7 Easy Steps To Becoming A Better Human Being
The other day I got to thinking about New Years’ Resolutions and the reality of each, no matter the specifics. Overall, resolutions for the new year begin with the idea that whatever it is you are committing to will improve some aspect of your life and should you stick with it — it will make you an overall more pleasant person to be around. The subliminal message in all of this is that we, as humans, crave improvement when it comes to our own existence. We all want to be better people and are naturally attracted to the things we feel will fuel this growth. It is also the human in us that allows us to fall out of routine, ultimately breaking those same promises to ourself so what gives?
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The more I thought about it, the more I realized that each and every one of us is capable of being a truly remarkable human being. And if this is true, I knew there had to be a simpler way to execute on this goal sooner rather than later. So below is a list of 7 things we, as people, can start doing today that can lead us in the direction of incredible:
Compliment Yourself (And Be Yourself)
Kindness breeds kindness, but it truly begins with yourself. If we are our own worst critics, then we are the basis for how we will potentially treat others. Do not negate self-awareness as it relates to areas of self-improvement, but do relish in the things that are lovely about your existence. Each morning when you wake up, look in the mirror and tell yourself all of the things you appreciate about who you are — the things you are proud of. Even inspirational speaker, Tony Robbins, admits to having a mantra he says aloud to himself most days to get himself in a peak performance state.
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By complimenting yourself on a regular basis, you become more familiar with who you are as a person. The more time you spend focusing on your own existence, the easier it becomes to align yourself with your personal values and beliefs, establish your identity, build courage, create boundaries, and find focus and direction. Each of these things fused together creates you.
Know When To Say You’re Sorry (and when to forgive)
Admitting we’re wrong sucks and that’s something we can all admit, but there is something to be said about a person who is self-aware enough and brave enough to say they are sorry for the wrongdoing they have done. Regardless of the size and depth of impact, if there is a reason to apologize, know when to say it and make sure you do.
Joyce Marter shared in an interview where she suggests you forgive and let go of the resentment that, “If for no other reason than for yourself, forgive to untether yourself from the negative experiences of the past. Take time to meditate, and give thanks for the wisdom and knowledge gained from your suffering. Practice the mantra, ‘I forgive you and I release you.’” Though religious in nature, we can all learn a little something from her perspective.
You can read more about the inverview here.
Whether it’s opening the door for a stranger with their hands full, helping an elderly person cross the street, or offering to carry in the groceries for a relative when they get home, the act of helping is by far the easiest and most effective way to become a better person.
Listen To Others
It is essentially effortless to talk to other people, especially when we get on the topic of ourselves, but what about those moments where listening is most important? It’s one thing to hear what another person is telling you, but to listen takes real effort, but it is one of the warmest feelings to know that a person paid attention to the things said.
As Jeet Banerjee noted on Lifehack, “listening to people and giving everyone a voice is one of the greatest things you can do.” He adds that he “got to meet some of the most amazing people, close some of the biggest deals, and develop connections that will last me a lifetime all because I took time to listen to people. Being a good listener can change your life in a positive manner.”
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As Ellen Degeneres would have it, “Be Kind To One Another.” Though some make it more difficult to do so than others, being kind is something we should all make the effort to be. I have shared in earlier posts that I am always striving to be the kind of person I want to meet because regardless of its nature, energy is contagious. That being said, I’d like the energy I bring into a room to be one that is bright and constructive. If you have ever been greeted by a kind person, you know that just a single moment in their presence can help heal the wounds an unkind person before them may have left.
Worry Less So You Can Love More
Worrying requires a tremendous amount of our emotional and mental energy. If we are worrying, we cannot be happy. While it is entirely natural to have worrying thoughts, each should be short-lived and offer very little impact on the rest of your day. When we worry less, we are able to make room for more positive emotions, such as love and gratitude.
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“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.” ~Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara (“Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life)
Enjoy Every Day As If It’s Your Last (Because it very well could be)
In today’s climate, it is anyone’s guess when our time in this life will end. Regardless of your belief in what happens when our clock has run out of time, there is always the chance that tomorrow will never come for some. Keeping this thought in the back of our minds as the foundation for how we choose to live out our daily lives is an important part of becoming a better person. When we live our days as if we could run out at any moment, we are likely to take greater risks, do more of what we love, and seize each and every moment we get. In doing each of these things, we inevitably become happier beings.
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