Self-development is something we all strive for. The hope that, one day, we will be in some ways better than our current selves can be instrumental in helping us to endure the hard times and come out better on the other side. However, unless our efforts for self-development are rooted in goals that are close to our hearts, our attempts can often prove to be futile and demotivating.
One example of this is regular exercise. Despite the well known and limitless benfits it has for both our physical and mental wellbeing, many of us can find it very difficult to maintain regular exercise and settle for an on-again, off-again relationship with the hobby. Just the promise that something will make us better isn’t always enough to drive us.
During a time in my life where I was beginning to question everything that I formerly understood myself to be, I tried lots of different hobbies in a desperate need for something, or someone, significant to cease any further decline in my self-worth. But I often failed to find enjoyment in these activities and became further demoralised by the day.
It was around this time that I met my girlfriend of a year and a half. I was very hesitant to let anyone into my life at this time, when any love for myself did not appear to be on the horizon. Furthermore, having come out of a relationship somewhat recently at the time, I was busy trying to focus on loving myself before allowing myself to love anyone else.
When I did begin to let my guard down, I started to see a person who I thought deserved the best; from life and from a partner. As much as I wanted to be the kind of partner that I knew they deserved, it took me a long time to realise that I could. Now each day I work a little bit harder to be better for this person. Having someone to love is a powerful driving force in motivating us towards self-development; it’s the one thing I think of when I am expressing gratitude for the potential I’ve harnessed and the self-love I’ve developed since.
Finding something, or someone, that you love is imperative in discovering our purpose. These hobbies or people, friends or otherwise, may already be in your life, but you may have overlooked them. Alternatively, there could be something just around the corner and, with a little bit more patience and hope, it will arrive. To accelerate this process, encourage yourself to try new things, in search of finding an activity that you will find fulfilling and worth putting your time into. If you are instead someone who finds value in spending time with others, perhaps begin this search amongst societies and clubs within your University, either to try something new or explore an old love of yours; if the activity doesn’t interest you, the people you meet might. Finding a purpose that motivates you each day and that drives you to better yourself, produces the best results when it comes to learning to developing self love, the values that are important to you, and the life that you are living.
I'm currently studying Philosophy and Politics at UEA
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