Recently, I’ve been changing my philosophy on life. When I was a kid, I would tell myself to be awesome, whatever that was supposed to mean. As I got older, I started to ask myself a question in order to find the philosophy I was looking for. This question has changed over the past few years, but the goal remains the same, to be better each day.
One of the first questions I remember asking myself was, “What would the most interesting version of myself do?” The question seemed appropriate. I think it came from the quote, “The person that you will spend the most time with in life is yourself, so you better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.” The response to this question, however, was frequently uncomfortable. More often than not, the most interesting version of myself would wake up way too early, just to jump into a freezing cold lake or drive obscenely far just for a ten-minute visit.
I liked the most interesting version of myself. I continued to learn how to implement him into everyday life, but he wasn’t always practical. So, I changed my question. “What would the smartest version of myself do?” As you might imagine, the response to this question was quite academic. He studied hard, made extra effort, and was noticeably less interesting. And that was the problem; I missed the most interesting version of myself. Don’t get me wrong, the smartest version of me has his perks, but he wasn’t the best version. So, I changed question one more time.
“What would the best version of myself do?” This question requires a little more thought and honesty to answer. The best version of myself encompasses the most interesting, the smartest, the safest, the most rebellious, and all other versions of myself. But that’s why he works.
Being supremely interesting often ended only in being supremely reckless and being really smart actually only meant being really boring. Sometimes, the best version of myself does wake up at 5am, just so he can jump into a lake. Other times, he sleeps in. The best version of myself isn’t forced to go out on a Saturday night when he knows he shouldn’t because he has work the next morning, but he often does. The best version of myself doesn’t eat this cake, but he might eat those cookies.
Asking what the best version of myself would do has started to show me what I truly want from life. I know that I want to meet new people. I know that I want to read more. I know that most of the time I would rather be productive than just sit around. Asking myself a new question isn’t simply changing my philosophy; it’s making me better.