Self-help expert and author, Stephen Richards, once said, “you are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.”
The better person you are, the better people, life situations and opportunities you will attract in your life. This is no mystery; there is no need for complex mathematical equations to understand this. What you give, you simply get back. Yet, in the fast-paced, egocentric world we live in today, it is easy for us to lose ourselves in this mediocre life.
We all want better lives, yet very few of us show much interest in being better people. I’ve worked in catering for the past six years of my life and man, the amount of arrogant and rude customers I’ve met in my entire career as a server, is outstanding. I GET IT - Often times, in the rush to achieve things, what might otherwise be used to flourish one’s character into becoming a better, more decent human being, becomes lost to selfishness and ambition.
BUT, do you ever reflect back and think about how you could’ve approached a situation differently? Like, not make fun of that one person just because he/she followed a tremendously different lifestyle than yours? Or not lash out at your loved ones simply because you had a horrible day at work?
Well, it’s a new year and with a new year, comes new chances. So, here are some tips you could put into practice on the path to becoming a more likeable, better person this year.
1. Be respectful
Learn to value other people’s perspectives, efforts, time and space. Put yourself into someone else’s shoe and ask yourself how you would want to be treated if you were that person - don’t cut in lines, don’t leave your thrash for someone else to clean, don’t discriminate, and words, such as, “please” and “thank you” come along way.
2. Be thankful
No matter how difficult life may be at a given moment in time, there is always something to be thankful for. You can always have more, but you could also have less, so appreciate all that you have, because somewhere, someone else is having it much worse than you.
3. Become a better listener
Stop yapping and start listening. Listen intently to your friends, parents, coworkers etc. Show people on the other side of the line that you are empathetic and that you care about what they have to say. Don’t always fall into the trap of being the talker.
4. Listen to your body
Your body is your temple. It breathes for you and pumps blood for you just so it could keep you alive. Learn to listen to your body’s signals. Are you feeling gross all the time or overly tired? Do you feel stressed? Maybe its time you cut down on too much junk food and processed food and ate healthily and exercised more often. Go for a walk or a jog. Put that bicycle to use and go cycling or get a gym membership. Socialise, take time for fun doing activities, spend more time with friends who make you feel good and allow other people to help you with tasks.
5. Learn to say no
Do you ever feel like you have too much on your hands, but find it hard to deny something to others? Saying yes to a task when the timing is not right, will only add extra stress to your life. Don’t sacrifice your own happiness. Being stressed will only make your life and the life of everyone around you miserable. Learn to say ‘no’ when the time is not right and ‘yes’ only when you are able to or truly agree with carrying on the task.
6. Learn to say yes
Stop turning down your friends and family invites to parties, movies and dinners. Don’t fall into the trap of shrinking back or opting out from situations. Don’t sit and stew at home. Saying ‘no’ to everything is only a product of wallowing in one’s own misery. Be positive. Get up, go out and live.
7. Give your all
Whether it is school or work, just give it your all. It’s my final year of University and often times I feel like giving up, but then I think to myself why give up now after all these years of hard work? Just give your all, then whatever happens, happens. Whatever the outcome it is not the end of the world. Remember, that you only teach yourself better by really trying.
8. Broaden your horizons
Go out and explore, do something you’ve never done before. Explore a foreign land, go to random festivals, try a new sport, learn a new language, learn how to play an instrument, take an art class or go to dance lessons - It’s never too late to do anything. Broadening your horizons will allow you to grow, because you experience something new.
9. Unplug yourself from the electronic leash
Stop being so distracted and disconnected to the real world. Put your smartphones, iPads and laptops away and really connect to what is going on around you. Go to nature, enjoy the sunshine, spend more quality time with your loved ones and engage in more face-to-face interactions.
10. Help somebody
Whether giving up your seat to an elderly person on the bus, sharing an umbrella with a stranger on a very rainy day, helping someone carry his or her belongings, or assisting a coworker with a project, helping others is one of the most effective ways to become a better person. Helping will not only brighten up your day, but the day of everyone else around you.
11. Be accepting
Stop being so angry, hateful and judgmental all the time. Hate and anger will only make life harder for you and the people around you. Wouldn’t life be more peaceful for everyone if everyone simply accepted one another? In a world of almost 7 trillion people, how can you expect everyone to share the same beliefs and viewpoints as you? Learn to accept others for who they are, with their differences. Gay, straight, black, white, atheist, religious- at the end of the day, we are all human. So accept.
Are you a good person? No doubt. Can you be a better person, however? Yes. In order to be a better person and to have a better life, change is needed. Change can be scary, but why not embrace it? Life can't be lived between the walls of our comfort zone. Everyone should want to be a better person. We have a finite amount of time on this Earth, so why not make it as pleasant as possible for ourselves and everyone else around us? If everyone tried to be better, everything would be better. Think about it.