What are the 3 L’s in Life? Why is it important? Because finding my 3 L’s has helped me gain a slight grasp on self-actualization. No, my 3 L’s aren’t “Live, Love, Laugh” that has been sewn on pillows without much explanation. Through explaining my 3 L’s, I want to help you to find your 3 L’s that will be significant to you. Once you find them, you can change mindsets easily, discover hidden strengths, and escape unhelpful patterns.
Everyone has had a fabulous day, a good day, a meh day, and a the-whole-world-is-out-to-destroy-you day. But sometimes, terrible days are actually great days in disguise.
For example, I realized I had depression and anxiety the extremely hard way; after years of pushing every unhappy thought to the back of my mind, everything came crashing down after graduation. Great timing huh? I was so excited to be living in a new city, on my own, with a rewarding job. Emotions I deemed “bad” or “unnecessary” for 20+ years – anger, sadness, anxious, fear, uncertainty- dropped on me like the Eiffel Tower. I had hit rock bottom.
The First L
I climbed up from rock bottom by loving my reflection for the first time. Not just loving my achievements, but loving my emotions, even the terrible ones. So, my first L is LOVE: I love the bad experiences because that’s how I found my strength; I love my faults because that’s how I grew better;
I even love the toxic people in my life because, without them, I wouldn’t cherish those that support me.
(Sorry, sometimes cheesiness is unavoidable.)
Even though my first “L” is love, I am expanding its meaning to include loving the terrible experiences, the not-so-good people and the not-so-perfect parts of yourself.
Task: For your first L, write down what you love about yourself, what are some "flaws" that you struggle to love.
The Second L
After accepting my flaws, my second L came: LEARN. “Love” came before “Learn” because being able to love when times are hard, is when your mind is truly open to new opportunities. Without going through depression and anxiety, I wouldn’t have discovered my hidden strengths: my resilience, perseverance, power and passion.
I wouldn’t have felt this level of self-love and acceptance without once hating everything that I thought was wrong with me.
I learned that what I hated, in a certain light, was what made me good. I hated my faults- but this means I have goals for personal development. I hated my anger- but this shows my drive and passion to change. I absolutely hated my sadness- but this means that I care.
Task: Look at your list again and focus on the ones you don't like about yourself or you wish you did. Find ways to turn them into motivators or strengths. Cross out the old list one by one.
The Last L
Finally, the last L, the one that I never thought I’d be able to do, is LEAP.
After dealing with the emotional backlog for the past twenty something years, I am ready to LEAP into everything I am excited for and scared of.
Before, I only improved in areas that I felt “safe” like my career because I focused on supporting others, not myself. Now, I look forward to experiences that involve emotional growth, in additional to intellectual and physical.
Task: Look at the list that once contained things you don't like about yourself, but wish you did. See how it changed from a negative to a positive. Now, draw arrows from each of them and turn them into new experiences and goals to look forward to.
So, how will MY experiences help you? Well, you can stick to the “Live, Laugh, Love” without much thought or emotion. OR expand that comfort zone, dive into hidden feelings and find your own 3 L’s. By finding your 3 L’s, you understand your thought and emotional patterns, and see where they usually take you – for better or worse. Once you know the patterns, you can add to it, change it or completely throw it out and make a new one.
The main point is that to know who you are…
- Don’t be afraid to find biases or faults, no matter how shameful you think they are.
- Acknowledge and accept them to truly grow.
- Love the great, the terrible and everything in between to find untapped opportunities.
- Find 3 or more ACTIONABLE WORDS to carve into your mind so when everything and everyone seem to fail you, you never fail yourself.
Sometimes you think getting from rock bottom to the top is light years away, when really, all you have to do is stand up.
Good luck and may your force be with you. 🙂