This is a contributed post.
All too often we confuse our priorities. We believe that we are in competition with those around us; in competition for university places, job positions, promotions, everything. But this is wrong. We shouldn’t be in competition with others. We should be helping others, and the best way to do that is to be in competition with ourselves. Matty Mullins said it best when he said, “the only person we should try and be better than is the person we were yesterday.”
By growing as a person we can help others grow, and that should be the goal of life. Not competition by collaboration. There is rarely anything in life as rewarding and meaningful as the pursuit of your own development, the pursuit of your own betterment, because through these improvements we are able to gain more from our lives; whatever more may mean to you. What’s more, the potential for this growth is limitless; we can always learn more and we can always improve who we are, and that means we can forever reap the rewards of such a journey.
The question is, how do you become a better person than you were yesterday or a better person than you were this morning? There is no simple answer, nor and short-cuts or quick methods. It is a journey, a long journey, and one that requires you make a conscious effort. However, we have come up with an extensive list to help you in your pursuit for betterment and self-fulfillment.
1. Write A Letter
This isn’t just any letter, though, nor is it for anyone to read. It is a letter to you, to your future self, one that details your concerns and your hopes, one that explains who you hope to be in three years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now. Notice that this is not about where you want to be, but about who you want to be. The other thing you could do is write several letters to yourself that almost plans your progress. Write one that details what sort of person you want to be a year from now, two years from now, and so on. Put them in sealed envelopes, date them, make a note in your calendar and open them on these dates. It will help you see your progress.
2. Stay Positive
A positive outlook attracts a positive energy. The reason for this is because by adopting a positive mental attitude we are giving ourselves more power; we believe we have more control over our lives and our future. This is the basis for The Secret Law of Attraction teachers who encourage this idea of like attracts like, and that positivity can help you make huge accomplishments in a person’s self-development. Little good comes from negativity because it prevents us from striving for more, so try and remain as positive as you can for as long as you can.
3. Read Lots And Often
Even with the rise of the internet, books remain one of the best sources of wisdom, so the more you read the more you can absorb, the more you expose yourself to, the wiser you become through osmosis. It could be non-fiction books that walk you through topics you’ve never been exposed to, like bereavement, mental health, spiritual healing. However, it could also be finding new ways of thinking and opinions through novels, those that explore human feelings, from love to regret, doubt to optimism. It could be poetry books, poetry collections, short verses; finding hope in the loss of others, finding kismet understanding in words and feeling your soul latch onto another's. The more you read the more you are exposing yourself to new ways of thinking and exploring new possibilities you didn’t know existed prior.
4. Learn A Language
Not only does learning a language encourage a new sense of self-fulfilment. It teaches you the invaluable skill of learning a new language, the methods in which you learn best, a new way of acquainting yourself with new languages and an encouraging exposure to new cultures, all of which are completely mind-opening experiences. But with the learning of a new language comes an endless chance for betterment as you meet and converse with more people, new people, people you had no way of communicating with or learning from before, and that will have a huge impact on your pursuit for personal development.
5. Improve Your Skill Base
There has never been a better or easier time to learn new things than now. The internet offers a free education. It offers answers, lots of answers, a myriad of answers to any questions you may have; it is just a matter of going onto Google and asking. However, the internet has also brought about the chance to learn new skills, take online courses or find schools nearby that offer courses. It could be you spend a couple of years learning how to be a carpenter, or do a Masters in philosophy, or take an online creative writing course, or learn how to self-publish a book. The opportunities are endless, and that means your chance to grow is endless too.
6. Face Your Fears
It is one of the most challenging things anyone can do, but also one of the most rewarding. Overcoming what was once impossible can make you feel invincible and set you off on a journey. Fears prevent us from growing, they hold us in one place, or steer us away from a part of life that we may enjoy, and excel in. So it is very important you try and overcome these fears, or separate the fear from the danger. A lot of the time, as with everything, it is just a matter of attitude, so why not start viewing your fears in a new light. Look at them simply as things you have yet to try or address, things that will see you grow in leaps and bounds.
7. Accept Your Faults
No one is perfect, and that is part of the reason why you may be taking this journey to betterment, to help you get closer to this idea of perfection, or at least you idea of what perfection is. However, that is impossible without recognizing your flaws and accepting them. The best way to do this is to understand them and analyze them. Start to understand what sets them off and how you can address them so that they are no longer a negative part of your personality, your character, who you are.
8. Learn From Others.
A great way to know who you want to be is looking for inspiration in other people. Make a note of the people who inspire you and make a note of exactly what it is about them that inspires you. It could be their determination, their kindness, their warmth, the humility; it could be anything. Alternatively, make a note of people that don’t inspire you, people that you don’t want to turn out like. And once again, make a note of the qualities that make them this way. It could be bitterness or jealousy or anything, but make a note and do your best to eradicate these traits from who you are.
9. Don’t Get Comfortable
Nothing incredible ever came from someone’s comfort zone, and that’s because comfort zones contain us instead of pushing us. It is only when we step out of comfort zones that we challenge ourselves and our perceptions, and these challenges are what help us grow. It can be hard realizing you are stuck in your comfort zones, but a good way to address it is to shake things up, to try new things, to break your routine, and expose yourself to new things and new people. This will see you have to adapt to your new circumstances and surroundings, and that is a process of growth like no other.
10. Push Your Brain to Think
Watching television is an activity that tends to numb us instead of growing us. Yes, it is a wonderful source of information when used properly, but why not reduce the time you spend watching television and spend your time pushing your mind instead. Take up chess, or backgammon; something that requires you to use your brain in a strategic and analytic way. It will exercise this part of your brain that will help you think differently in the real-world, and to act more strategically will only benefit you.
11. Meditate More
Meditation is a fantastic way to take more control over your mind and your thoughts, and use them to channel a better energy around your body. It is a great way to deal with stress and learn how to be calmer and more conscious. It helps you declutter the swirling, whirling mess of thoughts that often clutter our thought process and prevent us from seeing clearly, which can be addressed with as little as ten minutes of meditation a day. It is a fantastic method to encourage betterment and growth.