The self-help industry in the United States generates $11 billion in revenue. We’re devouring self-help books, courses, workshops and webinars in order to make more money, connect with our spiritual selves, or simply to learn how to be a better person.
What people are really looking for is a sense of personal fulfillment. It used to be fine to define yourself by what you did: a breadwinner, a mother, an artist. These days we are looking for something else, that reconnection to self and the feeling that we are all connected to source.
The truth is, you are already a good person. You are fine just the way you are. Okay, well, you could make a few tiny adjustments to be even better.
Know You Are (Almost) Perfect
“No-one is perfect.” We hear that all the time, and it’s true, there is no perfect person alive on the planet today. But that’s a good thing. It means we can aspire to greatness, we always have the opportunity to recreate ourselves each new day. For some this could mean honing their physical appearance, for others it might mean expanding their knowledge, yet others would be happy if they learned to bake.
It doesn’t matter, as long as you know you are pretty close to perfection right now.
You gotta start listening. Really listening. You know you are guilty of letting your mind roam while someone is talking. You are already working on your next spoken sentence as you watch their mouth moving. Stop. Pay attention. Be a good listener.
Learn Something New – Every Day
What did you learn today? Your brain needs stimulus, your muscles need to learn more movements. Try to learn a new thing every day. Whether a skill, or a set of facts. Your brain is like a muscle – it needs to be exercised. Your body is like a brain – it needs to be challenged.
Change Your Opinions
Nothing is worse than a person who is closed down. Not open to any new ideas or able to change their perceptions. The older we get the more we are likely to have beliefs that are set in concrete. Always keep an open mind. Always be prepared to have your beliefs challenged.
Here’s one to start with. Did you know that you are more empty space than solid flesh and bone? It’s true. When scientists looked at the make-up of molecules and atoms, they discovered that only the teeny-tiny nucleus is an actual thing. The rest is empty space. That means that if you subtracted the nucleus from every atom in every human being on the planet, we would all fit into a space equivalent to a sugar cube. Eye-opening, right? There’s plenty more of that if you care to look. What you believe is reality, isn’t.
Drop Those Old Excuses
Do you use excuses to explain to yourself and others why you can’t do something? Change the tune. Look for reasons why you can do it. And if you really can’t do it – I’m never likely to make it to the Moon now – then look for ways to approximate your desire. I could learn all about the Moon and become a Moon expert in a laywoman kind of way. I could even get some Moon-knowledge qualifications if I truly wanted them. I might even be able to see some actual Moon rock. You get the picture.
Talking of excuses, don’t use them to deflect responsibility from yourself. If it’s gone wrong, and it was your mistake, own it. You’ll be a better person for it. Having said that, don’t go to far the other way and blame yourself for every bad thing that happens. That would be silly.
If there’s one thing you can do to be a better person, this is it. Think how much lovely thinking time you could have if you weren’t always thinking. By that I mean worrying about the future. Or worrying about a problem you think you have.
Okay, so you do have a problem. Is it with you right now? Sitting next to you? Probably not. Then know that right here and now, you have no problem. In this fraction of time < here > no problems. Right? How about < here >? Still no problem?
What I’m trying to get at is that worrying about something that hasn’t happened or is not affecting you in this moment is not worth your attention. The time to give it attention is when you are actually dealing with it. For example, the time to pay attention to your lack of money to pay a bill is when you are about to pay it, or when you are juggling payments in order to be able to pay it. Or when you are talking to someone who can help. For the rest of the time, worrying about it is counter-productive. You’d be better off thinking about increasing your income. And you can’t do that in a positive way if you are thinking negatively.
Once that problem is dealt with and you are on the other side of it, you’ll never worry about it again. If you can know that on this side of the problem, you’ll be halfway to getting it sorted. Worry is futile and a waste of energy.
Nothing feels better than making someone happy. What could you give today?
Anger. Who Needs It?
No-one. Well, maybe in exceptional circumstances a good burst of anger helps clear the tension. Mostly though, we don’t need it. As we become more stressed, the more anger is our go-to response. It’s really bad for you and those you care for. It’s something you need to work on. Learn how to let it go. We’ll take a look at how to release anger in another post.
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