20 Ways To Be A Better You
Everyone would love to be in a better place than where they are right now. One of the most common desires among humans is to grow and develop, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start and what to change. This article looks at twenty simple ways you can be a better you.
1. Read a book a week
They say "Readers are leaders" because books are a sure source of knowledge, as well as relaxation. The more books you read, the more knowledge you accumulate. Try to read a book every week, but don't just stick to your main field of study: expand your horizons by reading associated subjects. Once you're familiar with the subjects that surround your main focus, you can read books associated with those topics and spread your knowledge even wider.
2. Set goals
A person without goals has no direction. Without goals, you will wander from task to task, doing whatever is dropped in your path, and never really knowing where you're headed. If you don't have a dream of your own to achieve, someone will hire you to build theirs: decide what you want to achieve, lay out the path, measure the distance, and set achievable milestones along the way.
3. Stay focused on your goals
Start your day by reviewing your goals for the day, week, or month. Arrange them by order of importance, and do not move on to the next until you have finished each one in turn. Even if you hit a block and are not able to accomplish everything you hoped to finish today, you'll earn the satisfaction that you moved forward, towards your final goal.
4. Overcome your fears
Fear is one of the strongest opponents of self-improvement. Try doing something you are scared of doing. It doesn't have to be a major fear or phobia - even a simple activity that makes you nervous will suffice. You'll feel a certain joy in achieving things that scare you.
5. Get out of your comfort zone
Your comfort zone is the place where you feel at home and without pressure. It is also the place where self-improvement goes to die! Step out of your comfort zone. If you're physical, try something intellectual; if you're a scientist, try the arts; if you're shy, try smiling at a passing stranger. Whatever it is, try doing something you are not very good at or comfortable with - and don't be afraid to fail.
6. Ask for feedback
As much as you try to improve, you will always have blind spots. This is when you need other people to assess you and tell you where you can do better. It's hard to find reliable, honest individuals who understand that you won't take constructive criticism badly, but you can start with friends, colleagues, family, or even your superiors at work. Asking for feedback helps you to measure your growth.
7. Acknowledge your flaws
No one is perfect, and everyone has shortcomings. What is important is finding, acknowledging and addressing them. Look out for your flaws (or ask for feedback from others) and see what you can do to improve.
8. Work more, talk less
Once you start on the self-improvement path, it's easy to get ahead of yourself and make too many plans. You forget to take action, and remain exactly where you were at the start. You need to "walk it like you talk it" if you're going to change.
9. Avoid negative people
Robert Tew says "Don't let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out!" It's much harder to be a successful person if you're surrounded by negativity. Don't be afraid to kick anyone out who is not helping you grow.
10. Reduce time spent on social media
According to combined research from Browser Media, Socialnomics, and MacWorld released at the start of 2014, the average amount of time spent on Facebook every month is over 15 hours per user (around 30 minutes per day). That's just one of the social media platforms: imagine how much time you're spending on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Whatsapp and all the others! That time could be channeled into doing something useful and productive. Reduce the time you spend on social media and you'll be better for it.
11. Get a mentor
Everyone needs someone to look up to, someone to bring them back on track when it looks like they are derailing. Find someone who is older, wiser, or wields some sort of authority who you can follow. Make sure it's someone who can influence you and who is involved: having a mentor who doesn't even know who you are will not help.
12. Reduce your TV time
Some people spend their waking hours glued to their television sets (or streaming video on their computer). The strange thing is that the more you watch, the more interesting it gets, even when you know, deep down, that you're watching rubbish. Almost all countries have a 24-hour television schedule, so there's nothing to stop you watching until your brain stops working. Reduce your TV time and get productive instead!
13. Let go of the past
This is a tough one. Is there a grudge, a sadness, or a frustration from the past that you are still holding on to? If there is, then you need to let it go. Holding on to the past prevents you from being as happy as you should be and becoming a better you. Forgive yourself and anyone who needs to be forgiven. The effect is liberating.
14. Befriend successful people
What better way to learn than from people who have been there and succeeded? Whether it's in life, relationships, career, or business, search for successful people and learn from them.
William Faulkner said "Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." Do something every day that puts you one step ahead of your yesterday.
16. Learn from everyone
It's great to learn from successful people, but never forget that everybody has a lesson to teach. Even the so-called dunce in class can teach you something. Try to learn from everyone you meet, irrespective of race, age or behavior.
17. Learn new skills
There is always something new to learn. It could be as simple as learning to boil an egg. It could be as complex as studying astrophysics. Whatever you choose, acquiring a new skill helps you improve yourself.
18. Learn a new language
Knowledge of a second or third language gives you an advantage in life. If you already speak English, you could learn French or Spanish. If you want a real challenge, you could choose a non-Latin language, like Chinese or Russian!
19. Stop procrastinating
Procrastination is a lazy man's apology. No one achieves anything by procrastinating. We all have the same 24 hours to use every day, so do what you have to do to achieve your goals, and do it now!
20. Be persistent
In your journey to self improvement, you'll face challenges and hurdles. Keep your eyes on your destination and you'll reach it. Remember that obstacles are the things you see when you take your eyes off the goal!
About the author: Brian Carroll is the CEO of Pivot Insurance and holds CLU & CPCU designations. He has been part of the life insurance industry for over 30 years. He is also an avid runner and has participated in many athletic endurance events. Brian established the anonymous life insurance quote process here at Pivot and takes pride in the caring and professional staff. You can reach Brian at 1-800-651-1953 or BCarroll@pivot.com.