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Arete: be all that you can be

Updated on February 10, 2012
Young bride walks through the forest, unaware of what fate awaits her. Be fearless.
Young bride walks through the forest, unaware of what fate awaits her. Be fearless. | Source

Does chasing after the attention of others lead you to fall on your face? Then start following your own path.

Arete: Greek, for excellence of any kind.

What does that mean? When it comes to love, the only kind you should focus on is love for yourself. But doesn't that sound selfish? No. Every day you should be taking steps to accomplish your goals. Become a better person. Lose weight if you're overweight. Work out if you're not toned. Eat healthy, and become balanced. Emotionally, be at peace with all you are. Don't like something about yourself? Change it. Take the negative aspects of your life out of the equation, and replace them with positive, helpful changes.

So what is self-love?

Before you can love anyone else, you have to love yourself first. To "be all that you can be" means that you will have to take steps to improve who you are as a human being. A person needs to be "complete" before they can be a compliment to anyone else's life. How can you test if you aren't complete? Ask yourself if you need someone in your life to be happy or are you happy on your own?

Jerry Maguire had it all wrong. No one can "complete us."

Become aware of yourself, and love each and every facet what makes you unique. Your personal development involves your soul, emotions, physical health, and finding a true love connection.

So where do you start?

Easy. Do what you love. What are you passionate about? What are your favorite things to do in your free time? What is it that makes you feel special (without someone telling you how beautiful you are)? When your focus in life is to please yourself above pleasing others, you are well on your way to finding your "happy place," and being Arete.

Maybe you like gardening, and seeing flowers you planted weeks before starting to bloom. Do it. Perhaps you like brushing a blank canvas with broad, heavy strokes of vibrant colors, creating emotions through a painting. DO IT. What about spending an hour on yourself meditating through yoga, or taking a hike through the woods to reflect on life? What is stopping you? How do you feel when you get there and are standing at the peak looking down at the clearing, taking in the majestic view? Pretty damn good, right? So go there, and feel pretty damn good!

Guys: if making lots of money is your measure of success, drop it. Success is how happy you are with your life. Any woman you want to please will see that, and love you for it. If she doesn't, she's not worth keeping around.

The lesson today: Love begins when you look inside yourself. Being "all that you can be" is the jumping board to becoming Arete, or great at everything in life. When you look in the mirror, do you love who you see? You should. And if you don't, then you have a lot of work to do.

Patience | Source

Quotes to inspire you to become "all that you can be":

  • "Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is." - Vince Lombardi
  • "The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose." - Michel de Montaigne
  • "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." - Yogi Berra
  • "There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something." - Henry Ford
  • "To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: 'Leave no stone unturned.'" - Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • "First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." - Epictetus
  • "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky
  • "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson
  • "Try not to become a man of success but a man of value." - Albert Einstein
  • "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
  • "Men's best successes come after their disappointments." - Henry Ward Beecher

Love what you see in the mirror.
Love what you see in the mirror. | Source

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    • wonderful1 profile image

      Sheila Varga Szabo 6 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks, Caroline. One of my favorite things to say, is that Jerry Maguire was wrong: no one can "complete you." If you aren't a whole person on your own, then no one can "fill you up." That is "relationships 101."

      Thanks for the comment, and I hope you stop by again.

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 6 years ago

      Hi Sheila great article. I totally agree with that you need to love yourself first before anyone or you won't know how to love anyone else.

    • fjones0052 profile image

      fjones0052 6 years ago from Washington State

      I agree that it is a life-long battle. But I believe it is a battle that deserves to be fought, and won. Talk to anyone who enjoys the psychology of sports. Winning and losing can become habit. Being naturally creatures of habit, we conform to become comfortable, that is when complacency forms.We are definitly forged in the crucible of childhood experience. I am a believer in the 50/50 nature/nurture school of thought.

      I have found the urge to please is strong in women especially. I like to remember the words of flight stewardesses when they are explaining if cabin pressure drops. Help yourself then help those around you. If someone is drowning and you can't swim, don't jump in to try to save them. I feel at times that the brain is the most under-utilized organ in the body. There are no dumb people, just people who have given up.

      I have to disagree with the wise words. They are experienced words. If I was wise, I would have learned from others experience and not had to make the mistakes myself.

    • wonderful1 profile image

      Sheila Varga Szabo 6 years ago from Southern California

      Wise words, fjones. So true. I've learned that breaking the cycle of past mistakes means to stop doing the Instanity quote (expecting different results from doing the same thing), and try a different approach. And yes, it's hard as heck to recondition yourself from a life-long habit (most likely learned from your childhood). Valuing yourself: for me, that's something I struggle with. I know I should, and have confidence, but because of social acceptance/parental bias/experiences, I have a hard time fighting the urge to please others above making choices that benefit myself. It's a really hard line to draw boundaries of being self-worthy or selfish. I'm still in the process of figuring it all out.

      But we are all under construction (spiritually speaking), so you are never "done" growing in life.

      Thanks for the thought-provoking comments, fjones. My mind is rejuvenated! He he he.

    • fjones0052 profile image

      fjones0052 6 years ago from Washington State

      Sheila, very good words. If you cannot love yourself, or rather value yourself, no one else is going to. I have to disagree with one idea. If you do not have a habit of valuing yourself, it is not easy. Generally, whenever a person wants to better themself, and I do believe that it includes learning to see that you have value, it requires the tearing down of old habits and thoughts and forging new ones. That is very scary for most people, because it is a new way of thinking. I don't think that most people have a solid foundation as children to be brave in facing the fact that you do have value. I also feel that having a base to value yourself is an experiential thing. You also mature through your experiences, and maturity brings new perspectives.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

      Sheila! Not time to sleep yet?

    • wonderful1 profile image

      Sheila Varga Szabo 6 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Rick, for the kind words, and keeping me grounded. You are top notch.

      With that said, I believe I'm overdue for new artwork. Catch me if you can. ;)

    • profile image

      Poetic Fool 6 years ago

      Sheila, you are wise beyond your years. There is much wisdom in this hub we could all glean from. Also, your artwork is awesome. I do hope you continue to pursue that and share more with us!

    • vector7 profile image

      vector7 6 years ago

      Lol, haven't got to read yet,will soon though. Your "spunk" caught my eye. Thx for the giggle.. lol, can't wait to read. :)


    • wonderful1 profile image

      Sheila Varga Szabo 6 years ago from Southern California

      Love what you wrote, Lord, and just call me "Sheila" like you always do. It's so sexy. Sorry just being honest. Keep coming back to visit me, it makes my day (or night in this case). Thanks for stopping by, and your gracious words. Hubba Hubba... ;)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

      Very Good! Wonderful1,

      You have mature expectations and that is a gift..a self given gift. I like your hubs, and besides writing, I love to read about people and the stories behind them. I love what I do, and I'm Happy with that. Those Quotes are excellent! Thansk my friend for taking your time. I'm happy for you too.