“Your best days are not behind you. They’re in front of you.”
I’m going to start this blog post with an experience I had about 2 years ago with a friend. Let’s call her Pamela, for the sake of the story.
Now, I’m the kind of person who has to cook when she must.
But in this particularly special occassion, I was hosting a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in more than 10 years. I invited her for lunch which I was going actually going to cook – gasp!
Now my friend is a very successful person who reached heights in her career that she never thought she would get to.
She was thankful for where she was, but there was something tugging at her, something in her conscience that simply was not allowing her to be happy.
She told me something very profound that I’ll never forget.
“There’s someone I see, a better me… someone who is living a fulfilled life, who is much healthier, who is much happier than I am right now. Sometimes I just don’t know how to reach her.”
When I heard that, my mental gears started up.
I wondered how many of us feel this way. How many of us know there is a version of us that that is significantly better than who we are right now but we are constantly in the way of this higher version?
In the website Life Optimizer, the author states that if you are not striving everyday to become a better person, then you relegate yourself to living a comfortable life, and as you know, there is no growth in comfort. (Check out the blogpost for more information on self improvement. http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2010/05/27/being-a-better-you/)
So how do you become a better you?
In this post I want to share 17 ways you can be a better you. Practical, simple but powerful ways that will lead you to the next level of you!
- Practise 10 Minutes Of Silence Each Day
Actually this is a fantastic way to start your day each morning. Lifehack.org has a detailed article about why observing silence, even for a short period is so good for us. Benefits include regenerated brain cells, relief of stress and tension, replenishes our cognitive functions (e.g. reading faster, interpreting information better, etc.)
- Plan Every Day
You will feel the most fulfilled when your days are productive. When you execute the activities in your day the way you wanted to, even if you didn’t get the chance to because of other obligations, at the very least, you will feel awesome about the fact that you did one thing to inch closer to a bigger goal or vision you have.
Plan your days because:
- It helps you feel competent and increase your self-confidence.
- It makes you significantly more productive when there is order in your day
- It will help you determine which activities need to be prioritized more than others
- At the end of each week, you can review everything you did and realize just how much further you have gone, and that you are becoming a better you today than you were yesterday
- Perform Random Acts of Kindness
There is no greater feeling than making someone else’s day. Simple deeds like
- offering a complement to someone you don’t know,
- buying coffee for a stranger,
- making someone smile,
- doing a chore for someone without them knowing,
- Saying “thank you”
Whatever it may be, there is no doubt that a small random act of kindness on a consistent basis will make you a better you. So if you haven’t done it yet, proceed to make someone’s day with a R.A.K!
- Have Lots More Fun
When was the last time you voluntarily and excitedly did something that you have always wanted to do, but for one reason or another, have not been able to?
- You don’t have the time
- You don’t have the resources
- You have no one to go with you
Sometimes we over-complicate and overthink things, finding reasons why we should not get out of our comfort zones. Then we allow one year after another pass us by without having done something truly memorable.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, or even cost money.
Simply do something that means the world to you, invite someone you love if you would like to experience it with you, and you are off to the races!
It can be a random road trip, have a picnic in the park, make awesome kites with your kids and take them on a “test fly”, go for a karaoke night, watch a play, you name it, then do it!
- Learn Something New
If you want to become a better you, it will mean improving your skill set. This will work best if learning is something truly meaningful to you and you are committed to it.
- Learn a new language,
- learn how to cook,
- learn how to ride a bicycle,
- learn how to swim,
- learn the history of your family, from your father, or your mother or your grandparents if you are blessed to still have them in your life,
- go back to school and learn a new subject, or take an online course in a subject that will be of great value to you
Being empowered with new knowledge you can use is a sure way of becoming a better you!
- Prioritize Those You Love
If there are people who you love who you are neglecting, please, make time for them. Reach out by calling them, paying them a visit and giving them the most precious commodity you have: your time.
Spending time with those you love is a cathartic experience, and it offers some deeply fulfilling soul nourishment that you may have been craving.
- Laugh More
I’m the uptight type sometimes. I take myself too seriously. So I do my best to constantly remind myself that if I want to be a better person, then I better lighten up more.
Laughing at yourself is much more than just laughing. It is a way to command your ego by letting it know that you are not afraid of being vulnerable, which really frees you and allows you to move through many difficult situations with a lot less friction with yourself and with others.
So the next time someone says something to you that could potentially offend or hurt you, in that very moment, become conscious of your thoughts and remind yourself that you don’t have to go down the Road of Rage!
- Read Meaningful Books
You don’t have to become a historian or anything. Just read more about subjects you are passionate about.
Your interests and passions are a direct reflection of who you are, so why not read up on them? You just might discover something new and profound about yourself, which of course, will make you a better you.
- Start The Process Of Forgiveness
I say start the process, because I felt it was better than saying “forgive”.
It is not easy.
It is not easy to let go of pain that was either inflicted on you or that you inflicted about someone.
But if you are in a place right now where you are carrying the burden of your past and you have grown tired and weary, then it means that you can muster up the courage to say:
“I am willing to forgive myself” or “I am willing to forgive him/her/them”.
Say this as often as you can. Say it with sincerity, and trust me when I say, that a higher power will relieve you of your burden.
I say this because it happened to me, and I have become a better person because I forgave.
- Engage in 3 Tiny Habits Every Day
Note that these are 3, very doable habits you can do each day.
You can, for example, drink more water, do 3 push-ups, and breathe silently for 5 minutes.
Is this not doable?
It may seem very simple, but it builds something in us that we want, which is consistency, and with a show of consistency comes a new found pride and self-respect we never experienced before. So to be a better you:
- Choose 3 tiny habits you can adapt into your daily ritual
- Ensure that you do the 3 every single day
- Keep A Gratitude Journal
There is an extraordinary power in living in constant gratitude, not only because it keeps you in a great mood, but because, I believe, it opens the floodgates for receiving more goodness in your life.
If you have never practiced this fulfilling daily activity before, please do yourself a favour
- Buy yourself a beautiful notebook, one that will entice you to write on it daily
- Buy a nice pen that will glide across the pages of your beautiful botebook and
- Write down 1 – 3 things that you are thankful for, everyday.
Practicing this will not only make you a better you, but it will positively transform your life!
- Exercise (Even In Your Apartment)
If you live in a place where it is impossible to exercise, you can still work out in your apartment, no matter how small it is. You don’t need to join an expensive gym.
Wanna be a better person?
Move your body, vigorously for 15 minutes every day at a minimum. Heck, get your favourite playlist ready, turn up the Bluetooth speakers and dance for a good while.
Good stuff for your mind, body and soul!
- Drink At Least 1L of Water A Day
Water gets rid of toxins, it increases ones energy levels, boosts your immune system, promotes weight loss and does wonders for your organs, the biggest one being your skin. Need I say more about becoming a better person?
- Listen More, Speak Less
You get far more insight about life when you are actually willing to listen to someone without interrupting them.
The best thing about being an attentive listener is that you are able to win over the respect and trust of the person who is talking to you.
Listening makes you more intuitive, makes you appear more trustworthy and it facilitates a much more quality conversation.
It will make you a better date, a better lover, a better father, a better mother, a better boss, a better employee, a better child, and all round, a better person!
- Rehearse Saying “No”
I know many people who find it terribly difficult so say no.
Meanwhile, it flies out of my mouth like a burp I let out by mistake!
Practice saying no in the mirror.
Think up different scenarios that you have gotten used to saying yes to.
Feel the emotions you feel when someone asks you to do something for them.
Feel the conflict that comes up inside you, and the split second pros and cons of why you shouldn’t oblige them.
Afterwards, ask yourself why, every single time, you wind up saying yes to them!
Practice what it feels like to actually say no out loud. Try it on your friends and see their reactions.
Let the feeling of guilt you always end up experiencing rush through you, but know that your guilt is just a feeling, and it will sweep through you if you let it. Like any other emotion, you do not have to act on it just because it is there.
Saying no to people who drain you and take up your time will bring out a completely new perspective of life that you did not consider before, the most important one being that even if you say no, you will still be loved and accepted as you are!
- Create Something
Employ your creative faculties that lie deeply buried in your adult mind and explore them now and again. Draw, write, sing, play, make something with your hands, do whatever it is that makes you feel good and puts your creative mind at work.
Doing this often can help you solve problems you never could have if you remained in a solid state of logic and conventional wisdom. Creativity makes you better. Use it to your advantage!
- Practice Self Compassion
You can be your worst critic, and because of this, your worst enemy.
Becoming a better person means practicing being gentler with yourself and not emotionally abusing yourself when your reality does not coincide with your expectations.
You will never solve your problems if you are coming from the same place where your problems lie. You can only solve your problems when you encourage yourself to get out of your fixed mindset and move into a new state, and this requires you to be kinder and significantly more patient with yourself.
Lastly, if you want to become a better you. It means standing up for yourself when your thoughts turn against you, and it takes courage. It takes a lot of courage to love yourself!