As we all search for ways of being better and improving ourselves. We sometimes do not take stock to think of exactly what it means to be ‘better’. I imagine that many people think of this in a very different way. Ultimately most successful people endeavour to be better people. Personal development I believe is at the core of improving your life. I personally have been on this journey for a while now and these are the tactics and strategies I have learned about how to become a better person.
Remove negative people and thoughts from your life.
They say that you are the product of 5 closest people you spend your time with. If you are finding that you are surrounded by negative people you have two choices. You confront those people about their negativity or you simply move on.
In the grand scheme of your life, it sounds kind of harsh to let go of long term relationships that you have had for a long time. The truth is these people are holding you back from being a better person. They feed negative thoughts and feelings.
The road to being a better person is being a positive and happy. I would also suggest removing the likes of news programs from your life. Typically they are filled with horrible stuff that happens in the world. It might sound like ignorance, but knowing this stuff does nothing for your mindset.
The other major zone of negativity is in social media. I wrote about how I quit Facebook and the benefits associated with that. It’s absolutely revolutionised my life. There are two other things that social media tend to do:
- Makes you have unrealistic expectations of your life by comparing to others.
- Get’s you on the hedonic treadmill in the search for validation and likes.
Practice gratitude daily.
Sometimes we can forget all the amazing things we have in our life. So a great tool on how to become a better person is practising daily gratitude and thankfulness for the things in your life. Having this sense of gratitude has many great benefits and the benefit of it is that it doesn’t cost you anything and doesn’t take up much of your time.
Personally, I do it in the last few moments before going to bed, I pick three things to be thankful for and just acknowledge them. It’s a great thing to do to embed these thoughts of happiness into your mind before you take to your slumber.
Being grateful is also great for your self-esteem. 1 It was shown that in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology that athletes who practised gratitude increased their self self-esteem. This self-esteem leads to greater confidence improving you as a person.
Always tell the truth.
In his is essay “Lying” Sam Harris eloquently delves into the subject of telling the truth. This is what led me down the path of being more aware of if I was ever straying off the path of honesty. It goes without saying that telling the truth as a value ultimately makes you a better person.
It has been shown to have many other benefits. By being candid in your everyday life you will build a sense of trust and respect. People appreciate honesty even if it’s not always the best of news. Through this respect, you will build better relationships and will lead to many other opportunities which will lead to personal growth.
When it comes down to it, lying can be some heavy baggage to carry through out life. As the old saying goes, honesty is the best policy. Telling the truth will be something that ends when you say it. Where as lying will be something that remains with you forever. Remove the weight and be honest all the time.
Don’t hold onto grudges. Practice forgiveness.
A grudge is mind poison.
It will breed negativity and make you a very resentful person and ultimately not that nice to be around.
While we must recognise the wrongs that happen to us. Learning how to forgive people will help you move on in life. Holding grudges keeps you in a state of holding onto negativity of the past rather than moving on with life.
Learn that forgiving someone is not necessarily letting someone off the hook for doing something wrong to you. It is acknowledging that something has happened and moving on.
Remember forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving, but for you. Resentment and grudges will not make you a better person.
Forgive, move forward and be present in today and not these past events that have caused you harm. The reality is you can’t change what has happened but you mould what is happening now by being present in the moment.
Always be yourself.
A better person equals be yourself, all the time. Yes, we mould ourselves depending on the social situation but ideally, we shouldn’t stray too far from the path when it comes to being your genuine self.
Most of the time if people fear being their true self it is due to confidence and not feeling adequate. But how is this going to make you a better person? Pretending to be something you are not is not going to help.
While you may fear being judged. The reality is most people don’t really think about you at all. Most people are genuine absorbed in themselves. Maintaining false identities is a lot of work and back to point 3, always be truthful. This also includes being yourself.
When you become comfortable with being you and loving yourself for who you are this will transpose to confidence and people being attracted to you. Everyone know that confident person who is a magnet for love. Thats because they comfortable with their fabulous selves and people are naturally attracted to confident people.
The last point on this is back to point 1 and who you surround yourself with. If someone doesn’t like you for your true self well it means you were never really compatible. Be you, enjoy you and find the right people who like being around you. The world is a much happier and fun place in this equilibrium.
Have an open mind and be open to change.
We all know that dogmatic person stuck in their ways. It’s far from endearing right? Having an open mind about all topics is well and truely a skill in todays socially polarising world. We have many people who have fixed views on the world and find it hard to be open to other ideas.
You, my friend, can be the opposite of this horrible trend and have an open mind and be willing to change your opinion on things. As Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
You win no medals by having fixed views and inability to consume new information. Be open to different ideas and opinions that challenge your own way of thinking. In fact, when holding a certain opinion it usually helps to understand the other side of that opinion better than those that hold it.
Sometime by taking this technique it can help form a balanced view of the world. Ultimately you will be better for it as having the ability to adapt to an ever changing world will indeed lead to you becoming a better person.
Exercise regularly and eat well.
Taking care of your body is a no brainer. This body we were born with doesn’t come with spare parts, it’s the only one we have. We need to look after this bad boy for 85 years on average. So simply take care of it.
Everyone knows that regular exercise, a combination of cardio and resistance training will help with your overall health. This obviously will lead to you becoming a better person.
A fit and healthy you leads to a confident you. I have been both overweight and out of shape and fit as a fiddle in shape. The reality is a healthy and fit body will always lead to a happier you.
I’m definitely not in the camp of fat-shaming, but studies show a correlation between obesity and the risk of depression. In fact, it is a staggering 55 per cent greater risk of developing depression in your life if you are obese. 2
Look after your body and it will help look after you mind.
Coupled in with the above. Let’s not forget about eating a healthy diet. The combination of a lack of exercise and overconsumption of poor calories is leading to an obesity epidemic.
Choose your food wisely but don’t overdo it. You should treat yourself now and then. Just don’t overdo it.
It is a fairly simple formula, exercise regularly and eat well.
Be a good listener.
Becoming a good listener is one of those habits that is basically a superpower to becoming a better person. The first part of this process is to identify that you may be indeed someone with poor listening skills. Trust me, learn to listen and you will see the change instantly.
I used to be a TERRIBLE listener. In fact, I used to talk over people all the time until I kept on receiving feedback about it and realised I had to change.
Being a good listener takes effort but it will extremely rewarding. You will find that you will get great relationships and cooperation from other people. People will actually pay more attention to you as a reaction to your good listening skills.
You will find it easier to build trust. Ultimately building trusted relationships is a measure of how good of a person you are. This will, in turn, make you an amazing problem solver as you will understand people more and they will have the confidence in you to get to resolutions quicker.
Surprisingly people will perceive you as someone who is cool headed. Being a listener and non reactionary gives off a feeling of being in control and not reactive.
Finally being a good listener will give you the confidence as you will build positive relationships from this superpower of listening. If there was one thing that I would suggest out of this list on how to become a better person, it would be learning to be a good listener.
Help others and shower them with love.
Giving and loving others without any want of expectation is one of the most powerful things you can do as a person. This no doubt makes you a better person because ultimately you are giving without the expectation of getting anything back.
The reality though is if you did expect something back this wouldn’t actually be love.
Loving others has many great benefits associated with it. Naturally to love brings people joy. Joy make us happy and leads to heightened sense of confidence.
They often say the cure to not feeling loved and loneliness is to give unabashed amounts of love to others. I believe the world works in circular waves and giving love is an antidote for loneliness. As the amount of love naturally will return, EVEN if you’re not expecting it.
Helping others as well, just for the sake of wanting to help has a similar effect. I think the simple rule to life and how to become a better person is not to expect anything back in return.
You owe nobody anything and nobody owes you. If you want to give, give for the sake of it and not for something in return. The path of expectation leads to resentment and grudges and we’ve already gone over those areas.
Give love, help others, with no expectation. You will be better off for it.
Be a continuous learner.
There are two major mindsets, the fixed and the growth mindset. The growth mindset is simply someone who believes that they are able to learn new things and in turn become better people.
Where as those with the fixed mindset believe that their mindsets are fixed and they are what they are.
A combination of harnessing a growth mindset and learning new things continuously will definitely make you a better person. Whether that’s learning new skills, gaining new knowledge through reading or courses.
Whatever it may be. Be someone who is always learning and on the path of personal development as ultimately this will make you a better person.
Knowledge is a powerful thing. Being more knowledgeable and always developing will have another added benefit of becoming more confident as well.
Always own your mistakes.
This one is simple. Own your mistakes. When you get something wrong, own it. When you hurt somebody, own it. Don’t make excuses or blame others.
Own your mistakes, people will forgive you if you admit your wrongs. People will respect you for you honesty. You will feel better for owning it.
None of us are perfect. It is ok to make mistakes. I think most good people live by this rule. So own it and while hurting someone is not necessarily making you a better person. Being someone who owns it will.