The following is a short list of some core beliefs I hold. These are things I have not always known–in fact, most of these I’ve learned over the last couple of years. They are beliefs I hold, wholeheartedly, though I find that I must consciously remind myself of them. Living by them in every action I take is the ideal, not the reality.

It’s a constant struggle to embody these beliefs through my actions consistently. Every time I find myself acting against them, I pull myself back, and that is where the growth happens. I get closer to the ideal every time I pull myself back and remind myself why I believe these things and why I’ve decided to act in accordance with them.

1. My own judgement is more valuable than that of others.

Even if my judgement is wrong, it is more important to value my judgement first, take it into consideration, and work hard to develop it. Of course other people have valuable opinions and judgement. Often, the judgement of others actually proves to be more insightful than mine. But still, I must value my judgement first.

By giving my own judgement a fighting chance before accepting the thoughts of another person to be true, I am regarding myself as confident, competent and capable, and so I act that way.

2. Taking care of my body takes care of my mind.

When I’m feeling un-motivated or down, it’s usually because my mind is working too much and my body isn’t working enough. Giving my mind a break by exercising, even for 5 minutes, is enough to stabilize my mind.

Sometimes when I feel sluggish, it feels inevitable. I might eat fast-food because I don’t feel like expending the effort to cook, and I might sit still all day without moving around because I don’t feel like doing so. But when I force myself to make a change in my physiology, I feel better. I get energized.

The food I eat and the exercise I do cause vitality, happiness and motivation, not the other way around.

3. I am who I think I am.

Self-image creates self. The way I perceive myself in my own head ends up being the way I act and project myself in the real world. When I feel like I’m on top of the world, the people around pick up on it and me see me that way. If I feel incompetent and stupid, I will act as such.

4. Motion solves everything.

Motion, hustle, and change all drive happiness, purpose, and fulfillment. The more you defer action and plan, strategize, and think, the more you will feel stuck. A healthy amount of thinking is necessary, but only think so that you can act. Do not get stuck. Move. Go. Try. Start. That is the nature of life.

5. Questions drive progress.

Questions are what the greatest thinkers of all time used to drive them. They were insatiably curious, and they had a deep hunger to find answers. Once they found answers, they instantly came up with more questions to pursue.

The people with all the answers are not the ones who drive humanity forward. The people who drive humanity forward are the ones who take questions seriously.

6. Half attempts never work.

If I’m going to do something, I better do it completely. Committing can be difficult, because when you commit to doing something fully, you give up every other possible thing you could be doing instead. But if you wait to commit, you’re not actually experiencing anything. All you’re doing is viewing all the options as possibilities that don’t actually exist. If you’re going to dive at all, dive as deep you can.

7. Don’t fake reality.

There is always an underlying truth. We lie to ourselves and lie to others sometimes without even knowing it. Pure honesty is hard, but like most difficult things, it is worth it. Wherever truth is, seek it. Don’t settle for anything less. A seemingly perfect life is much worse than a raw and imperfect one.

8. Nothing really matters.

Everything in life is a game. That girl you’re afraid to talk to, that business you’re afraid to start, that thing you’re afraid to tell your family. None of it matters in the end. Stop taking it so seriously. The worst case scenario is never as bad as you think it is. Have fun and stop worrying so much.

“Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s going to die.”

~Rick & Morty