The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Your Best Friend
Number one — stop saying you’re fine!
In my search for true living, living my best life, YOLO, or whatever the kids are calling it today, I’ve often stumbled upon various philosophies and attitudes towards life that have penetrated my frozen and uninhabitable soul.
Among those philosophies that I wish to embrace are Nietzsche’s Four Cardinals of Virtue.
The good four. Honest with ourselves and with whatever is friend to us; Courageous toward the enemy; generous toward the vanquished; polite— always: that is how the four cardinal virtues want us.
In all honesty, they’re nothing new. You can read through them and think, “Yeah, sure. Everyone knows that.” That’s what I thought when I first read it, but it wasn’t until I stopped to ponder upon how much I was lacking these virtues in my life that my soul began to thaw.
The greatest sin is lying to yourself. That’s not only the worst sin you can commit, but it is also the biggest obstacle you place in the path of your life. It’s the biggest way in which you screw yourself.
One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is…
“Yes, I’m stuck in a dead-end job that crushes what’s left of my soul every day, but I’M FINE.”
“Yes, I’m stuck in a soulless marriage where we are nothing more than roommates, but I’M FINE.”
Are you fine?
Is this what you picture yourself doing for the rest of your very limited existence?
If we’re truly honest, the vast majority of people are NOT fine, but the lie is so big, so encompassing, that they may end up believing it, and therefore, doing nothing to improve their situation.
Existing requires very little of you, but living takes courage.
If you truly want to YOLO (eye roll), you’ll need the courage to stop lying to yourself.
You’ll need to look at your life and say, “I’m not fine,” and then have the courage to do something about it.
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes, Nietzsche says we should be generous toward the vanquished, but I think the first person that should be the recipient of our generosity should be ourselves.
We are our worst judges. We talk to ourselves in ways we’d never speak to any our friends.
How many times have you insulted yourself in the worst way possible for a tiny mistake? And even if you do mess up in the most gigantic and spectacular manner, you still deserve some generosity, especially from yourself.
You’ll never make it through life if you keep belittling yourself every time you mess up, because mistakes are as sure as death and taxes.
Rudeness is not an attractive quality… unless you’re into that kind of thing.
Being polite to yourself is the start of being genuinely polite to everyone else. Showing politeness to your poor tired soul will help you show genuine politeness to the world, and more importantly, it will help you grow.
Being polite and kind to yourself means that you’ll recognize yourself a as person.
It also means…
-You’ll carve time for yourself
-You’ll give yourself recognition
-You’ll learn to accept compliments
-You’ll respect yourself
-You’ll constantly remind yourself of your good qualities.
As Elizabeth Gilbert mentions, learn to recognize yourself as a friend.
I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to practice these four virtues in the most abundant way possible, especially towards myself.
If you’re not already doing so, I hope you’ll do the same.