I think I’m a pretty good person.
And, yet… I could be better. I could be a better person.
Let’s be honest: we all could be.
Being a better person and version of ourselves every day will only make our world a happier, more tolerant and accepting place… and that’s something I feel pretty positive each of us can support.
For this Wellness Wednesday, join me in these six ways we can each become a better person.
6 TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON
Be More Present.
I recently spoke to a friend about this guy we know who is the most impressive listener where it’s so clear he’s present in each moment (sorry ladies, he’s taken!). He’s focused on you during your conversation, he asks great questions and you can sense he’s completely present.
Maybe it’s because he’s not a woman or a mom with a running to-do list the length of a football field, I’m not sure. Either way, I can admittedly do a better job of this, for myself and those around me.
Focus on being more present with everyone. If they’re investing time in me, I deserve to return the same. That means my little ones, it means my best friends, my clients and those around me. It means putting the phone down — or out of reach if you’re addicted like I am (truth). It means finding ways to cut out your distractions so you can be present in each moment.
And, let’s be clear when we say be present with everyone, know this means with you as well. If you’re taking five minutes to yourself, be present in those five minutes. Again, put your phone down so you’re not taking your five minutes watching someone else live their life. Breathe in the air, read a magazine, enjoy a smoothie, coffee or tea as you people watch, and get lost in the moment.
Prioritize Your People.
Take the time to identify your people — your key friends, your family, and anyone else you really want in your circle.
Ready for this: It’s OK if you want to make a list of these people. Sometimes we need the visual reinforcement, and without sounding like a lunatic, I had for about three years a list on my phone of about 10 friends… it was during a transition time for me and a few were close friends and others were ones I really wanted to invest my time to know better; they had major “forever friend” potential. I did this because with limited free time with two little ones, it really helped me prioritize and visualize when I had extra pockets of time.
Your list might be two people, and it might be 20 if you’re also prioritizing for networking and business purposes. To be candid, I get asked nearly once a week to meet up for coffee, often to “pick my brain” (personal pet peeve by the way; me getting a free cup of coffee is not worth an hour of my time… it’s called consulting). I know this sounds harsh — but I can often answer most items by email or phone — and you have to be tough with your time if you want to have enough of it for those who matter most.
Be Ruthless in your Pursuit to Learn.
You guys, education is everything. If you want to be a better human, start reading and commit to learning. Read short articles about your profession, subscribe to e-newsletters and get books about parenting (I mean, I know I’m totally learning as I go and absolutely benefit getting insights from professionals!), and consider going to workshops, seminars, and conferences related to your career, yourself, a personal passion… anything.
Be more flexible, and open for adventure.
I’m going to do my best to take my advice on this one. My Type-A self historically doesn’t adapt well when plans are changed on a whim. I’ve done a better job in the past year of being more flexible, and my goal is to continue to do so and go with the flow. Being rigid amidst a million variables beyond my control — including a four-year old and eight-year old — is a recipe for disaster.
In the same regard, a little adventure are where the memories are made! Unexpected beach days, a morning at the green market, and playing in the snow are a few examples. Be open to the unexpected.
The best way to be a better person: be grateful for what you have, in the tangible and most importantly, in the intangible. Be grateful for your loved ones, and for your health. You don’t realize how much you have until either or both of these two things are taken from you.
It’s easy to focus on what others have (both in their health… and in gorgeous handbags), but neither will make you feel better about you. Focus today on feeling grateful for what you have.
As someone who deals daily with sucky health stuff, who misses her dad terribly and who lives near plenty of people with much bigger houses and fancier cars, I get how you can hyper focus on what’s missing in your life. Fact: it gets you nowhere. I’m insanely grateful I can walk (I couldn’t eight years ago), I’m beyond grateful to have a beautiful family, with my mom and grandmas who live nearby, I’m eternally grateful for a beautiful home that provides a roof over our heads, and I’m grateful that we can provide for our family and give back to our community. That’s more than I need in a lifetime.
Be Less Busy.
The Olympics might be fast approaching but I promise you that you will never win a gold medal for being the busiest human being alive. It only means you’re saying yes to everything. Say no more often so you have the bandwidth to say yes to who and what matters most in your life.
You’ll be a better, more well-rested and less-stressed, person.
Let’s not call these resolutions… but have you been thinking about how you can be a better person?