How to be a Better Person Day by Day
Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.
Being a better person is a process. No matter how good someone is, he can’t be perfect overnight. So the important thing is that you grow every day. Make growing a habit and you will see significant progress when you look back.
Here are several things you should do to be a better person day by day:
1. Take responsibility
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
Before anything else, you should realize that the one who is responsible for your life is you. Don’t blame other people or external condition for how you live your life. No matter how bad the situation might be, it’s you who decide how to respond to it. No matter what happens to you, it’s you who decide how it affects you.
2. Choose to grow
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
After taking the responsibility for your life, the next thing you should do is deciding that you want to grow. Choose to grow rather than staying where you are. Choose to be a better person every day.
3. Make room for growth
If the shoe fits, you’re not allowing for growth.
Robert N. Coons
How can you grow if there is no room for it? What I mean is not physical room, of course. Instead, you should make room for growth in your mind. Believe in yourself that you can grow. Believe that you can make the changes you want. Don’t limit yourself and aim to be the best that you can be.
4. Don’t expect instant results
While you should make room for growth, you should also have realistic expectations. If you expect too much, you might get disappointed and discouraged. It takes time to grow so don’t lose heart if you still couldn’t become the person you want to be. Remember what Moliere said:
The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.
5. Extract lessons from your experiences
Extracting lessons from your experiences is essential for your personal growth. Those who do will outgrow those who don’t. So make every experience a learning opportunity. Open your eyes and grab every possible lesson.
6. Keep a journal
Whatever lesson you learn, write it down in a journal. Keeping a journal can save you a lot of time because you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes again and again.
7. Build positive habits
Doing small things consistently can make a big difference over time. Choose a simple activity that helps you grow and do it every day. For example, you may choose to read for half an hour every day. Or you may allocate time to pray or meditate every day. The important thing is that you do it consistently.
8. Face your fear
Your fear limits your growth. Because of that you need to identify, face, and conquer your fear. It’s not easy to do, but as Anais Nin said:
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
9. Have quality input
Your input determines your output. That’s why you need to feed your mind with positive and uplifting thoughts every day. Listen to motivational audio and video programs. Read inspiring books. Read quotes by great people.
10. Be around positive people
The people around you have great influence on you. They can make or break your life. I’m lucky to have a lot of positive people around me that encourage me to grow. They act as a source of energy and inspiration for me.
11. Find role models
It’s much easier to achieve something if you have role models that become examples for you. Instead of having a lot of abstract ideas of what you want to be, you have concrete examples in front of you. So find people with positive traits you admire and let them inspire you.
12. Find mentors
Mentors are even more important than role models. You usually don’t have personal relationships with your role models, but you do have personal relationships with your mentors. A mentor is someone who can guide you through the walk of life. Mentors can help you grow much faster because you don’t need to repeat the mistakes they have made. No longer do you need to find the right path yourself. No longer do you need to find truth the hard way.
Why Growing Slowly Is the Best Way to Grow
If there are two ways to success, the first one is instant and the second one takes a long time, which one would you choose? I think most people will take the first one. After all, who doesn’t want to get a quick reward?
But there is a difference between achieving a quick success and a lasting success. If you just want a quick success, then sure, the first way the best way to go. However, if you want a lasting success, I believe you should choose the second way. It’s a slow way, but it’s the best way to grow. Here are two reasons why:
1. It prepares you for the responsibility
Being successful is nice, but it comes with a big responsibility. If you don’t have what it takes, you might seem successful on the outside, but you might not be ready on the inside.
Success could easily ruin your life if you are not ready for it. There are many people who are successful in one area of their lives, but messed up in the other areas. Perhaps they have family problems. Or they become arrogant. Or they feel empty inside.
Real success means being successful in all areas of your life, not just in one or two. There has to be a balance between all of them.
Growing slowly is good because it prepares you for the big responsibility that comes with success. You will be able to handle it and keep your life balanced.That’s how you can have a lasting success.
2. It prepares you for moments of crisis
Those who want a quick success often do more than what they can afford. They take excessive risks that will eventually hurt themselves and others. These people might seem successful in the beginning, but when the storm comes they won’t be able to withstand it.
Warren Buffett is a good example here. He grows his portfolio slowly over the years. He doesn’t do the “exotic” things many others do in the financial world. As a result, when the crisis struck, he was able to recover quickly. In fact, he used the opportunity to buy stocks on the cheap.
What makes the difference here? Those who grow slowly take the time to build their foundation. They don’t hurry to build a big house. They are patient and use the time to build a strong foundation first. That’s why they can withstand the storm better than those who just want to quickly build the house.
So it’s up to you. What kind of success do you want? Do you want a quick success or a lasting success?
An Essential Way to Be a Wise Person
you want to be a wise person? I certainly do, and I believe you do too. Being wise is different from just being smart though. Here is a definition of wise from Dictionary.com:
having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion.
And, to complement that, here is Wikipedia’s definition of wisdom:
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding.
As a comparison, here is a definition of smart from Dictionary.com:
having or showing quick intelligence or ready mental capability.
So, as you can see, being wise is more than just being smart. Being wise is about the ability to make the right assessment of a situation and, from there, to know what to do. It’s about making the right decision given the situation you are in.
From this understanding, it’s obvious that being wise is essential to live a full life. The wiser you are, the more likely you are to live a full life. Why? Because it helps you make the right decisions in life.
So the question is: how can we be wise?
Well, there could be other ways, but there is one that I believe is essential:
If you want to be wise, you must learn to see the big picture.
Yes, the big picture. It’s essential. Let me explain why.
Making the right decision depends on making the right assessment of a situation. But to make the right assessment, you need to understand the big picture. You need to understand the context of the situation and how everything fits in. Only then will you be able to assess the situation correctly and, from that, to make the right decision.
This, unfortunately, is not how many people live. Instead, they are so busy with the details of their lives that they can no longer see the big picture. As a result, they tend to just follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. Or they just follow their natural inclinations. Obviously, this is not a good way to live.
I’m not going to go into details in this post, but here are a few things you can do to see the big picture:
- Learn how the world works
To see the big picture, you need to understand how the world works. This way you can see how your situation fits in the present world. Among others, it means learning about globalization, technologies, new trends, and the global economy.
- Learn history
While the point above deals only with the present world, you also need to see how the present world fits within the larger context of history. This will give you a deeper insight of your situation. Moreover, there are many events in history that you can learn something from.
- Read biographies
As I wrote in How to Learn About Life, a good way to learn about life is to learn from the lives of exceptional people. Through their biographies, you can see the big picture of their lives, along with their good and bad decisions. This will enrich your life and help you see your life in a new way.
- Check your life map and patterns
Talking about the big picture, you should also see the big picture of your own life. One way to do this is to create a life map. It helps you see how your life has been throughout the years. This, in turn, will help you make strategic decision for your life. You should also find patterns in your life such as your passions and things you care about. It will help you figure out the right direction to go to.
- Have a regular “think time”
While all the points above can help you see the big picture, it’s easy to lose sight of it because of one thing: busyness. Once you get busy with the details of your life, it’s easy to forget the big picture. So it’s important that you take time away from your busyness to connect again with the big picture. It can be in the form of reflection time, prayer, or whatever it is that works for you.
Minimize Lifetime Regrets
In an article back in 2010, I wrote about regret-minimization framework. It’s a term used by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos to describe the way he makes decisions. The idea is that you should make decisions that will minimize your potential regret in the future.
He used this framework when he considered launching Amazon back in 1994. He already had a good job back then, but he decided that not launching Amazon could be something that he would regret years later. So he took the risk and launched the company. As it turns out, Amazon became a big success. But even if it didn’t, at least he wouldn’t have any regret.
This, in my opinion, is a good framework for making difficult decisions.
But speaking of regret, we should ask ourselves: what regrets do people commonly have at the end of their lives? What do they wish they had done? This is an important question because knowing the answer will help us apply the regret-minimization framework effectively.
An article by Bronnie Ware provides an answer to this question. She worked in palliative care and consequently met many people who were in the last weeks of their lives. She heard a lot of stories from them, including their regrets. From years of experience with these people, she wrote that their five most common regrets were:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
You might want to read the original article for a more complete explanation of each. Each point here is worth reflecting on. Do you make any of these mistakes? Which areas do you need to improve?
To minimize these potential regrets, here are a few things that I believe you and I should do:
1. Be content with what you have
If you are content with what you have, you won’t feel the pressure to always get more and more. You might think that material things can give you happiness, but pursuing material things might actually take happiness away from you. By being content you don’t have to work so hard that you neglect the more important aspects of your life.
This is not easy though. Our environment constantly bombards us with the message that you need more stuff and a better lifestyle in order to be happy. So you need to make a conscious decision to be content with what you have.
2. Do what matters to you
It’s important that you live your life and not someone else’s life. Do what matters to you rather than what other people expect of you. What are your passions? What causes do you care about? Find them and organize your life around them. More than obtaining wealth or fame, your goal should be to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. That will give you real happiness.
3. Cultivate your relationships
As stated in the article, love and relationships are all that remain in the final weeks. So you need to invest more time and energy into your relationships, both with your family and your friends. If you learn to be content and no longer occupied with work, you will find more time to invest into your relationships. The reward might not be immediate, but it’s more than worth it in the end.
4. Choose to be happy
The article said that many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. You shouldn’t wait that long before you realize it. Your happiness is your choice. It’s you who determines whether you are happy, not other people or your circumstances. So take the responsibility and make the right choice.
Do you ever lie in bed and contemplate your upcoming workday? You think, “I’m going to call that new customer after I have my first cup of coffee.” Then you decide the call can wait, and you hit the snooze button a few more times.
We all want to be more productive and achieve success. But at times, we find it difficult to motivate ourselves to take action–especially first thing in the morning.Some people view motivation as something of a conundrum–they don’t understand how people can always be energized. Getting started has less to do with whether you have the energy and more to do with your desire and willingness to accomplish any given task. As an entrepreneur, you are passionate about your business. Once you dig in, start a project and see the results of your labor, you become even more galvanized. Stop delaying your success, and begin your day with enthusiasm by taking action.
1. START YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE. At the close of your business day, congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished. Do not judge the size of your accomplishments; appreciate that you have moved your business forward. Feeling good about what you completed during your workday sets a positive foundation for your next day. Say to yourself, “I love my business and will create even greater success tomorrow.”
2. CREATE AN OUTCOME-ORIENTED TASK LIST FOR THE NEXT DAY. Goals provide focus for your workday and clarify what you are going to achieve. State the payoff associated with completing each task–recognizing the outcome of your hard work increases your motivation. After defining your goals, choose which task to work on first. E-mail your list to yourself, or put it on your desk. Then relax because you have now created a great head start on your next business day.
3. TAKE TIME TO INVEST IN YOURSELF before the start of your business day. As an entrepreneur, you are your business’s greatest asset. You must take care of yourself. Choose a morning activity you enjoy so you can appreciate the beginning of each day. Whether it’s a morning walk around your neighborhood, a quick breathing exercise or an intense physical workout, decide on something that helps you transition into your workday. Change your morning activity on a weekly basis to avoid getting bored with the same routine.
4. VISUALIZE YOUR ACHIEVEMENT. Review your action list and concentrate on the outcomes you stated. Imagine the success you will achieve with each completed task. For example, envision your customers becoming happier and/or healthier after using your product or service. It may even spark some marketing ideas. Setting your brain on positive mode allows you to stay enthusiastic throughout the day.No single day makes or breaks your business. Plateaus are a natural part of life and of growing a business. If a bad day occurs, don’t despair. Become energized by your freedom to be your own boss and your ability to make changes. Your goal is to continually learn and realize that having your own business is more play than work.
A fantastic way to get started that personally helped me a lot is get some GREAT motivational posters.
You can choose between many different sizes and prices. They have a ton.
A Little Black Pen