The First Step to Self Improvement and Finding Our Best Self

Last week I talked about how we have a better self a worse self and our current self.  I would like to help you to reach your better self.  The first step is accepting our traits, what we need to work on and who we are. This blog accompanies the YouTube video which is part 1 of 3 in the video series on self-acceptance.  The dictionary defines accept as finding adequate or saying something is what it is but in the case of people and our personal selves we need to do both.  Not only should we accept ourselves and that we are what we are people around us know that people recognize us for whatever we are.  We also need to accept ourselves, realize that we are not perfect, but we are adequate.

When I first started this channel I thought it was going to be a breeze.  I enjoy public speaking and am quite comfortable doing it, I also took a semester drama in seventh grade so I was quite confident that I would be able to do a YouTube video with no problems.  When I picture myself in my head, I have I have a full head of nice wavy hair like I had back in high school. When I imagined myself on the video, I pictured a smooth, charismatic guy that was a mix between James Bond and Indiana Jones.  I determine very quickly I wasn’t Indiana Jones or James Bond.   As you can tell, I don’t look in the mirror very often. When I started shooting my first video and saw that the guy staring back at me was not the guy I saw in my head, that guy in my head was just an imaginary image, it wasn’t me at all, it was hard to look at myself.  I knew that I had some breathing problems related to my muscular dystrophy, but I hadn’t realized how bad my breathing really was; in fact, I will address my breathing in the third video.  I really don’t try to talk like Captain Kirk from Star Trek for any young people reading this or watching it that’s the original Captain Kirk played by William Shatner, not the newer Capt. Kirk.

Then I looked at my face you know it’s not perfect you see a lot of redness right now, and I was clean-shaven, and I thought you know what maybe if I grow some facial hair will help hide some of the perceived ugliness or imperfections. A few years ago I grew a beard, and everybody called me Blackbeard because it was so black, I started growing a goatee this time, and suddenly I saw gray hairs like that Mr. graybeard commercial, that really bothered me.  After this, I realized we all have friends and acquaintances who like us accept us for who and what we are, they see us all the time and are used to us and in fact somebody out there probably thinks you’re good-looking or at least that you have a pleasant personality.  We are the ones that aren’t used to seeing ourselves, so the moment we do, all we see are the imperfections, not the qualities that are close to perfection or on the way to perfection.

I’m going to give everyone reading this blog or watching the video a homework assignment. Go home, or wherever you are that’s convenient, you can write these things down or do it mentally, but I would recommend writing or typing if you can as it will make it easier and more beneficial.  Make a list with two columns one column list the things you like about yourself, that you’re good at, or you find acceptable.  On the second column write down the things you want to work on or the things you don’t like about yourself.  It could be your looks anything, but really your looks aren’t the most important thing.

After you’ve made this list, the first thing I want you to do is circle the good things you like about yourself.  After you’ve circled the stuff you like to proceed to underline the things you want to do, are trying to do, or are good things that you’re proud of. Now go to the bad column and look at all those things and ask yourself of the things in the bad column how many are accepted by my friends and loved ones, what are they okay with about me that I’m not.  After looking at the things in the bad column cross them out and ignore them because they are probably things you can’t do anything about anyway, there are so many more important things that people seem to be okay with about you.  Don’t worry about things like gray hair, or other cosmetic things, look at the things that you want to change or that you want to do.  Write those down on a whole new list and put the other list away or even throw it away.  Start making a plan of what you can do to help the things on your new list to come about, you might even prioritize them work on one at a time and once you get acceptable or adequate with that one thing then go to the next.  The important thing is that you create your own plan or create a plan with someone who cares about you to help you to improve those things about yourself.

In the second video of this series I will have a guest, and in the third, I will talk more about my own experiences.  I will reiterate one crucial thing even if I forget to mention it in videos.  Sometimes we have to recognize that we need help.  We can’t do everything ourselves no one is good at everything.  Using myself as an example, I have some degrees here on my wall, and I have experience in certain things and knowledge in specific areas.  However, no matter what I know there are all kinds of people who know more than I and certainly know more than I do on certain topics.  I have some experience, but other people have much more experience than me. I have many experiences, but I lack experience with marriage and family matters, so I thought about who I know with those experiences and a talent for expression. I had a friend in mind for the very beginning, and I think she will be excellent at filling in this particular experience gap.   I don’t know when she will be joining the videos but she will, and I believe she can help in ways that I can’t.  I look forward to improving myself and helping everyone else to meet their self-improvement goals.  I hope you’ll join me and come back for the next time so I thank you, and I wish you luck in all that you do.  Have a great day and remember to look at things with positivity!

Dream the Impossible

Long have I identified with Don Quixote. A man with this romantic idea of knighthood and though he is unable to do the gallant deeds of a knight, he still sets forth. Though many would see him as a fool, he still went forward to live his dream of being a knight. Each of us has a choice in life, we can either let ideas and dreams pass us by, or we can do all we can to reach for those unreachable stars. I will be the first to tell you that it’s easy to find excuses for why not to do the hard things, but to reach your full potential, you must do the hard things. I have faced many challenges, and I’ve done well, but I have not done to the best of my ability as only I would know unless you’ve seen my transcripts.

In the last few days, this favorite song of mine has been more impactful than ever before. I am a person that has had many dreams and ideas, yet I have not tried to chase all of them because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of making a great effort or sacrificing and not having it work out. Though I will likely never go forth with a sword in hand “to right the unrightable wrong,” we each have our own quest which we either achieve or do not. Sometimes dreams seem impossible, but if we do our all to reach them, we are successful even if we never actually reach that star. Most people don’t know, but I have wasted a great deal of time in my life playing games. I’m not saying that everyone that plays games waste time, and everyone needs something to distract from daily challenges, but for me, I’m changing that.

We each have things that we know, for me, I know things based on my religion that are important to me.  We all have different guiding beliefs, some of us know things that are true for us, while for someone else they are not true. That’s great as long as we do what we feel we must or need to do. For a long time, I have felt the need to make changes in my life, to do the things that I felt I must do. In our lives, there are greater things and lesser things. Personally, I am seeking to do the greater things in my life and let the lesser things slip by the wayside. I am reaching for that unreachable star, and many of the scars I’m covered with no one else can see. But I must give up fear of giving up lesser things so that I can reach for that unreachable star with that last ounce of courage.

Should it be that that star which I really want is truly unreachable I can at least say that I “strove with my last ounce of courage.” We each have a quest in life, and we each have different things that motivate us towards reaching that goal. No matter what your belief system is, or even if you don’t have one, you must do all you can to do what you feel you must if you want to be truly happy. Though these changes I’ve made in my life have only been for a few days and I will admit I have been really tempted to just say is it worth it? Can I really expect this? Or worst of all that little nagging feeling that I will only disappoint myself. This is fear talking, but faith overcomes fear! That faith doesn’t have to be a religious source alone, it must also be in our self! I’m going to spend my time reaching for something that most of the world would say is unreachable, but I must try. I’m saying this because it’s what has been on my mind for a little while now and I believe that there are many things in this life which distract us from the greatness we can achieve. I’m tired of wasting my time on things that don’t matter to me, and I hope that maybe this song can give somebody else inspiration to reach for that unreachable star and remove those things which are not important and find true happiness.