One of the best things you can do for yourself and for the people around you, is to be a better person. It can seem like a huge commitment, but it doesn’t have to be hard work, it’s just about making small changes to become a better version of yourself. The actions you make can bring better people and opportunities into your life. It can be as easy as letting loved ones know that you love them or asking others if you can help them with something. Sometimes we are so preoccupied with our own lives and have our own problems to deal with, that we forget about making small gestures and acts of kindness for other people. Helping other people can make a world of difference and it ultimately shapes us into the people we are. But it doesn’t start there. It starts with you. You have to be prepared to change your actions and decisions. Here are 15 small things you can do to become a better person.
15 Control your anger
Life can be incredibly stressful and when nothing is going out way it’s easy to take that anger and frustration out on other people. Usually it’s the people closest to us who suffer the blow. You need to let go of that anger built up inside you, if not for your mental health, for your loved ones. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. It can be as simple as writing down your feelings and emotions – this will help you to identify why you are getting so angry and point you towards a solution. Sometimes, all we need is to put our thoughts down on to a page and reflect on it. If that doesn’t help, you can always talk to someone. Although anger is a normal and unavoidable emotion, it needs to be controlled before it becomes a serious problem. You can’t let it fester as this will only prolong the damage.
14 Stop making excuses
We’re all guilty of making excuses. We say we can’t do something, that it’s not the right time, when we’re too afraid to take that risk. But you need to stop doing this because it’s only hindering your progress. If you want to write a book, then start writing it, don’t be afraid of criticism. If you want to start travelling alone, get on that plane and go on an adventure, you’ll only regret it if you don’t. Life is all about taking risks and doing what will make you happy and nothing should stand in the way of that. The same applies to blaming others for your own actions. Instead of making excuses for your own unhappiness or failed career, and putting the blame on your partner or colleagues, take a long look at yourself. Making excuses rather than fixing the issue won’t get you very far, in fact it will only make you bitter. Own up to your own mistakes and learn from them – when you start doing that everything falls into place.
13 Listen to other people
Not everyone is a good listener. Although lending an ear sounds like an easy thing to do, it’s definitely a skill that most of us need to work on. Listening to others doesn’t just benefit them, it makes you a better person. Just being there and showing an interest in what someone else is saying is enough to make them feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. The more they confide in you, the more they will begin to trust you. Knowing that they have someone who they can openly talk to will help them in more ways than you can imagine. And by listening to them and taking the time to ask questions, it increases your knowledge of the world. You learn a lot about other people, but you also learn how to be patient and how to show compassion, which are two very important skills to have.
12 Learn how to forgive
Forgiving is one thing, forgetting is another. People are prone to making mistakes and some will spend a lifetime paying for that. When you forgive, it doesn’t just make them feel better, it makes you feel good. Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be difficult but it doesn’t make you weak, it just means you are a better person. If you still want that person in your life you can’t hold their mistakes against them forever, you have to accept what they have done and move on. But keeping this anger and resentment bottled up isn’t healthy and it will only make you feel worse. When you let go of those feelings and forgive someone, the power is in your hands. You will feel happier, healthier, but most importantly you will feel like a stronger person. After you let go of grudges, you can focus your attention on other, more positive aspects of your life.
11 Always be honest
One of the worst things you can do to someone you love is lie to them. After you lie to someone, they will find it difficult to ever trust you again and ultimately the bond between you two is broken. And that’s not something that can ever be mended, at least not overnight. Don’t ever take someone’s trust for granted, as that’s something that can take years to build and only seconds to break. Therefore lying to the people who love you is the biggest insult and it could possibly change the way they feel about you forever. That’s not a risk that is ever worth taking. To be a better and respectable person, you have to be completely honest with the people around you, even if it isn’t something they want to hear. Chances are they will appreciate your honesty and even admire you for it.
10 Be kind to yourself
Being kind to others is just as important as being kind to yourself. It’s easy to pick out your flaws and find things that you dislike about yourself, but it takes a lot of strength to see above those flaws and realize that you are a person who is worthy of love and respect. Start by complimenting yourself more regularly, whether it may be a new haircut, outfit, or something else you accomplished that day. Always reward yourself after achieving your goals – this is an important step to learning to love and appreciating yourself. Even on those days when you tried your best but it wasn’t good enough, you still deserve to give yourself a pat on the back for trying. When you’re happy with the person you are, it definitely shows both on the inside and outside, and that emotion alone can benefit those that are around you.
9 Ask more questions
When someone is explaining something to you or openly expressing their views about a certain topic, it’s important to let them know that you are listening. People can feel discouraged when they feel as if no one is paying attention and this ultimately makes them lack confidence in themselves. If the shoe was on the other foot, you would expect the same. It doesn’t matter if you don’t share the same opinion, what matters is that you’re learning. A simple nod and occasionally asking questions can give them the encouragement they need to continue talking. If you don’t understand something and you need them to clarify, just ask. Chances are they will be more than willing to educate you on the topic. You can learn so much just by asking a few simple questions. It opens your mind to people’s thoughts and feelings and perspectives. Seeing things from a different point of view can make you a more genuine and sensible individual.
8 Do your best to help others
Sometimes we forget that there are people out there who need our help and support. We concentrate so much on our own lives and our own issues that we don’t take a second to think about those who are going through a hard time right now. It feels good to make other people happy, which is why you should do it as often as you can. It can be as simple as surprising someone with a gift, or offering your help to someone who really needs it. There are so many charities out there who would be so grateful for any donations you can make – no matter how big or small. It really is the thought that counts. It’s a simple act of kindness that lets others know that you are thinking of them and you genuinely care. And you can feel good knowing that you are making a difference to this world.
7 Compliment other people
Paying someone a compliment only takes a few seconds and it can put a smile on their face for the rest of that day. Complimenting a total stranger is definitely easier said than done, but not only will it improve their mood, it will build your confidence too. It someone is wearing a nice dress, let them know that you like it. If you like that person’s hair, tell them it looks great and watch their face light up. Usually when you pay someone a compliment, they will gladly return it. And isn’t it just a nice feeling knowing that two people who know nothing about each other, found something they liked about one another? If more people took the time to pay compliments the world would be a much better place, that’s for sure. And best of all, it doesn’t take up a lot of your time and it doesn’t cost anything!
6 Try something new
We find it difficult to break out of our comfort zone and try new things because it’s unfamiliar and we’re scared of taking that big step. Sure, it will be scary at first, but the choices we make are the ones that make us who we are. It’s better to try something you have always wanted to, than live with so many regrets. You’ll spend the rest of your life wondering what could have happened if you had only taken that chance instead of letting it slip away. So don’t be afraid of what might go wrong, but instead concentrate on what might happen if you let go of that fear and try something new. Practise saying ‘yes’ and ‘I can’ more often until you believe that you can take on whatever challenges come your way. After all taking risks is what makes life so exciting – you never know where it may lead!
5 Travel alone
The thought of travelling alone can seem daunting but there are so many amazing benefits. When travelling in a group, there will be disagreements and usually there’s at least one person who feels left out. A solo trip will give you that freedom you have been craving. You won’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs – take this time to get to know the person you are and truly understand the meaning of finding yourself. When you travel you open yourself up to new experiences and the opportunity to learn about different cultures. You get to sample exotic food, meet new people and see all the things you’ve dreamed of. The more you travel and take advantage of what the world has to offer, the more memories you will make, the more knowledge you will gain of different cultures and ultimately this will make you a more well-rounded person with better stories to tell.
4 Learn a foreign language
Most of us make excuses as to why we can’t learn a new language but by doing this you’re only holding yourself back. Sure, it takes a lot of effort, persistence and hard work, but the pros far outweigh the cons. There are so many apps and websites out there that can help you with learning languages and it can be as simple as taking a few minutes out of your day to learn some basic phrases. And most of them are free, so there really is no excuse. When you learn another language, it opens up many doors. It’s a great way to communicate with new people, to discover new cultures and it increases your brain capacity too. When travelling the world, knowing more than one language can be very beneficial, and it could lead to making new and stronger relationships. Amongst all of these benefits, it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
3 Have a role model
It’s easier to become a better person when you have someone to look up to. Choose a person who you aspire to be – it can be a parent, friend, teacher or a celebrity. What makes them so admirable? It could be their ability to see the positive side of things, their genuineness and compassion to others, or it could be their persistent, hard-working nature. When you follow in that person’s footsteps, you will get a better understanding of the person you can become. Or the alternative is to be a role model to others. If you know other people look up to you, it will change the way you act, because it’s your responsibility to maintain a certain image. You will think more carefully about the decisions you make. If you live by this example, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
2 Start a blog
More and more people are starting a blog for various reasons. It’s free, takes only a few minutes to start up, and it’s pretty easy. It’s a way to share your own thoughts and connect with the world. Blogging can open so many doors for you – if you are persistent it could become a full-time job. But that’s not the only person why blogging is so great. You can write about anything – that’s right, absolutely anything – that interests you and there will be people willing to read it. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people and it gives you a chance to have conversations about these chosen topics. The more you write, the more likely it is you will gain a large following of people who love and respect your views. If nothing else, your writing skills will improve considerably and it can potentially change your real-life relationships.
1 Work on yourself
Most of us have negative traits. Identify what is it you dislike about yourself and make it your number one priority to change. Set yourself a new goal each day. When you achieve something, no matter how big or small, give yourself a reward. Everyone needs some encourage to keep going. It’s not something that is going to happen overnight – you have to try harder every day to get it under control. In order to change, you have to be willing to put in the effort, and you must be doing it for the right reasons. It won’t just benefit you, but it will benefit those around you and especially the people who care about you the most. It's a long process, but don’t think about putting it off. So what are you waiting for? Today is the perfect day to start working on those flaws and become a better version of yourself.