Nobody’s perfect. Most people are aware of their shortcomings and want to become better. It will impact their profession, their relationships, and their body image. Here are 10 tips to become a better person. If you are perfect, there is no need to read on!
1. Show some respect
If you are late, rude, or do not reply to phone calls, messages, and emails, then there is something wrong. Here are the main areas where you can make sure that you are not offending anyone. If you can tick these off, be pleased with yourself. It means that you show respect for people and their time:
• You are always punctual.
• You reply to messages and phone calls the same day.
• You deal with emails within two business days at the most.
• You are totally reliable – you do what you promise.
• You show respect for people’s opinions but are not afraid to express your own.
• You recognize people’s efforts and can say thank you in an appropriate way.
• You never change arrangements at the last minute, unless there is an emergency.
2. Work for a healthy body and mind
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha
Obviously, a healthy mind and body are inextricably linked. They go hand in hand. Exercising regularly helps the body to stay in good shape. There is the added bonus that endorphins are produced after exercise which lift your mood and can stave off depression. Study after study has shown that exercise may be far more beneficial than anti-depressants for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
3. Learn how to be assertive
“The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging somebody’s ego, that’s it, game over.” Gordon Ramsay
You can be a better person by empathizing and sympathizing with people. There is a risk of going too far with this and you end up by being a doormat. You may be putting the other person’s needs first and neglecting your own. You may have to make compromises which are not to your advantage.
When you reach the stage of being the world’s best empathizer, it is time to make two lists. The first is full of all the things you have done; the second is what you have gotten back in return. No prizes for guessing which one is the shortest!
Then you make a third list containing what you expect to get back and actually mention these things at the appropriate moment. The objective is to get two lists which are the same length. This is when you have to be assertive.
4. Eat well
Being a better person depends very much on what you eat. If you do not make any effort to eat a healthy diet, you will find that your health is at risk. Diabetes and obesity may start to stalk you. You start to feel unwell and that destroys your good mood. You become less sociable. It is a downward spiral.
5. Broaden your horizons
Everybody loves routine. It is comforting and leads to a sense of well-being. But when that comfort zone becomes a rut, then it is time to sit up and take notice. Doing exactly the same things, watching the same TV shows, and hanging out with the same old people will ensure that your life is like a nuclear fallout shelter!
Time to go to new places, do different things, and eat ethnic cuisine. Make new friends and promise yourself to do one different thing each week.
6. Be a hero
It does not take much to be a hero. Simple acts of kindness will not cost you anything. Help people with photocopies in the office, or offer to carry shopping bags for an older person. Spread a little karma and you will be rewarded.
7. Listen up
Being a good listener has many great advantages. It demonstrates that you are empathetic and at the same time, lets you off the hook in making any comments. Just listen!
8. Gravitate towards positive people.
“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” Elbert Hubbard
This is a no-brainer. Negative people will dispense bitterness, regret, pessimism, envy, and sorrow. Positive people radiate joy, gratitude, hope, optimism, and energy. These people can inspire and uplift. You choose!
9. Be thankful
Once you start counting your blessings, you almost immediately become a better person. You can keep a gratitude journal where you jot down things for which you are truly grateful. There are numerous benefits for your health. You are in a better mood and you feel more relaxed and less envious.
At your job, you can make faster decisions, work better, and you get on well with colleagues. Research done by psychology professor, Robert Emmons, at the University of California shows innumerable health benefits. He says that gratitude is the best approach to life.
10. Look at nature
Be inspired by a beautiful sunset, a starry night, or an awesome dawn. Any activity which makes you aware of the beauty of nature is bound to make you a better person. In fact studies show that people are more empathetic and have nobler goals after exposure to nature.
11. Help somebody
When you help a person in need, you are not just empathizing. You are taking it a step further and showing your concern for a fellow human being. It makes you feel grateful. You also feel more confident in yourself and less preoccupied with your own problems.
So, how did you do? Do you think you can be a better person or do you think that you do all these things anyway? If that is the case, congratulations! If you are not scoring 100%, well, not to worry. All you need to do is to start with just one and work on it. One day at a time.
“When characters change on screen, it makes you feel better about yourself. You think, ‘Oh, I change too, I’m constantly becoming a better person.’” Jason Reitman
Featured photo credit: John Goodridge via via Flickr