10 Things You Can Do To Be a Better Person
There comes a point in everyone’s life where the desire to become a better person overrides all other desires. We were born to be helpful individuals and one of our main goals in life is to make the world a better place, one small action at a time.
1. Stop Making Excuses
If you do only one thing on this list, it should be this. Stop making excuses. When you blame someone else, blame a co-worker, a family member, or a spouse, you are making excuses for yourself. When you point your finger at the weather, the time, or some unforeseen event, you are making excuses. The first and major step to becoming a better person is to stop pointing your finger at everything else, except yourself. Take responsibility for your life, your actions, and the things that “just happen” to you. The more you do this, the more you come to understand that you are in charge of your life and that many of the things that happen to you were caused by you.
2. Donate and Volunteer
Donating items is just about the easiest thing you can do to be a better person. I knit and donate winter hats and, when I earn some extra money, I purchase needed items for the local battered women’s shelter. It is something that I feel good doing. I also donate used clothing, mostly my youngest child’s outgrown clothes, to charities and free clothing giveaways.
Volunteering is also a great way to not only make yourself a better person, but to give back to your community. Be a volunteer tutor, volunteer to help run events, or volunteer at a local hospital to sit with those whose lives are coming to an end. Volunteer is an addictive and invigorating experience. You get to physically and actively make a positive difference in another person’s life.
3. Learn to Listen
Stop to listen to someone who is talking to you. Make them feel like you are actually hearing what they have to say. Make a connection with them by simply listening. People all over the world are shouting to be heard and there are far more talkers than listeners. Practice listening and be the person people go to when they need a friendly ear.
Traveling forces us to step out of our comfort zones, meet new people, and expand our minds. Travel often and whenever the opportunity arises. Try new foods and learn about the history of each area.
5. Be Accepting
Turn on the radio, the television, or open a political biography and you are faced with judgmental attitudes. When the judgmental behavior is directed at you, you feel angry, upset, and even depressed. This world needs fewer judgmental people. Be one of them. While you may not agree with someone’s point of view, recognize that the other person is entitled to her or his viewpoints. See their side to the story and be more understanding. Show empathy and compassion.
6. Seek Knowledge
Life is a learning event. The moment you stop learning is the moment you begin to fade away. Actively seek to educate yourself on current events, languages, and anything else that peaks your interest. Study different religions, different cultures, and take as many free or paid courses as you can fit into your schedule.
7. Compliment Others
Practice random acts of kindness and compliment people. Make others feel good about themselves and, in turn, you will feel good about yourself.
8. Be Helpful
Make it a point to make other people’s lives easier. Whether it is holding open the door for someone or helping someone carry in their groceries, every kind gesture makes the world a better place. If you have an elderly neighbor, rake their leaves in the fall and shovel their sidewalk in the winter. Don’t expect a thank-you or payment because being a good, helpful person is a reward in itself. You don’t need a pat on the back to know you are a good person.
Learning to forgive is one of the healthiest choices you can make. Holding onto misgivings only harms your heart, stress rate, and it holds you back from succeeding in life. Take time to forgive past grudges. Make a few phone calls and talk to those whom you have held a grudge against for the past few months or years. When someone makes some small slight against you, forgive them immediately. If someone accidentally walks into you, say “Excuse me” and “Are you all right?”.
10. Ditch the Anger
We all have things to be angry over. It could be a parent, a spouse, a work situation, or the kids. The million dollar question is, what do you do with your anger? Do you bottle it up until you finally explode? Do you burst out on the spot? Or do you step away, calm yourself, look for a solution, and let go of the anger? All anger is not bad if you channel it right. If you get angry over a bank statement, let it fuel you to make positive changes in your spending habits. If you get angry at a friend, spouse, or co-worker, take a moment to pause and then address the problem directly, without anger, and with the goal of resolving the issue amicably. All of these approaches to anger allows you to resolve it and let it go.