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The Simplest Ways To Improve Yourself Constantly

The Simplest Ways To Improve Yourself Constantly

Every single one of us has something we want to be better at. Maybe you want to grow in your career (or start a new one). Or perhaps you’d like to get healthier and get in better shape. Or maybe you want to be more productive with your time.

I have good news for you: there’s something you can do to accomplish all these things and more. Keep reading to find out seven ways to improve yourself and your life starting today.

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1. Roll with the punches.

One thing’s certain in this life: you’re gonna get hit. So brace yourself, take the punch, and move on. Stop sweating the small stuff. All the bad things in your life happened for a reason. Use them for motivation. Let go of the past because what happened to you yesterday doesn’t affect who you are today. Accept that this is exactly where you’re supposed to be at this very moment and everything that has happened to you is part of your journey.

2. Be a student of life.

Want to improve yourself today? You’re already doing it. Learning something new and seeking knowledge and wisdom is a key part of constantly improving. So keep seeking new knowledge and inspiration every day. Read books. Visit websites. Have conversations with smart friends and learn new stuff. Take up a new hobby. Never, ever stop learning and you’ll always keep improving yourself.

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3. Take tiny steps.

Small steps often don’t seem like they’re getting you anywhere. But “small wins” are a proven way to accomplish all your goals in life. Let’s look at a common example: weight loss. The first steps are the hardest. Most overweight and obese people don’t take those all-important steps because the end goal seems so daunting. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work. But if you never start, you’ll never get anywhere. To keep improving, you need to take small steps toward your goals every day—no matter how tiny those steps are. Just keep moving forward.

4. Choose a mentor.

There are countless ways to improve yourself by yourself, but getting a little help along the way can help you get better faster. Think about the people who have influenced your life. Maybe it’s your parents, a coach, or a boss. If you already have a mentor you talk to regularly for advice about your goals, that’s great. If not, make a list of the people you respect who have accomplished the things you want to accomplish and ask if you can pick their brain over coffee. Most successful people will be humbled and happy you asked for their advice.

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5. Learn from your stumbles.

We all stumble and fall down. It’s what you do after you get up that determines how you progress in life. Failure sucks, but it’s absolutely necessary to creating valuable learning experiences. Stop playing it safe. Take risks, fail often and learn something every time you stumble. You’ll soon realize that these “failures” lead to some of the greatest achievements in life.

6. Be honest.

Self-improvement starts with telling the truth—to yourself and to others. The truth hurts sometimes but lies always end up hurting way worse. The people who are best at improving themselves on a consistent basis are the ones who are honest all the time. Lying creates a huge emotional burden on you. It leads to guilt, negativity, and more lies. It’s a never ending perpetual cycle. So always tell the truth. That’s the only way to keep growing.

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7. Give thanks.

Think of everyone in your life you’re grateful for, not just once in a while—every day. Being thankful keeps us humble and gives us perspective. Focus on the good things in your life and express gratitude for them. The fact that you’re alive and reading this means you’re more fortunate than most people in this world.

Featured photo credit: kevin dooley via flickr.com

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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