best version of yourself is knowing your ideal self very well. The best way to do that is to make a persona of your ideal self (mind-map, notebook with pictures, etc.).
In general, personas are used in marketing for fictional characters representing the ideal customer or a typical representative of a user segment, but they can easily be used to clarify who you want to become.
The more exactly, accurately and sooner you know your ideal self, the easier you’ll get there. When you are clarifying and brainstorming your ideal self (the best version of yourself), there are 7 areas of life where you have to determine your realistic potential and your goals, including metrics of your progress and the strategy of how you will get there.
The 7 areas of life where you have to constantly improve to become the best version of yourself and should be part of your ideal self are:
- Career & Legacy
Before we continue to examine each of the life areas in detail, there is one more important fact to note. When you’re setting your goals, it’s extremely important that you consider your starting point.
And when you’re measuring your progress, you should compare yourself only to yourself. Well, to your previous self to be more exact. Other people can be your reference point, but what’s important is that you compete with your status in the past first and foremost.
Now, let’s go into detail of the 7 areas you have to pay attention to if you want to become the best version of yourself.
1. Take outstanding care of your body
Your body is the most amazing thing you will ever own, and without a healthy and firm body, it’s hard to become the best version of yourself. So the first thing you should do in order to achieve your maximum potential and peak performance is to take outstanding care of your body.
For outstanding care of your body, you have to pay attention to three fundamental areas of health:
- Exercise routine
- Healthy diet (minimizing sugar intake, maximizing green food intake, eating healthy fats etc.)
- Following general health principles (getting enough sleep, avoiding stress, loving your body)
- We can add managing any illnesses or weak body points to the list (we all have them)
The good news is that there are very actionable metrics you can use to follow progress regarding your health and how well you’re taking care of your body. So you can have a very clear picture of whether you’re improving your body capabilities and becoming the best version of yourself.
Here are a few core metrics you can measure:
- Calorie intake (macros, type of food etc.)
- Body composition (fat %, muscle size etc.)
- Aerobic endurance (VO2max, how fast you can run a mile)
- Muscular endurance (push-up test, plank test)
- Muscular endurance (one-rep max)
- Flexibility, mobility, stability (yoga poses you can do)
2. Take outstanding care of your mind
The next thing you have to take good care of is your mind. We live in the knowledge society and taking care of your mind is extremely important.
Your mind is the greatest asset to create, deliver and capture as much value as possible on the markets; and you should also take care of your mind to make good life decisions.
To become the best version of yourself, there are a few aspects to taking proper care of your mind. Here are the main ones:
- Make sure you control your mind and that your mind doesn’t control you
- Minimize cognitive distortions with emotional accounting
- Regularly update your brain’s “software” or reprogram your bad habits
- Brainstorm ideas on a daily basis
- Always try new things in life
If you want to achieve your peak potential, you have to take control of your mind; otherwise your mind will hinder your potential instead of supporting you in achieving your peak performance.
If you don’t take over the control of your mind, the mind will instead focus on negative thinking, cognitive distortions and mental masturbation (entertainment).
The best way to take control of your mind is to practice meditation, focus on gratitude and what you already have in life, develop the abundance mindset, become aware of your dominant cognitive distortions and eliminate them with emotional accounting, and take regular updates of your brain’s “software”.
Yes, even if the brain is a remarkably powerful organ, the software it runs among neurons is quite buggy. Extremely buggy, actually. By reading, listening to lectures, talking to people, observing different situations, reflecting and other similar situations, you can update your software to be less buggy.
You also want to regularly improve your creative potential. We can all be creative; you just have to practice. There are two easy ways of developing your creative potential, without becoming an artist or something. Write down new ideas every day and constantly try new things in life.
To sum up, here are some very actionable things you can do to develop your mind to the maximum and become the best version of yourself in this aspect:
- Eliminate cognitive distortions one by one with emotional accounting
- Write down one thing you are grateful for every day
- Be a lifelong learner – constantly develop your competences, read and read a lot, go to lectures and seminars, take online courses, respect knowledge and make sure you acquire a lot of it.
- Did I mention that you should read every day and that you should read a lot?
- Limit mental masturbation activities like watching TV, reading the daily news, spending time on social networks, participating in useless meetings etc. Make sure you become the master of the time management.
- Every day, write down at least 50 ideas. Just open a notebook and brainstorm.
- Always try new things in life – take a new route home, try a new sport or a hobby, brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, do the opposite of what you usually do, travel, learn a new language, play mind-development games etc. There are so many things you can do and try.
3. Take outstanding care of your emotions
Taking care of your mind already has a very positive influence on your emotions. By focusing on the positive and extensively dealing with your cognitive distortions, your emotions will also become much more positive. But that isn’t enough for you to achieve your peak performance.
Your ideal self is kind of a vision of who you want to become. But vision without emotional backup and strong will to act is just an illusion.
That’s why you also need a strong why; strong emotional reason or life mission, why do you want to become the best version of yourself. You have to act out of a sense of mission and inspiration if you want to constantly improve yourself.
You want to have a mission that is bigger than any life problems and obstacles you will meet on your way to becoming the best version of yourself. Only if you have a strong emotional why, a strong sense of personal mission, can you enjoy the benefits listed below.
Benefits that are a must if you want to achieve your peak performance:
- You feel more alive and valuable
- You have no problem with prioritizing tasks
- You can connect more easily and communicate with people much more passionately
- You enjoy the work you do
- You can innovate and be creative much more easily
- You can really have impact on the world and change it
- You can inspire other people to work with you
- You are a more charismatic and energetic person and probably happier as well
Personally, I call acting out of a powerful why transcendence. If you want to achieve that kind of a transcendent state, you have to take outstanding care of your emotions.
Your emotions are the ones fulling your motivation and willpower, not logic. So you must employ your emotions as fuel that drives your improvements.
But how do you do that? Here are a few things you can do:
- Become aware of your emotions with practicing mindfulness
- Employ visual representations (Kanban philosophy)
- The “True North” test
The first step you have to make is to pay close attention to your emotions. You can easily do that by introducing the Happiness index into your life.
Every day (or, even better, twice a day) you mark how you feel on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 – negative emotions, 10 – positive emotions), and then analyze exactly what kind of negative or positive feelings you’re experiencing and why you are feeling that way. Try to ask yourself “why” at least 5 times to get to the core of the problem (the 5-whys technique).
By doing such an exercise, you’ll gain much better understanding of your feelings, what motivates you and what takes motivation right out of your heart. Right after taking a note on the Happiness index chart, you can do the true north test.
Simply ask yourself: are you doing all the things you were born to do? Are you fighting for what you want in life or are you just going where life kicks you (usually those aren’t very nice places called average life or even zombie life).
If you want to achieve the best version of yourself, you have to follow your heart and listen to your gut instinct. You have to gather the courage to start following your true north. You have to start doing things you were born to do (work, love, creating, hobbies etc.).
One more thing that helps with emotional empowerment are visual representations. You’ll react a lot differently if I describe a snake to you or if I show you one on a picture or if you actually encounter one in nature.
Visual elements can motivate you extensively. So visualize, have a vision board, have a Kanban board, go for a “test drive” of what you want out of life. That will help you achieve your peak performance.
It also helps a lot to be emotionally motivated if you:
- Make peace with your past and
- learn to live in the present moment.
4. Take outstanding care of your spirit
Taking care of your spirit means that you have strong faith in life. There are many different ways of taking care of your spirit and all of them are okay, if they help you become the best version of yourself and if you aren’t hurting others with any radical beliefs.
Here are a few ways of how you can take care of your spirit:
- Having extraordinary faith in yourself
If you aren’t a religious or spiritual person, taking care of your spirit can come only from extraordinary belief in yourself.
If you want to do extraordinary things in life, if you want to become the best version of yourself, you must have extraordinary faith in yourself and life.
There are a few signs that show very well that you have extraordinary faith in yourself:
- Putting yourself first (but not in an egocentric way)
- Developing high levels of self-confidence and self-worth
- Having rituals in your life (for example a morning kick-off routine)
- Rewarding yourself even for the small wins
- Forgiving yourself for the mistakes you make
- Regularly celebrating life and being grateful for every day
- Having integrity and making sure you are a good person
- Building your success based on prestige, not dominance
The other two ways to take care for your spirit are religion and spirituality. Praying, doing good, having faith in God, being thankful, helping people and the society, these are all things that bring peace, karma points and general good into your life.
This is how you take care of your spirit and it’s a very important part of your personality and becoming the best version of yourself. You can only become the best version of yourself if you also make this place just a little better to live for generations to come.
Remember, legacy is always greater than currency.
5. Take outstanding care of your relationships
It’s impossible to live a quality and happy life without many healthy and deep relationships; and it’s impossible to become the best version of yourself without having outstanding relationships in life and taking good care of them.
People can make you or break you. People can bring out the worst in you, or people can bring out the best in you. In addition to that, nobody can succeed alone. You need a dream team of people in your personal life and you need a dream team of people in your professional life.
You need a dream team of people in your personal life and you need a dream team of people in your professional life.
Therefore, if you want to achieve your peak performance, you have to strategically build relationships. You have to meet many different people and keep the ones that give you the most in your life. Once you’re an adult, the choice of who you’ll spend time with is completely yours, and you must choose wisely.
In your personal relationships, you have three pillars of love, support and empowerment:
- Family (primary, secondary)
Who you choose for your spouse is, in many ways, the most important choice in your life. It’s extremely hard to be happy, successful and achieve your peak performance and ideal self if you fight at home all the time and if there is no love, understanding and tolerance.
Besides your spouse, having a happy family also gives strong emotional foundations and feelings of belonging. And strong foundations give you wings to fly high to your peak potential.
If you don’t have a good connection with your primary family (you haven’t chosen it), make sure you build a loving and caring secondary family.
To feel emotionally secure, take risks and be happy in life, you also need friends and the feeling that the people closest to you will help you if and when things go wrong. Without strong emotional support, you can never take risks to really become the best version of yourself.
In your professional life, you also have three important pillars:
- Boss / Stakeholders
- Coworkers / Cofounders
- Mentors / Mastermind group
You spent almost 1/3 of your time at work. Thus professional relationships can either make your life miserable or encourage you to become the best version of yourself in work-, career- and money-related things.
The first rule is to never work for a boss that you don’t respect and can’t learn from. Then you need many coworkers or cofounders if you have your own business and they should always push you towards new challenges and professional personal improvement.
You need to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, who you can learn from and with whom you can do real team work. Last but not least, having mentors or building a mastermind group can help you a lot in becoming the best version of yourself.
6. Take outstanding care of your assets
The last thing you have to take care of if you want to become the best version of yourself are your assets. Assets are what can leverage and accelerate your success and help you to achieve your peak performance on all levels of life more quickly and efficiently.
Assets are divided into two general categories:
- Inner assets
- Outer assets
Inner assets are all the assets that are a part of your personality, who you are and what you’re capable of doing. Examples of inner assets are knowledge, skills, experiences, creativity, self-discipline, values, beliefs, intelligence, passion, your life strategy etc.
The good news is that with inner assets, you can always create, better manipulate or acquire more of the outer assets.
You can easily measure progress and acquirement of your inner assets on the road to becoming the best version of yourself. Here are a few core metrics:
- Domain knowledge you master (number of areas)
- Number of skills you have
- Number of tech skills you have
- How long you can do focused work etc.
Outer assets are all the things that aren’t a part of your personality, but that you can possess and that bring advantages and material comfort into your life. Examples of outer assets are wealth, power, fame, social network, status, contracts, land, goods, technology etc.
The good news is that unlike inner assets, which are limited with biological bounds, outer assets can grow much faster. You can’t read 100x faster in one year, but you can have 100x more money.
It’s even easier to measure progress and acquirement of your outer assets:
- Personal income statement (Income – Expenses)
- Net worth (Assets – Liabilities)
- Your position in the company
- Number of professional connections
- Public and social media influence etc.
Knowing how to properly deal with the inner and outer assets is actually the main secret how people achieve massive success in life.
Now, in order to achieve your peak performance you have to constantly be acquiring new inner assets with everything mentioned previously in this post – taking good care of your mind, body, emotions and spirit. The more you take care of these things, the more inner assets you have.
But it’s not only about acquiring inner assets, it’s also about managing them properly. A ton of theory can’t compare with a gram of practice and real life experience.
To manage your inner assets properly, you have to be aware of them (listing your competences, past accomplishments, performing a personal SWOT analysis etc.), and then put them to good use by creating (innovating), delivering (marketing) and capturing value (getting paid).
You have to strategically offer your inner assets on the markets, be it as an employee, self-employed individual or business owner.
The last step to becoming the best version of yourself is to strategically start acquiring and managing outer assets. In other words, you have to start thinking and acting as an investor.
If you want to be really successful in life, get to your peak performance and achieve massive success, you have to employ outer resources as your leverage, because they can grow much faster than your inner assets.
The main problem is, of course, that acquiring inner assets is already damn hard. But acquiring and managing outer assets is even harder. You need to better understand markets, media, people, money management, and you need to know how to create things that people want. And the competition is crazy.
But that’s what you have to do to become the best version of yourself.
Because only by having enough outer resources, you can invest so much more back into yourself and the people around you. And you actually have enough power to change the world and make it a better place and thus leave a visible legacy behind.
It’s not easy to become the best version of yourself, but it’s definitely worth it. And if everything sounds like too much, here’s where you can start easily – start by taking care of your body and the rest will follow.