Did you notice that the first thing that comes out of our mouths when somebody asked us how we are is always negative? Too often, we would rant about how things aren’t going our way, like the boss is making too many demands, or the baby is keeping me up all night, or I’m not earning enough. Notice how we carry around negativity?
If you want to improve your life, you’ll need to make changes in your perspective. There might be a need to make some drastic changes to see actual results and improvements, but you can also make little changes that can help improve the quality of your life.
One mistake that we have is that we find it hard to accept ourselves. Proof? Read the following:
I want to be a great athlete just like him.
I want to own a business just like her.
I want my hair to be just like that.
Did any of these thoughts ever cross your mind? I bet they did. And there’s nothing wrong about admiring what someone else has. But you don’t really have to do it “just like him/her/that”. Do it the way YOU can. For you to do so, know yourself – strengths and weaknesses – and do things according to how you can. Sure, it’s good to take a look at other people’s qualities and emulate them, but don’t do things the way they did. More often than not, their skills, talents, and abilities are definitely different from yours. You will just end up frustrated.
And once you’ve accepted yourself, accept others. You can’t expect others to change and fit into your world and make everything okay. They have their own issues, too. So since you can’t change them, do something about how you should deal with them. Find the less stressful way. If you can’t avoid them because they are your boss or client, think of creative ways to deal with them. Focus on how they can be a positive aspect of your life.
Help Others
One great way to feel good about yourself is to help others. Helping other people has that natural feel-good effect on us. It gives us a feeling of achievement and a sense of purpose. You can find someone who really needs your help and offer your assistance: a colleague perhaps or a neighbor. You can offer to help on certain specific tasks, like helping the neighbors paint their fence or helping your colleague understand the new insurance policy.
Another rewarding thing you can do is to help anyone, even strangers. You can do this by volunteering at community activities or local volunteer groups. You can even help out at a local feeding project or help a local high school with a fund-raising project. If you occasionally suffer from anxiety and depression, helping others will promote the production of serotonin (the “happy” chemical) in the brain. Nothing feels as rewarding as being of help to those in need. Plus, you’ll gain new friends and improve your social life.
Set Goals
Self-improvement also means trying to change bad or unhealthy habits into good ones. Take a look at yourself and your lifestyle and examine it. Without any biases, identify your bad or unhealthy habits. Start with the easy ones. Do you smoke? Do you drink more than a few bottles? Do you skip breakfast? These and other easily identifiable unhealthy habits are the first that should be changed. Set a goal to quit smoking, or to drink less, or to start eating a healthy breakfast.
And when you have identified the easy ones, turn you focus on the hard ones or the ones that hurt the most. Are you pessimistic? Do you procrastinate often? Do you treat your spouse and kids right? It might take a while to identify and come to terms with these, but set a goal for yourself to gradually change these into positive habits. Resolve to be more optimistic. Do things promptly. Spend more time with your wife or husband and kids.

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