Momservation: If you want to do better, be better.
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Funny how I get my life advice from Netflix now.
Besides realizing that I need to chill, my last inspirational epiphany courtesy of Netflix was delivered by my pal, Paul Rudd. (Actually, we’re not really pals, but doesn’t everyone feel like they’d be best buds with Paul Rudd given a chance meeting?)
So my future best bud, Paul is in this Netflix Original Series, Living With Yourself. The premise being a depressed and dissatisfied character, Miles, undergoes a mysterious procedure that promises a better life. Instead, he is replaced by a clone who is a better version of himself.
Which got me thinking—if I could be a better version of myself, without being swapped with an inherently optimistic and naturally appealing clone, what would I need to do or change about myself?
Paying attention to what made the cloned Miles so happy and likable I came up with: 5 STEPS TO BEING A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF. And one of the great things is it’s not just a formula for me—I think it’s universal to human happiness. Here’s what I came up with and see if you agree:
1. Put your phone down. Be present. The true joys in this life don’t come from artificial experiences. They come from real, live human interactions and earthly offerings. It’s not puppy videos—it’s petting an actual dog. It not a text conversation—it’s making a connection with the person right next to you.
We may only go this way once, so use all your senses to relish in what’s real about this human experience. Smell that newborn baby’s head. Slip your hand in someone else’s and feel the warmth and spark of connection. Listen to the birds singing the sound of a perfect note. Taste a perfectly ripened peach or warm chocolate chip cookie (calories be damned). See how saying something nice to someone automatically makes them smile.
You don’t get these pure moments from a small computer in your hand. They slip away every moment you aren’t present. And only God knows if you have one more instant to take advantage of all that is amazing in this world. Do you really want that gadget in your hand to be the last thing you experienced on this earth if it all changes in an instant? The better me wouldn’t.
2. Be positive. Avoid negativity. Being happy just feels better. That’s why we try to find so many ways to be happy. Negative energy drains us and is heavy to carry around. To feel better you have to do better.
Choose the optimistic path. Look for the light of hope. Surround yourself with positive energy. Avoid the low road lined with pessimism, negativity, hate, intolerance, ignorance and fear. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind. It doesn’t hurt to smile.
If you’re having a hard time finding positivity—count your blessings or things you are grateful for. Any little thing. When you change your perspective to gratitude, happiness follows. If you put out positive energy, you get positive energy in return. Be someone you’d love to hang out with. (Be Paul Rudd.)
3. Do something for others. Being nice feels good. Being selfless is uplifting. Taking advantage of our human nature to want to connect with each other feels natural. Sharing our common humanity brings a surge of warmth. Realizing you have the ability to help someone else feels wonderful. (Why fight the feeling? Air Supply wouldn’t.)
I have never felt closer to unlocking the meaning of life than in that surge of warmth you feel when you know you have helped someone else just because it instinctively felt like the right thing to do—even when no one is looking. I think the best version of myself would reside in that space.
4. Try new things. The world was meant to be consumed with wonder. Even with a lifetime, we can’t get to it all. Children with their wide-eyed innocence have the best view.
So see the world with the eyes of a child. Plunge forward with the exuberance of a puppy. Immerse yourself in life’s offerings like a baby elephant in a mud puddle. Be inquisitive. Be brave. Be fearless. Be insatiable. Be open to possibility. The best version of yourself would make the most of your human experience. (Just in case in your next life you are a dung beetle.)
5. Let go of fear. Fear is the strongest/tallest barrier to being our best selves. If you weren’t afraid—what would you do? So leap like you have a parachute. Sing like no one is listening. Dream like there’s always tomorrow. Love like there is no heartache. Dare to surmount the odds.
Collect firsts like Usain Bolt. Break boundaries like Amelia Earhart. Break down barriers like Rosa Parks. Climb to new heights like Sir Edmund Hillary. Release your inhibitions and embrace your possibilities. Don’t be afraid to be you—because everyone else is taken.
As Mary Oliver asked: “What will you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I don’t think my best self would waste it being scared.
So thanks, Netflix, for the enlightenment. I’m off to go be the better version of myself. (Paul Rudd and I are DEFINITELY going to be best friends now.)
#BeYourBestSelf #NetflixLifeAdvice #BFFPaulRudd