“Doctors are their own worst patients” illustrates how bad most of us are at taking our own advice. But trying to play both doctor and patient seems unreliable.
One way to quickly clarify a difficult decision is to imagine advising your best friend – what would you tell him/her to do?
There’s probably no proven path to actually following that advice, but deciding what to do is often the hardest part.
Years ago I started jumping rope as part of a training regimen and was terrible at it. The only consistent thing I did was whack the tops of my feet with the rope every other jump. I almost gave up and assumed it wasn’t meant for me, until someone gave me this tweak: move your hands one inch forward. Literally in minutes I went from zero to advanced.
Jumping rope isn’t an essential life skill. But given that experience I now ponder how many important things we’ve all given up on that – with one small tweak – we may discover we’re good at.
How we treat others is largely affected by our invisible scripts, in particular whether we believe people are intrinsically “good”, or merely out for selfish gain.
Since I refuse to believe that history equals destiny I am more forgiving. I choose to view people through the lens of what I believe they have the potential to be.
Yes, I’ve been burned by this many times, but on balance the few who make positive changes because someone believed in them has been worth more in piece of mind.
Lots of credible experts who are clearly smart and accomplished disagree with their equally credible colleagues. That’s why when most experts agree I pay attention.
3 self-improvement practices that are relatively un-contested:
- Sleep = the force-multiplier: Protect your sleep and stop bragging about how little you get. If you don’t get enough, Google the benefits of getting more. There are too many to list here. The effects are immediate.
- Drink more water: So many bodily functions hinge on getting enough water. Most of us don’t consume enough (minimum = half your body weight in ounces)
- Meditation is useful: Just about everyone will feel tangible improvements from some kind of meditation/ mindfulness practice. There are many kinds and they’re not all for you. Tons of benefits – and no studies I’m aware of show evidence of harm.