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Best Self

Carolyn Hax in her Washington Post column on 12 Dec 2013 discusses what she means by one's "Best Self", and how to work on achieving it — a thoughtful take on self-actualization and being a better person. For "cultivating strength" she recommends asking oneself, among other things:

Are you doing things that are meaningful to you; well-suited to your interests, skills and talents; and challenging enough to keep you humble?

Are you with people to whom you want to be kind; who reinforce your good choices; and who don't inspire persistent doubts about whether they're dependable, genuinely fond of you, free of ulterior motives, honest with you?

Are you that person to those you love?

Do you take responsibility for your choices and their consequences?

Do you honor your promises and commitments, to yourself and others?

When you are impressed by, grateful to or concerned about someone, do you show it?

Do you forgive?

Are you representing yourself honestly, to yourself and others, creating no facades to maintain?

Do you take care of yourself — in small ways like flossing and in big ways like thinking through potential consequences before you act? And do you put yourself first in ways that sustain you, to minimize your burdening of others?

Then Hax goes on to discuss how to "tame weaknesses", by developing awareness of one's flaws and working to fix them. Good advice, rather reminiscent of Arnold Bennett's comments on How to Make the Best of Life, as well as elements of Rick Hanson's Just One Thing.

^z - 2013-12-14

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