Earlier this year I had a girl ask me how much I would rate her out of ten in physical appearance. I didn’t want to give her a number. And there was a good reason why.
It’s because I knew that if you were to put one hundred guys and one hundred girls all on the beach together, and ask them to rate each other physically, they would come up with all sorts of different numbers. Some people like tattoos, some don’t. Some like brunettes, some like blondes. It is very subjective.
And by being asked this question, I realised something.
If rating appearance is subjective, and we can choose any number we wish, then why don’t we simply choose to rate ourselves a ten out of ten? Since we are the one giving the rating, there is no reason why we can’t choose this.
So I suggested that she rate herself a 10/10 rather than seek other’s opinions.
And because this made complete sense to me, I decided to follow my own advice. I decided to try rating myself a 10/10 too.
I looked in the mirror. I wasn’t blind, I saw the wrinkles. I saw what I thought were imperfections. But I choose to rate myself a 10 anyway. I persisted. I kept trying to see a 10.
It finally clicked.
My wrinkles weren’t wrinkles anymore, they were smile lines, collections of experiences. I started to not only see the physical elements but also the energy that was inside. I saw myself in a new light. I saw me.
It is hard to explain. But there was nothing egotistical to it. Try it for yourself. When you get there you will know it. It feels more like gratitude. You are simply happy to be you. It is pure acceptance. Not just of your physical looks, but of all that you are.
And I have to admit, it felt great.
This feeling stayed with me throughout the day. And as it did, I knew that it didn’t matter whether everyone else thought the same way about me. Because on subjective things, it is pretty much impossible for everyone to agree.
But I did take comfort in knowing that statistically there would have to be people out there, in this world of billions, that would agree with me. That to some girls I am just their type. Which is great as this is the type of girl I wanted to attract anyway. And all I had to do was be myself. Simple.
My experiment gave me such contentment that I decided to rate everything about myself a 10/10. My entire life. And suddenly I was instantly happy with these parts too.
Weeks passed and I wasn’t able to shake my high. I was no longer trying to be someone, I simply was. I was no longer trying to get somewhere, I was already there.
I know a lot of people will think ‘but if I rate myself and my life so highly, then I won’t have any desire to get better’. And it is true that you will no longer desire to ‘get better’ in the sense that you have to desperately fill some void that is missing. Instead you will achieve great things and put effort into them simply because now you value and appreciate them so much. You won’t try to ‘get better’, but instead will grow naturally.
Let me explain. Have you noticed that when you feel and look physically great it is easier to get motivation to go the gym? When you are in this state, the last thing you feel like doing is something that will tarnish it. You want to continue with this trajectory. When you feel great, when you look great, you then do things which reflect this belief.
Likewise, if your partner tells you that you are a perfect lover, doesn’t this make you want to put even more effort into this area? To please this person even more? To see what other greatness can be uncovered with them?
When you love your life and it feels on track, you actually want to keep heading in this direction. Because you are enjoying the process and are excited to see what else it will bring.
So you don’t need to focus on becoming “better”. Instead, you will simply do things because you value them, because you love the process and enjoy seeing what new greatness can be uncovered, in all of its many forms.
You may have read between the lines that I am spreading a message here: You are already perfect. And it is true. There is no destination, you are already there. There is simply a journey to be enjoyed. Just as a seed is as perfect as the tree it becomes, you can be happy with yourself and your life at all stages of development. For all of life’s stages are just different forms of this one greatness.
That is what I discovered. But then I found something really surprising….
I discovered that after a while I actually stopped rating things.
I stopped rating myself as I already knew that my own positive regard was unconditional. I stopped rating my life, I no longer had to. My life was more than just a number.
I also stopped rating the world around me and getting annoyed whenever it didn’t live up to my expectations. In fact, whilst I remained open to receiving things that I desired, in a certain sense I stopped having expectations. As expectations place conditions on the world, myself, my life. Instead, I simply loved everything unconditionally.
And then I discovered one of the greatest insights of all: When you are open to the world and no longer try to cage it by expecting it to fulfil your limited view of perfection, its true beauty is revealed. That life is about uncovering the greatness which already exists.