"Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
We've all made mistakes throughout our lives that haven't exactly put us in the best light--like bullying someone in school or telling what seemed like a little white lie. Chances are, however, you probably felt a little guilt and grew because of the situation.
I'm an average guy trying to become better in both my work and home life. I'll never be perfect, but it doesn't mean I won't try.
If you want to continue to grow as a person, here are 15 ways to make the most of yourself.
1. Compliment Yourself
Every morning before you go on with your daily routine, take a couple of minutes to give yourself a compliment. Whether you compliment your outfit, haircut, or how you recently completed a task using your unique skill sets, giving yourself a little emotional boost will make you happy. And, when you're happy with yourself, that emotion can be contagious to those around you. Inspirational speaker Tony Robbins has a mantra he says aloud to himself most days to put him in a peak performance state.
2. Don't Make Excuses
Blaming your spouse, boss, or clients is fruitless and won't get you very far. Instead of pointing fingers and making excuses about why you aren't happy or successful in your personal or professional life, own your mistakes and learn from them. When you do this, you will become a better person. When I personally started living up to my mistakes and downfalls, my life turned itself around. I became happier and healthier, and my relationship with my wife improved. We are happier than ever.
3. Let Go of Anger
Letting go of anger is easier said than done. While anger is a perfectly normal emotion, you can't let it fester. When this happens, you may make unwise decisions, and more important, it may affect your health. Research suggests pent up anger can cause digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, and even heart disease.
To help you let go of anger, Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD, suggests you write your feelings down, pray or meditate, or begin to manage your thoughts.
4. Practice Forgiveness
Joyce Marter, LCPC, suggests you forgive and let go of resentment. She notes, "If for no other reason than for yourself, forgive to untether yourself from the negative experiences of the past. Take time to meditate, and give thanks for the wisdom and knowledge gained from your suffering. Practice the mantra, 'I forgive you and I release you.'"
5. Be Honest and Direct
How would you feel if a loved one or business partner lied to you? Chances are you would see that as a violation of your trust. If you want to be a better person in either your personal or professional life, you should always tell the truth and state as clearly as possible what you are trying to convey. Learn to articulate your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in an open and honest manner.
6. Be Helpful
Whether giving up your seat to an elderly person on the subway, assisting a co-worker on a project, or carrying in the groceries when your spouse comes back from the store, being helpful is one of the easiest and most effective ways to practice becoming a better person. I find that the more I help others, the better I feel about myself and everyone around me.
7. Listen to Others
As Jeet Banerjee notes on Lifehack, "listening to people and giving everyone a voice is one of the greatest things you can do." He adds that he "got to meet some of the most amazing people, close some of the biggest deals, and develop connections that will last me a lifetime all because I took time to listen to people. Being a good listener can change your life in a positive manner."
8. Act Locally
It may not seem like a big deal, but supporting a local cause, donating clothes, or buying from local farmers' markets or businesses are simple ways you can help your specific region. You may not be able to save the world, but you very well could make a difference in your neck of the woods. Get to know and care about your community.
9. Always Be Polite
How much effort does it take to say, "Thank you," or to hold the elevator door open for someone? Not much at all. However, these acts of kindness can make someone's day. I decided a few years ago that it doesn't matter if someone is ultra rude, condescending, or worse. The way someone else behaves is not going to determine my behavior.
10. Be Yourself
Tiffany Mason has five excellent reasons on Lifehack why you should be yourself. These include being able to align yourself with your values and beliefs, establish your identity, build courage, create boundaries, and find focus and direction.
11. Be Open to Change
Whether trying a new restaurant, traveling to an unknown part of the world, or doing something that has always scared you, you should always be open to change. This allows you to grow because you experience something new. It helps you be high functioning and self-confident if you are not wary of change.
12. Be Respectful
How would you feel if you had just cleaned your home and someone came in and tracked mud everywhere? You'd probably be a little ticked that they hadn't taken off their shoes. Take this mentality and apply it to everyday life. For example, don't toss your trash or cigarette butts on the floor of public restrooms or sidewalks just because someone else will clean it up. Be respectful of others' time, thoughts, ideas, lifestyles, feelings, work, and everything else. You don't have to agree with any of it, but people have a right to their opinions and yours is not necessarily correct.
13. Don't Show Up Empty-handed
Going to a party this weekend at your friend's apartment? Make sure you don't arrive empty-handed. Even if you've been assured that there will be plenty of food and drink, bring along a little something to show you appreciate being invited.
14. Educate Yourself
If you don't understand why one country is invading another, take the time to educate yourself on the current event. Ask a person intimately connected with the event for his or her thoughts. Remember, we're all interconnected, and being aware of different cultures, different people, and what their lives are like can make you a more well-rounded individual. This will also help you understand points of view different from your own.
15. Surprise People
How good does it feel to make someone smile? It feels pretty good, right? Surprise your loved ones or co-workers now and then, with a gift, a night out on the town, or by offering help when you know they could use it.
Becoming a better person doesn't happen overnight, but it is possible. Believe in yourself and know that it is possible!
What other tips have you found useful for becoming a better person?
Ever wondered why you just can’t seem to reach your full academic potential? It’s likely that your brain isn’t the cause but, rather, your lifestyle.
Review the following steps, which outline simple changes you can make and soon you’ll be on your way to becoming the student you’ve always wanted to become.
1. Set goals
Goals, both short and long-term, are a great way to measure your success. If you don’t have goals in sight, you have nothing to achieve or strive for in your courses.
If you set concrete goals for yourself, it’s easier to become motivated and measure your success in those goals.
Make sure your goals are realistic! While you should challenge yourself, you shouldn’t set yourself up for failure, either.
Remember, you can always set higher goals once you’ve achieved your first set.
2. Adopt and stick to a study schedule
Scheduling is vital to maintaining a healthy learning balance and keeping up with rigorous courses.
3. Stay well-rested
If you’re awake and alert, you’re certainly more likely to absorb information given in class, during study sessions and in class activities and participation. Think of it as an equation: awake + alertness = A’s.
4. Take advantage of educator resources
In addition to attending class, there are a variety of resources available to aid students in thriving and achieving in class.
TA’s, office hours and study review sessions are amongst the resources offered within specific classes.
Additionally, many high schools and colleges offer tutoring sessions free of charge to students who seek extra help with their courses.
5. Healthy study techniques for proper exam preparation
Study techniques considered “healthy” include balance, time-management and avoiding all-night study “cram” sessions. Information is certainly easier to absorb when reviewed in increments, rather than procrastinating until the last minute.
6. Develop note-taking skills
Listening and taking notes actively during class not only ensures the recording of accurate information, but also reinforces the information through recording the information as you take it in.
Have you ever gone back to your notes when it comes time to study for the exam and find that they are illegible or difficult to understand? It’s helpful to go over your note after class and either rewrite them or outline the key information while it’s still fresh in your mind.
You’ll find it’s much easier to utilize your notes and retain clearer information, come exam time. Clearly, it also provides you with any important information that was only mentioned in class when it comes time to review and study the exam material.
7. Extracurricular activities
Try to create a life outside of academics, like participation in extracurricular activities, such as intramural sports or college clubs.
Contrary to popular belief, extracurricular activities increase a student’s overall college experience, contribute to the learning process and aiding in balancing scheduling skills.
8. Study buddies
Collaborating with other students is a great way to learn – as long as you’re sure to choose students who you’ll stay on task with. Try finding various students in your class, rather than friends you already have. It can expand your social group and you’re more likely to stay focused on the school work.
Students who form study groups with one another can often learn more through learning by teaching. When students explain concepts to one another, they are able to learn and absorb the information more easily.
Inversely, students that may need clarification on areas of study are able to ask peers in order to be able to better understand the course materials.
9. Take advantage of school resources
Utilizing school resources for setting goals and creating positive study habits tremendously aids in a student’s success.
School resources are abundant and students who take advantage of such resources are much more likely to succeed.
Such resources include the utilization of school libraries, career centers and school centers that provide tutoring and knowledge (for example: student writing centers, math centers, etc).
10. Take on a manageable course load
When taking on a well-balanced course load, students are more likely to succeed because of realistic expectations in the work load that can be handled successfully.
This should be common sense – if students go to class, they will likely become more successful in the course.
Obviously, the course material is presented during class periods and students that are paying attention tend to learn while in class and, thus, are more likely to perform well on exams.
Going to class is one thing but paying attention and participating in class is another. If you listen to the lessons, questions are likely to arise. If they come up in class, ask!
If you’re too shy in a large class, wait and ask the professor after class or during office hours. It’s important to know, however, that if you’ve got a question, it’s likely that other students have the same question as well.
Whatever you do, DO NOT wait until it comes time to study for the exam!
What other tips do you have to become a better student?
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