In a world full of assholes, we face the challenge of being the best version of ourselves as possible. It takes a hell of a lot of patience and discipline to deal with the jerks that cross our paths on the daily. In the midst of it all, the question that keeps replaying in my mind is, ‘if we all challenged ourselves to improve and develop our character, how much better would the world be?’
Narcissism, arrogance and straight up ‘assholeness’ would vanish and we could go on living our lives in peace! We might even be able to get our morning coffee without someone cutting the cue! So here are a few steps you can take to become a better person and in turn, make the world a little better for everyone!
Don’t be afraid to initiate conversation
The stranger sitting next to you could end up being an invaluable part of your personal destiny. Many of us miss opportunities to build new relationships and unleash exciting opportunities simply because we are too nervous or too lazy.
Think about the many situations you face on the daily that have the potential to unlock possibilities- the person sitting next to you in your lecture or even the random couple you get seated next to in a busy restaurant.
Put on your friendly face and engage in some friendly banter, because you never know where it could lead you. When we put the fear of conversing behind us, people perceive us to be confident and friendly, meaning you are two traits closer to becoming a better person!
Smile and speak in a friendly tone
As a follow up to #1, when we speak to people we often forget how our tone and volume is interpreted by the person we are talking to. You could say the loveliest compliment in the world, but if you murmur it with a blank facial expression, it isn’t going to come across as genuine or heartfelt.
When we speak in a friendly tone, we are inviting people to connect with us on a deeper level. When you speak with a subdued confidence and warmth, people will feel comfortable enough to respond.
When making conversation with colleagues and people we don’t have a strong rapport with, make sure you have a smile on your face. Don’t go full creeper, just keep it sweet and genuine.
Norman Vincent Peale, in his book ‘The Power of Positivity’ tells us to “go out of your way to speak optimistically about everything.” Good people are optimistic in even the most difficult situations. Positive people stand out in a crowd because of the positive vibes they carry. You can feel their infectious energy and enthusiasm towards life radiate through the size of the smile on their face.
Switching on a positive mental attitude is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to become a better person. Pick up a few self improvement books, listen to a couple of Ted Talks and surround yourself with like-minded people and you are good to go!
Keep reason and emotion in balance
A simple step you can take in becoming a better person is to consider your decision making process. Often, we jump to conclusions, get defensive and let our pride hold us back. Every time we have to make a decision or face a conflict, we need to keep reason and emotion in balance. It comes back down to the age old question of whether to listen to your heart, or your head.
In the journey of self improvement, we will all come across situations where we let either our heart and its emotions, or our head and its reason make decisions for us. An important aspect of self improvement is learning to balance the two, making decisions based on consideration of both.
Hold yourself to the highest standards of integrity
Napoleon Hill once wrote “inviolable standards of integrity are fundamental to all worth while achievement and are an integral part of positive mental attitudes”. In our quest towards becoming a better person, we must teach ourselves the difference between right and wrong by considering the impacts our actions, words and thoughts have on ourselves and the people around us.
It seems that in this day and age we are constantly told that in order to be a good person, we need to put others before ourselves. If this was the case, people would walk all over us and diminish our integrity. Therefore, to become a better person we need to balance everyone’s feelings, including our own. Integrity comes from a soundness of moral character, so we need to live our lives with more honesty and less bluff!
Develop your attitude of gratitude
Gratitude is like a Vitamin C tablet for our emotional immune systems. Ariana Huffington said that “gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions.”
When we find something to be grateful for on the days when it seems there is nothing to be thankful for, we subconsciously build up our emotional immune system to fight off negativity.
Develop a genuine love of people
This can be a super tricky thing to master, especially when you are stuck on a peak hour train or just got cut off in bumper to bumper traffic. People can be down right annoying, but they can also be so wonderfully beautiful. They can be rude and arrogant, but they can also be kind and loving.
Every time we come across an asshole, we seem to jump the gun and loose all faith in our species, concluding that all people are jerks! This is the exact kind of attitude that ensures you keep coming across such jerks.
If you take a step back and notice the good people out there, you will be shocked by the sheer number of people who just want to do good to others. This is absolutely key in becoming a better person.