“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” — Robert Morley
My side job is to observe people, and I enjoy it so much. As a creative writer, this job gives me a ton of materials to use in the next dozen years.
One day, I sat on a rusty green bench in a local library’s park, observing people, and I heard a footstep by my side. I turned, and I saw a small build teenager with a yellow skirt standing about six feet from me. She asked for my opinion regarding her short skirt.
As my habit, I gave her a killer smile, and I asked why the question. She answered, “My friends in the Library made fun of my skirt.” I quickly approved her skirt and told her that she was too good for her friends. She must find new friends. And I shared my short skirt’s story with her, she couldn’t stop laughing and thanked me. She walked away with a squared shoulder and a wide smile. I’ll call her Abasi.
Love is a verb. Love is what we do to ourselves and others. Abasi appeared confident the way she walked and carried herself — I think she loves herself.
Are you in love with yourself?
8. You Empower and Inspire Yourself And Others:
You find a way to make yourself and others feel good and do better. You direct and point to the hidden strength of a friend who just got divorced. You choose not to discuss your colleague’s weakness in an office lunchroom but find a way to help her grow.
Empower yourself by accepting your shortcomings and celebrate your strengths. Every morning, I remind myself of some of my good qualities. For example, I think of something I like about myself and my partner, then say it out. I call it my morning medicine. I do this every morning, and sometimes, I have to force myself to do it because it’s a good feeling and empowering.
Empower and inspire yourself and others.
7. You Are A confidant:
You love yourself unconditionally. You are a confidant or a true friend to others, and they trust you with their secrets.
You are there to help your friend when she is in jail for a criminal act or when she opens a multi-billion dollar startup. You let her know when she is wrong and also when she is right.
Start small by keeping some of your business matters private from your best friend, and do the same in casual discussions with that best friend.
For example, I had a private conversation with one of my church leaders about an accident I had and how I felt about it. A few weeks later, I attended a meeting with him and eight other members. We discussed other matters, and out of nowhere, he brought out our previous conversation to the meeting like a joke.
My answer to him was, “wahala! even you, Brutus,” and others got the message and ended the discussion. The man lost his credibility with nine people in the church and maybe from others.
Be a confidant — love yourself and respect others’ privacy.
6. You Don’t Worship People or Things:
You are happy with who you are, what you have, and work hard for what you want. You refuse to worship people or things, but you choose to love and respect people and things.
Anything that occupies our mind 24/7 becomes the God we worship. It can be our career, children, politicians, celebrities, friends, TV, social media, or others. For instance, a former colleague shared how she watched Netflix every day until 3 am. I thought, “she loves herself less and was gradually killing herself.”
Make yourself the most important person in your life. Love yourself and say “no” or “yes” to things and people. You do not have to join the crowd or follow every Harry and Helen to be happy.
5. You Value Yourself and Your Space:
You are direct and transparent with who you are and what you want and need. You are not afraid to set a boundary for yourself, others, and things in your life.
Work on liking yourself, your business, and your lifestyle. Search for what makes you unique and use it for your advantage.
Set a standard for yourself and others. For example, I don’t make or receive calls after 10 pm unless it’s an emergency. Value yourself and your space.
“I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. The reason they knew who I was is because I told them.” CEO Ursula Burns
4. You Have a Point of View:
You are an individual, and you know your likes and dislikes. Lover of self has opinions, and they permit others to have theirs.
I have a point of view, and it’s true, I don’t know everything, but I always find a way to learn from everyone and everything — what to do and what not to do.
For example, I am pro-life for all children in run-down schools and neighborhoods in the wealthiest country on the planet. I am pro-life for all people killed by gun violence, and of course, for all people killed by police or home brutality. My office mate is pro-life for the fetus, and that is OK. We support and have respect for each other.
Start sharing your point of view with yourself, family, and friends. In my house, we share our opinion. We disagree sometimes, but we work very hard to listen to one another.
Love yourself and be free to disagree with others, but listen to understand, learn from them, and move on with your life.
3. You Don’t Bully or Gossip About Others:
You don’t bully or gossip about a friend or colleague because he refuses to conform to your value or your standard of living. You are open-minded, and you help others grow.
Do you know a gossiper or a bully?
Get to understand yourself and find out why you are a bully or a gossiper. We all can choose to replace gossiping with compassion and empathy.
Choose not to bully others, but be frank with people and ask them questions or seek explanations if there is a misunderstanding. Love yourself. I choose not to bully or spread rumors but work hard to mind my own business.
2. You Take Your Personal and Civil Responsibility Seriously:
As an adult, you take ninety-nine percent responsibility for your life. You are in love with yourself; you take care of yourself, your community, and society at large.
We can choose to look out and make things better for ourselves, our families, and the communities.
I make my bed every morning. It takes me less than two minutes to make my bed. Why making a bed a big deal? For me, it helps me finish the first task of the day.
Make your bed every morning. It’s mothers’ advice, but it became famous when a military man, Admiral William McRaven, wrote his book, “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life And… Maybe the World.”
Take proper care of your health, focus on your goals, pay taxes, and pick up after yourself in public places such as train stations, bus stops, and public parks.
Most importantly, Vote2020.
1. You Are An Expert In Your Life:
You know and understand who you are as an individual and a citizen. You know yourself in detail — your goals, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors/actions. You know and understand your likes and dislikes, weaknesses, strengths, opinions, and core values.
You are honest and tell yourself the truth and live your life on your own terms.
It is OK to keep learning about yourself. Some of the following questions helped me and some of my clients, and feel free to use them:
- What makes you happy and mad?
- Who is the most important person in your life, and why?
- What is one thing in life you would like to be remembered for?
- What are the benefits of your core values and beliefs?
- Compare and contrast the pros and cons of your core values and beliefs. Is it a bad or a good investment?
- Do you accept or reject medical, mental health, and financial advice?
When we own our lives, and we love ourselves — we make decisions, take care of our bodies, and control ourselves and home.
Loving yourself is not everything you need as an individual, but the only thing you need to attract an abundance of happiness. Love yourself:
- Empower and inspire yourself and others
- Be a confidant
- Love and respect people and things
- Value yourself and your space
- Have a point of view
- Don’t bully or gossip about others.
- Take responsibility for your life.
- Be an expert in your life.
We teach people how to treat us. Set your rules in life and work hard to follow them — be a master of your own life.
Help yourself grow.