Dear friend,

Some practical thoughts on ‘creating yourself’:


Download PDF: Create Yourself

1. Determine your own ideal (for yourself)

First idea:

Don’t seek to become anyone else. Instead, dictate what your own ideals are (for yourself), and brutally enforce these rules upon yourself.

This means:

Figure out what your own ideal is for yourself, and put forth the self-discipline to make this ideal a reality!

Now the fun thing is this — you don’t have to be this one ideal forever. I think our ideals are constantly changing and in a state of flux. Your ideal today might differ from your ideal tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now, or decades+ from now. I think the deepest wisdom is embracing the fact that you’re constantly changing and in a state of flux, and this is a good thing.

And also to realize this:

Your ideals only apply to you, not anyone else.

There isn’t (and shouldn’t be) an ideal “universal” ideal for EVERYONE on planet earth. My personal preferences for living will of course be different from yours, from Cindy’s, my mom’s, or from the grocery store person.

2. Enforcing your own ideal for yourself

Enforcing your own ideal for yourself shouldn’t be self-imposed slavery, nor should it be self-abnegation or self-flagellation (whipping yourself with a spiked whip). Instead, you create strict rules for yourself simply for fun!

For example, I religiously fast from sunrise to sunset. I am very strict with this — no eating until the sun sets (usually 6-8pm). And when it is time to eat, I feast! In the words of Nassim Taleb, breaking a fast is the opposite of a hangover.

Now, I don’t fast because I want to cause injury upon myself, to cause pain upon myself, or to somehow self-mortify myself. No — I fast because I see it as a form of strengthening, and testing my own strength and limits. It is fun and entertaining for me to see how long I can go without eating food during the day — and I see it as an interesting self-experiment on how strong my willpower is.

I am also quite military-like in my discipline on physical exercise. To me, I give equal credence to my brain and my body. I don’t torture myself to go to the gym, I consider it fun! Difficult things can be fun, and also quite enjoyable.

3. Action

“Fuck trying and not doing– because not doing is what [I’m not] doing.” – Big Sean

Be a person of action. To think ain’t enough; we must do.

“Do or don’t do, there is no try.” – Yoda

Do, even though you might not be the best. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Only judge yourself according to your own ideal of yourself.

4. Be the change

“Be the change which you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

Create, do, make what you desire to see in the world. If there is something you hate about the behavior or actions of others, you be the first to change this action or behavior in others.

For example, it grinds my gears when I see others complain or make excuses. Thus, I have made it a personal rule NOT to complain or make excuses. It is the silver rule of ethics:

Don’t do what you consider to be annoying in others.

For example, I hate it when people act petty. Thus, I train myself NOT to be petty (of course, I don’t always succeed).

5. Don’t give up

And this is part of the game — just because you fail in your own ideal of yourself for one failed action, or one failed ideal — doesn’t mean that you have lost the game! Just dust yourself off, and try again!

If you’re riding a war-horse, and you fall off, get back on the horse and grab the reins again!

If you’re playing a video game and fighting the most difficult boss on the most difficult level, and if you die, restart and try again!

Becoming yourself is difficult, because everyone will tell you that you’re foolish to do so. Ignore all others, because you’re doing this for yourself, by yourself, and according to your own self-ideal.

BE STRONG.
ERIC


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