I’ve been reading the book “Essential: Essays by the Minimalists” this week, and one idea from the essay “WWJD: What would Joshua do?” has really resonated with me:
“What would the best version of you do in this situation?”
I’m finding this to be a very powerful question, which I can ask myself when my willpower feels weak.
Several personal examples spring to mind immediately. They are the daily battles that I have with myself. Things I have recognised that I need to change:
- I find myself waking about an hour before I must start getting ready for work. It’s soooo tempting to lie there and catch some more zzz’s. The best version of me gets up for some fresh air and exercise. I’m improving at this but it’s still a struggle. My wife is finding it harder than me. Today I asked her “What would the best version of you do?”, and she got out of bed and came for a walk with me 🙂
- When commuting I’ve had a habit of grabbing my iPad or phone and using it for social media, reading email and news or playing games. The best version of me reads a book, does some writing or just closes my eyes and relaxes. I’ve made big improvements in this area. The iPad stays home. Games and most social media distractions are gone from my phone. I’ve unsubscribed from most mailing lists and unfollowed and unfriended most people – much less digital noise. I carry one or two books with me most of the time, and write several times a week. I’m feeling really good about this.
- At work I would drink about 3 coffees with milk and sugar per day including one or two from cafes. The best version of me doesn’t need all that fat and sugar (and the expense). When I feel like a hot drink I now make a green tea (twice a day). I still feel just as alert; In fact my mental clarity is noticeably improved. And this is helping me with my health goals, and I’m finding it easier to say no to temptations like the occasional cake in the kitchen.
- In the evening after dinner, it’s just so easy to flop onto the couch for 3 hours, then to fall into bed, exhausted. The best version of me uses that time to do some housework or decluttering, talk with my wife and kids, do some exercise or some writing. I’m still failing half of the time, but the best version of me is starting to win.
Are you being the best version of you, right now?