Life is a continual practice in self-improvement. And while some of that focus concerns becoming more educated or rising in the ranks of the workplace, sometimes we forget to improve how we treat ourselves and those around us. While we're getting eager to achieve, the thought of "improving ourselves" can become lost to ambition and selfishness. The journey to improving your soul and your compassion toward yourself and others begins here.
1. Be kind.
This should be obvious, but there are so many people out there who seem to forget how much of a difference kindness can make. When people are kind to each other, it's contagious. Kindness breeds kindness, and there's nothing wrong with that. I believe it takes more energy to be unkind, so why bother? There is a magnet on my refrigerator that says, "Be kind. No exceptions."
2. Stop Making Excuses
When I first started my company in high school, I made excuses every time something went wrong. I would blame others, blame the customer, or anyone else involved. However, I would never blame myself for things that went wrong.
Instead, I learned that taking accountability for your own mistakes is extremely important. I stopped making excuses, took the blame when it was truly my fault, and was able to achieve so much more. By understanding that I made a mistake, I was able to use my mistakes to learn which in turn helped me become a better person.
3. Let Go of Anger
Letting go of anger is easier said than done. While anger is a perfectly normal emotion, you can't let it fester. When this happens, you may make unwise decisions, and more important, it may affect your health. Research suggests pent up anger can cause digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, and even heart disease.
4. Stop comparing yourself with others.
Try to understand that some have it better than you, but many have it much worse. When we make ourselves miserable by comparing ourselves with others, we are wasting time and energy that we could use in building our own inner resources. Compliment yourself every morning. Being happy makes you a more positive person, which helps you put those positive vibes out into the world.
You have your own unique gifts and talents. Focus on sharing them with the world instead of focusing on the gifts of another.
5. Work on your negative traits.
Are there any traits you dislike about yourself? Some traits which I didn’t like about myself in the past include being self-centered, arrogance, selfishness, critical, harshness, hardness, etc. Identify them, then work on them one at a go. It can be challenging to try to overhaul your character at one go. On the other hand, if you work on addressing 1 negative trait at a time, it’s a lot more manageable and achievable.
This tip requires some concentration, but the benefits are tremendous. Although meditation has been around for eons, it’s not well-established in Western cultures. Early Western scientific studies on meditation showed how it could be a treatment for physical issues like migraine headaches and even diabetes. These studies started to see another positive outcome to meditation—focused meditation was reducing negative emotions.
Everyone has a “set point” for their emotions, from which we move up or down to experience positive or negative feelings. This starting line can be changed with long-term meditative practice, starting after only two months of meditation. Meditation also makes people kinder and improves immune system responses.
7. Give up addictions.
Whatever it is, cigarettes, sweets, fats, caffeine, social media, etc.. Quit the addiction. It doesn’t look good on you. You control you, nothing else.
Why do you do it? You have to be able to answer that question. Is it to help you deal with anxiety and stress? It may be hard for you to admit that you have a drinking or smoking habit, but you can't change what you don't acknowledge.
8. Be grateful.
Count your blessings. In your struggle to be better than others socially, physically and economically, you may often miss out on noticing the good things that you’ve been blessed with. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, be grateful for what you do have. This is one big step towards how you can become a good human being and save yourself a lot of heartburn.
9. Become more compassionate.
Understanding what it is like to face challenges, caregivers become more attuned to the needs of those who are struggling. By caring for someone else, your sense of empathy and compassion are heightened and you become able to be a safe harbor for others in need.
10. Tell the truth.
Anytime you tell the truth, you raise your level of consciousness. Why do people tell lies? To protect themselves in lower states of consciousness. People in higher states of consciousness don’t lie because they want to be true to themselves, others, and make relationships in humanity more conscious.