The human body is made up of over six hundred muscles. But today I won’t be talking about any of these muscles. Instead, I will be talking about three muscles that contribute to who you are as a person. The muscles in question aren’t physically visible, but they make a more significant impact on both yours and other peoples lives than the ones that help you move.
The muscles I’m talking about are Self-Reflection, Willpower and Gratitude.
How are these muscles? They all have one characteristic in common with anatomical ones.
If we don’t train them, they become weaker.
If we don’t use these muscles, they deplete. We reflect less. Do less and thank people less. However, if we exercise them daily, we’re building the foundations for a more prosperous future.
Normally, I wouldn’t consider this a muscle, but over recent months, I have released how crucial it is to reflect on ourselves. Taking just 10 minutes every day, where you can sit and be present is one activity I’ve started doing daily. Because of this, I’ve become less anxious, more mindful and more productive.
We can’t change the world before we change ourselves.
Do you lay awake at night? Tossing from side to side, unable to go to sleep thoughts are stuck in your mind? Well, go write it down and explore it. Reflect on it. Spend 10–15 minutes just asking questions like: Why did this thought come up? How did it come up? And, What does it relate too?
Explore your idea fully, explore every path you can find. And, then once you’ve fully explored the thought can you go back to what you were doing, with an open mind.
As a writer, exploring my thoughts is one of the most significant sources for ideas. It came from within, and it applied to me, making the idea that much more powerful.
Everyone dislikes doing things that we don’t want to do. But, have you noticed that doing the things we don’t want to is the way we improve?
Going to the gym or working on your side project are just two activities that take a lot of willpower for most. But, they are also two of the most rewarding.
Yes, it’s easier to play a game or to turn on the TV and just spend the evening sprawled out across the sofa but will that benefit you tomorrow, next week or next year? No. These activities give you an immediate reward in the form of a dopamine hit to the brain. They have no long-term benefits present at all.
What if we worked on our side project instead? Then in a year’s time, you could be making more money or be able to quit that job you hate. But this only happens if you’re willing to put the work in at the beginning with zero immediate rewards.
Working on a side project for no benefits now is worth exponentially more than watching TV for a dopamine hit. You have to ask yourself:
How does this benefit me in a year from now?
If the answer isn’t better than what you have now, then it isn’t worth doing that activity. After all:
Time is money, and we have a finite amount of time.
How often do you thank people for something they did? It sounds simple, just saying ‘Thank you’ but how many people around the world, don’t say it?
But why? Have we become a less gracious species? Or, have we become so ‘busy’ that we can’t spare two simple words?
Whatever, the reason, the need of graciousness is understated in the world. By spending those few seconds thanking someone, you are subconsciously building a relationship.
A relationship with someone that could be useful in the future. Or, at the least, you’re remembered as being a nice person.
Think about this. If you did something for someone and that person didn’t say ‘thank you’. What would think of that person? I guarantee it wouldn’t be pleasant.
By becoming more gracious, we are building a new, kinder and better society.
How to implement change
To change, we must ‘do’. And, to ‘do’ is different from to ‘say’. For us to change, we must ‘do’ not ‘say’.
We must ‘do’ not ‘say’.
It’s simple, to implement workouts for these three muscles into your day. Here’s how:
Self-reflection is best done every morning and if possible before bed. Spend just ten minutes in the morning reflecting back on yourself. You can even use an app like ‘Headspace’ to guide you through it. That’s only a ten minutes earlier alarm, for an infinitely better reward. While at night, spend time reflecting back on your day in a journal. How did the day go? What happened that was good? And, what was bad?
Willpower. Building willpower couldn’t be any simpler. Start doing the things you want to do but have been putting off. If you’re going to go to the gym, then go to the gym. The more you do this, the more your willpower grows and the easier it becomes. (A word of advice though, your willpower is stronger in the morning, so do the more difficult activities then.)
Gratitude is possibly the easier one to practice. Every day you have great opportunities, whenever someone does something for you. Say ‘Thank you’. It’s a small thing, but often it goes far. And, if you want bonus points then do something for that person to show how thankful you are.
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to work on yourself. These three muscles are just part of an endless less of attributes that we could all work on to become better people. But, I believe that if we all worked on these three aspects, we would become better people within a better society.
Let me know what you think down below or over on twitter.
Thank you for reading!
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