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Become the Best Version of Yourself is a book that aims to help people find the motivation to excel in key areas of their life and to find the motivation and consistency to start performing to ensure life-long success. My name’s Zach Berwick, and after ten years working in the health and fitness industry to help people improve their wellbeing, I wrote a book to put down on paper what I’ve learned to share with others.

I firmly believe that anyone can achieve greatness through hard work and discipline, and sometimes we need to be guided in the right direction or learn something new to excel in the areas where we lack knowledge or effort.

Over the next eight weeks, I will be writing about eight ways to prosper through these difficult times, and how we can increase our productivity to stay focused, even when we might be feeling low and like there isn’t an end in sight. I will be pulling out some key topics in my book, ‘Become the Best Version of Yourself’ to help you feel energised, content, and grateful so you wake up feeling optimistic and ready to take on your day.

We find ourselves in the middle of our third national lockdown, in a time where everything is backwards and uncertain, and we have very little say in what happens in our external life. When I say external, it’s because we seek many external factors to make us happy. These could be meeting up with friends, going skiing, taking a holiday or even going to the cinema. Right now, all of these things aren’t possible. However, one thing that hasn’t been taken away from us is how we treat ourselves and our mindset. This can be called your internal world.

Even when the external world that usually makes us happy is restricted, now is the time to look inwards and take this time to develop ourselves, to become better people, as we are never going to have as much free time as we do now. The excellent thing about this is that focusing on ourselves and improving key areas of our life can propel us forward and fill our mind and body up with a sense of satisfaction, that sometimes the external pleasures can’t usually give us.

These are five lessons that I learnt about getting through difficult times which helped me understand them better and start giving my best every day.


1 – Persistence matters more than anything

Your life has undoubtedly changed due to the pandemic in one way or another. You might have been furloughed, or your job has changed significantly, and this might have given you more time on your hands. But instead of sitting around watching Netflix, what other areas of life can you improve and excel? Don’t stop working on yourself just because one part of your life has changed.

Your wellbeing is essential at the moment, so be consistent with eating healthy, exercising, connecting with people, or any areas that you thoroughly enjoy but may have taken a back seat at the moment. Now is not the time to lay down your tools just because times are difficult. Persistence matters, and it doesn’t matter how skilled you are in a particular area, what matters is battling through the challenges that undoubtedly pop up along the way.

You might need to get creative with how you can carry on leading a healthy/happy lifestyle, but continuing to do the things you love will keep you focused and help you improve. Being persistent will make you feel invigorated, block out the doubt, and understand that everyone has bad days. What separates the successful people to the unsuccessful is they still show up and do the work every day, despite how they feel.


2 – Give everything or nothing

In times of hardship, it is natural for us to want to shut down and take defeat, but feelings of discomfort make us grow, and we have the choice to give absolutely everything or nothing. There is so much hope and excitement in knowing that you have given everything towards an area in your life and look forward to the results it will give you. It can be your fitness, connecting with a friend, learning about a new skill, or improving your finances.

If you see the hard in life as an opportunity, you will be too busy giving it your all to focus on the pandemic. You will be too busy to worry about what’s happening, as you’re occupied on working on your self-improvement. There are two sides to living a healthy/happy lifestyle at the moment. They are what you want or need to do to get there, and what you’re actually prepared to do to get it. If you don’t give everything at the moment, those two sides won’t match up. Just think about how your future self will react to you not using this time to work on one of your goals. Even in times of pain and hardship, use this as a driver to give everything.


3 – Get creative to solve problems

If things aren’t going the way you want them to, sometimes all it takes is a change of approach to get you back on the path to achieving what you want. Remember that you are not the only person going through this; we are all in the same boat.

Now is the time to get creative as the tools we used before to hit our goals might not be available to us at the moment. Just because the gyms are shut, this doesn’t mean you stop exercising entirely and sit around eating junk food all day. Change your approach to the way you work, the way you eat, the way you exercise, and how you interact with people. It might not be ideal for you, but at least you have found a way to keep working on your wellbeing. Reach out to people to ask them how they are still performing. They might open your mind and get you thinking differently. As you’re at home a lot, why not set yourself a challenge of cooking something new and healthy every night?

When you keep on track with your hobbies and goals through times of adversity, you will feel a greater sense of achievement at the end. Thinking in this problem-solving way helps you see through the facade that life can push upon you.


4 – The reward comes after you take responsibility

Life is different at the moment, and to set yourself free and accomplish great things, sometimes you will have to go through the process of being weighed down to come out of the other end a better person. Take full responsibility for your actions and your goals, even in times of uncertainty. When you take responsibility, it puts you in control and forces you to learn from your mistakes.

We may be in our third, and hopefully final lockdown, but it’s not too late to change how you have been acting during these times and get something positive out of it. Our time will soon be filled with the things we have been missing during these times, so take a moment to think about something you have always wanted to work on while you have more time on your hands. Then, take complete responsibility to make it happen.


5 – Embrace these times and feel grateful

There’s no better teacher in life than the bad times and the pain you will experience. Your hard times will teach you so much about yourself. Remember, you will soon come out of these times and understand the importance of them. There are so many things in our lives to be grateful for. We need to take a moment every day to cherish the things in our life that make us happy, even if we are restricted at the moment. You can still pick up the phone and speak to your friends and family. You have a roof over your head. You can still talk to a stranger when you go for a walk.

Remember the little things, and understand that these times will pass and one day be a memory. You will soon be the person you became during these times. Give yourself a break from worrying about the things you can’t control, and make the best out of your current situation. You will amaze yourself how you can turn your mindset around by still living to the full through tough times.