Power of affirmations & self-love by Kamal Ravikant
Power of affirmations & self-love by Kamal Ravikant
- sebastien grynko
I was in a bad way. Miserable out of my mind. There were days when I'd lie in bed, the drapes closed, day outside sliding into night and back to day, and I just didn't want to deal. Deal with my thoughts. Deal with being sick. Deal with heartache. Deal with my company tanking. Deal....with....life. Here is what saved me.
I'd reached my breaking point. I remember it well. I couldn't take it anymore. I was done. Done with all of this. This misery, this pain, this angst, this being me. I was sick of it, done.
Done. Done. Done.
And in that desperation, I climbed out of bed, staggered over to my desk, opened my notebook, and wrote:
"This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply - in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF."
There was nothing left to say. How long it took me to write this, less than a minute perhaps. But the intensity, it felt like I was carving words onto paper, through the desk. I'd been disgusted with myself - I could love another and wish them well, but what about me? From now on, I would focus only on this thought. For me.
How to love myself, I did not know. All I knew was that I'd made a vow - something far greater than a commitment, bigger than an I-wish or a nice-to-have. A vow. I was going all in or destroy myself trying.
There was no middle ground. In my bedroom, in the darkness, with a city outside that had no idea of the decision that'd been made or even cared, I set out to love myself.
And the way I did it, it was the simplest thing I could think of and one that I knew I was capable of. I started telling myself, "I love myself." A thought I would repeat again and again.
First, lying in bed for hours, repeating to myself, "I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, I love myself...."
The mind would wander, of course, head down rat holes, but each time I noticed, I'd return to repeating "I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, I love myself...." and it continued.
First in bed, then showering, then when online, then when I'd be talking to someone, inside my head, I'd be going, "I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, I love myself." It became the anchor, the one true thing.
And I got better. My body started healing faster. My state of mind grew lighter. But the thing I never expected or imagined, life got better. But not just better, things happened that were fantastically out of my reach, things I couldn't have dreamt of.
It was as if life said, "Finally, you idiot! And let me show you that you made the right decision."
It did. People came into my life, opportunities arose, I found myself using the word "magic" to describe what was happening.
And through it all, I kept repeating to myself, "I love myself, I love myself, I love myself, I love myself."
In less than a month, I was healthy, I was fit again, I was naturally happy, I was smiling. Amazing people were coming into my life, situations were naturally resolving themselves. And through it all, whether I was at my computer again, or kissing a pretty woman, in my head, I'd be telling myself, I love myself.
In all honesty, in the beginning, I didn't believe that I loved myself. How many of us do? But it didn't matter what I believed. All that mattered was doing it and I did it the simplest way I could think, by focusing on one thought again and again and again and again until it was more on my mind than not.
Imagine that. Imagine the feeling of catching yourself loving yourself without trying. It's like catching a sunset out of the corner of your eye. It will stop you.
I sit at my desk. San Francisco sparkles through the large bedroom windows. A Coca Cola sign blinks off, then rebuilds itself, one letter at a time. I see cars on Market street, red taillights. The famous tower over twin peaks is swallowed up by the night, hidden by fog.
A neighbor's balcony light comes on. Sliding door opens, a woman in shorts and t-shirt steps out, kneels to pick something up, then returns inside. The door shuts.
If you were to open up my head at this moment and peer within, you'd find yourself asking with a thick Southern drawl, "Does this boy not have an imagination?"
There is only one thought running through my head: I love myself. I love myself. I love myself.
For days, ever since I made the vow, this has been my only focus. Sometimes as a whisper, sometimes silent. When I brush my teeth, mumbling. In the shower, loud. Non-stop. I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.
I have nothing to lose. This is all there is. I love myself, I love myself, I don't give a damn about anything else, I love myself.
I once heard someone explain thoughts as this: we, as human beings, think that we're thinking. Not true. Most of the time, we're remembering. We're re-living memories. We're running familiar patterns and loops in our head.
For happiness, for procrastination, for sadness. Fears, hopes, dreams, desires. We have loops for everything.
We keep replaying the loops and they in turn, trigger feelings. It's automatic to the point where we believe that we have no choice. But that is far from the truth.
Imagine a thought loop as this: a pathway laid down by constant use. Like a groove in rock created by water. Enough time, enough intensity, and you've got a river.
If you had a thought once, it has no power over you. Repeat it again and again, especially with emotional intensity, feeling it, and over time, you're creating the grooves, the mental river. Then it controls you.
And that is why a focused mental loop is the solution.
Take this one thought, I love myself. Add emotional intensity if you can - it deepens the groove faster than anything. Feel the thought. Run it again and again. Feel it. Run it. Whether you believe it or not doesn't matter, just focus on this one thought. Make it your truth.
The goal here is to create a groove deeper than the ones laid down over the years - the ones that create disempowering feelings. They took time as well. Some we've had since childhood.
Which is why this requires a focused commitment. Why it must be a practice. Forget demolishing the
grooves of the past. What you're creating is a new groove so deep, so powerful, that your thoughts will automatically flow down this one.
It takes time, sure. Took me a month to go from misery to magic. But you will notice changes, shifts in your feelings, beautiful happenings in your life. Expect them. There'll be more and more until one day, you'll be walking outside in the sunshine, feeling good, loving life and life loving you back, and you'll stop and realize that it's now your natural state. Can you imagine a better way to be?
If we are made of atoms and molecules, and they in turn from smaller particles which are empty space and energy, then what are we? Are we our thoughts?
Ever catch your mind in a mental loop, replaying some old story, an old hurt, the same pattern? Who are you? The thought or the observer of the thought?
If you're the observer, then what is the thought? Or are you a thought observing another thought?
Perhaps we're just biochemical storms within synaptic connections in a brain that evolved over millions of years. Or maybe there is an observer, a deeper self. No proof either way.
I'm fine with not knowing. I enjoy thinking about it, but mainly to remind myself that ultimately, everything is theory. I care about what works. What creates magic in my life.
This I know: the mind, left to itself, repeats the same stories, the same loops. Mostly ones that don't serve us. So what's practical, what's transformative, is to consciously choose a thought. Then practiceit again and again. With emotion,with feeling,with acceptance.
Lay down the synaptic pathways until the mind starts playing it automatically. Do this with enough intensity over time and the mind will have no choice. That's how it operates. Where do you think your original loops came from?
The goal, if there is one, is to practice until the thought you chose becomes the primary loop. Until it becomes the filter through which you view life. Then practice some more.
Sounds like work. Perhaps. But the nature of mind is thought. Choose one that transforms you, makes your life zing. The one I found, "I love myself," is the most powerful one I know. You might discover another. Regardless, please do it.
It is worth it.
This is the end of the excerpt. Kamal Ravikant’s approach is a bit different from the others. Authors will generally tell you to do it in the morning and/or at night and some will also to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones which are super important.
Kamal Ravikant wants us to choose a mantra and constantly use it through our waking hours till it sinks in. Now, you might think that it is crazy and impossible. I assure it is not albeit not easy it’s still very possible.
We have thoughts running through our minds all the time. The difference here is that we deliberately choose which thought we want to cultivate. In this case, it’s a singular thought.
Start now and repeat your mantra in a loop. You will see that it is not that hard. Of course, sometimes you lose yourself in the present moment and have no thoughts at all.
The important thing is to use it as soon as you are aware that thinking is coming. Of course, you have tasks that require you to think and it’s ok.
However, if you have space and within that space useless thinking comes to mind then you ought to repeat your mantra over and over again. It’s you taking control over the thoughts of your mind. It’s 100% achievable. It just requires a bit of discipline
- sebastien grynko