I Love Myself because My Life Depends on It.

Naval Ravikant wrote a book called Love Yourself like Your Life Depends on It. (No affiliate link).
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I had read it years back and have since given the book to my dad. He has strategically placed it in my work room. Every time I walk in, I see its cover: A silhouette of a man with a large heart, holding a pistol to his head.
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I’m writing this to you because a couple months ago, I was feeling crummy because I was just dumped. Without delving into the details, I have only good things to say about that person. But that didn’t help my own situation. I was hurting and unsure why. I was of no help to anyone. You included.
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I walk into my work room in a daze. Now what? I guess I’ll immerse myself in work. Other people. Video games. Any sensory-drowning distraction. Anything to silence the din of my internal riot. Why why why? Why why why?
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I see the book’s cover. I flip through it. Hm. I decide on Naval’s advice: to say I love myself. No more, no less. By repeating this phrase to myself, I would solidify my dedication.
I will love myself so much that I can’t help but share this love with those around me. Especially you reading this. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself.
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I did not believe it for a few weeks. Fake it till you make it, as the platitude goes. I thought I did after the first day but I was wrong. I was still in shock. A functioning shock-aholic.
A few weeks later, I lapsed. I was angry for a moment, lashing out unconsciously out of anxiety and hurt. Much like a doomed rampaging bull, bucking towards the celebrated Matador. That person the matador. But they weren’t there. A lone bull in an empty stadium, fighting an apparition.
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My truth was emotionally skewed. Biased. But in hindsight, the truth is I didn’t love myself enough. I’m only human.
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But by repeating this phrase, I’ve trained myself. Whenever I feel negative, I think, I love myself. After three times, I can’t help but smile to myself.
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Try it out now. Say I love myself a couple times. In your head. Then out loud.  Maybe you do not believe it but if you do it enough, you will. It certainly helped me.
Why not?
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Thank you. And thanks, Naval.
-S.D.
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P.S. Dandapani also has a great tool set for anxiety and loneliness. He says his master told him to be fiercely present in the moment and to lean on your own spine.
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P.P.S. In his interview with Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins says he gives himself 90 seconds. Life is tough and many terrible things will be thrown at you. But you have to fully dedicate yourself to being happy. Help others and you’ll be happy yourself. Love yourself. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself.

Seth Godin’s Tribes

Structure: Some lines have been quoted while some phrases have been paraphrased (PP) but I will be limiting the paraphrasing because I may not accurately present the book as well as the author intends. Note that this writing is not entirely representative of the book but more of what I count as important takeaways to me. My recommendation is to speed read the described book but I understand people are busy. Anyway, on with the show…
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My biggest takeaway from his book is this: EVERYONE is now a leader. That means you, me, your friend, your dog. Well, maybe not your dog. Not to us, anyway. But we’re all leaders if we choose to. He cites an example of Thomas Barnatt, pitching a controversial idea at the Pentagon. Unheard of. But these kinds of examples are what we need because this leadership and this confidence is rare.

People like having the freedom to do what they want and if possible, turn a profit. I know many artists who wanted that but chose a different path because they reason ‘no one’s going to pay me to draw so I’ll change to something I won’t like but will be profitable like…[i-banking] [pre-med] [pre-law].’ Whenever I see this, I deeply sigh.

I’m not saying to follow your passion but to pursue what interests you. This already makes you a leader, albeit only of yourself. The process of pursuing this will determine how much impact you’ll have as a leader. Godin writes ways to do this but for simplification, I’ll narrow it down to these three concepts:

1) Have a purpose
2) Do things revolving around  that purpose, however unconventional the things may be
3) Start now

A quick example on this of Zappos.
Their purpose is to give the best customer service ever. They carry this purpose out by conversing on the phone for as long as the customer needs (no time clock and customers are encouraged to call), giving automatic upgrades to next-day shipping are among a few unconventional ideas. For the last concept, Zappos’s CEO, Tony Hseih, had to think of ‘starting now’ at some point.

What do you think of this list? I encourage feedback, no matter how critical. Thanks in advance. 🙂

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Copyright from the book (just in case): “Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.”