5 Productive Ways To Make Yourself Better

5 Productive Ways To Make Yourself Better

Be Your Best Self And Have Fun With It

Making ourselves better is a continuous quest. I hear people saying "I'm working on myself" all the time. I used to say this a lot, too, but the truth is that lying in my bed reading Cosmo is not making me better. Try these five productive ways to make yourself better for guaranteed results.

1. Got an idea for an invention? Go for it.

Most of us have had some cool idea at one point or another. I lie on the beach in Barcelona fantasizing about a bathing suit the sun rays can penetrate, so I never get tan lines. A friend of mine invented a bag that unfolds into a beach towel. Sounds simple, right? The truth is that a ton of useful inventions start as ideas we write off as silly. Don't undermine yours. If you want an opinion of whether your invention would be any good, check out inventhelp. They'll tell you straight away if you're on to something and if so, they'll help you make it a reality. Cat onesies for everyone!

2. Re-program your brain

If you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about, that's cool. My reaction was the same the first time I heard about this concept. I follow millionaire entrepreneur Tai Lopez who's got an unbelievable rags to riches story and has great videos on YouTube educating those of us who are in our early steps of creating a business. He advocates strongly for the so called "reprogramming" of your brain. All that means is that if you let's say want to create a travel blog and have 1,000 hits a month, you take ten minutes in the day and tell yourself: "I love that my travel blog is getting 1,000 hits per month."

I know, you're not there yet, but that doesn't matter. You have to feel comfortable and get used to the idea of having achieved your goal. Our brains are constantly overwhelmed with information, smartphones buzzing, dreamy photos of others' lifestyles popping up on Instagram. We have to focus on what it is we want to achieve and be serious and confident. Instead of doubting your ability, repeat to yourself that you've already achieved it 30 times a day and you'll see results soon.

3. All about books

We live in a time where books from all periods of existence are available to us. There's so much knowledge and advice out there, that we can easily avoid a ton of mistakes if we just picked up a book by Seneca or Tim Ferriss. As Warren Buffet said: "It's good to learn from your mistakes. It's better to learn from other people's mistakes."

Image by Negative Space

Pick up one new book a week. If reading is not your thing, get an audio book. There's plenty on youtube. Curiosity has a very high level of reward. You'll be able to carry on conversations on all sorts of topics and get new ideas for your work. Reading is one of the absolute best ways to make yourself better.

4. Pick up exercise

I'm not talking about slaving away at the gym to get super jacked or have a six pack. Pick up an exercise you enjoy. I like to jump rope because it improves my coordination and endurance. Hiking is also one of my favorites, because it feels pretty much like a more intense version of a walk in a scenic spot in nature. Our brains behave differently in nature than they do in an office. Being in nature lowers stress, plus inhaling clean air is always a good idea when we spend the other 90% of our time in a busy city.

Exercise will be an incredible boost for you. Waking up early to go jogging (and actually going through with it), will keep you motivated for the rest of the day. I get my best ideas when I'm jogging and I feel my entire body working together as one big, powerful muscle.Exercise makes us more productive as it helps us deal with stress better, gives us more brain cells through a process of neurogenesis and increases levels of our beloved chemical serotonin. Pick the type you like and have fun with it.

Image by Unsplash

5. Become a volunteer

I've always tried to volunteer in at least one organization. When I was at Trinity College, I was a mentor for the "Big Sister, Little Sister" program for women. After graduation, I did some tour guide work for an international hostel in Boston. Volunteering your time will give you an insight about a problem in your community you could help fix. It will also bring a sense of reward. To do good without expecting anything in return is an important business lesson as well.

Working in social media marketing, I give advice to brands and entrepreneurs all the time without expecting anything in return. I helped someone with a school project and next thing you know, she's inviting me to speak at TEDx sponsored by her school in Bulgaria. Volunteering will give you a taste of an industry you aren't necessarily invested in yet and help build a very versatile skillset. Plus, a ton of good karma points will be coming your way. Get involved.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?

I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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Being Single And Selfish Is The Best Choice For A 20-Something

How I came to being happy as just me and with just me.


Through high school and a half of my college experience, I fell victim to the trap that many girls do; that I needed a boyfriend. In high school it was easy; dates barely existed and having a boyfriend was as easy as agreeing to go to the next dance with a boy we'd known since the first grade. In college, the terrain began to change with Tinder, Bumble and frat boys emerging from previously unchecked corners of our lives. As I agreed to get tacos with one emotionally unavailable boy after the next, I never stopped to ask myself why. Finding a date was just a sidelines expectation of what I should have going on in my life. Only recently have I broken into this unabashed love I have for myself and allowed it to change my view on dating.

I struggled like most girls with self-image and finding myself as an individual in the age of social media, where comparisons to others can be accessed with a login to Instagram. I am 100% addicted to social media and so it wasn't through a cleanse of it that I was able to tap into how I felt about myself. For me, I was presented with opportunities to do something I love. I spent a few months traveling and tapping into my own skills. I was able to make a difference in other people's lives, and that drove me to the understanding the value of work I can produce.

After settling into this appreciation for what I am capable of, all on my own, I realized I hadn't gone on a date in several months-- and I didn't care. Finding meaningful experiences that you don't feel an obligation to share with someone else is so empowering. My money is spent on me, and my time is spent on things that can fill my soul and only my soul. I don't have to turn to the boy next to me and ask his opinion because right now, I wouldn't care anyway. It took me so long to understand the validity of experiences that I have by myself, and now I get to revel in it.

This understanding of the wholeness I can feel on my own has also allowed me to be a better friend. I know how I feel about things and don't ever feel obligated to water down feelings or passion about something because of how it might reflect on my partner. I have time to dedicate to being with people who make me better and fill my life with the kindness and laughter that I know I deserve. Adult friendships are hard if you do them right and it is great to know what I bring to the table all by myself. My time and my ability to be fully present in my own life and the lives of the people that mean the most to me have become my most precious commodities. Instead of worrying about looking good to attract the attention of a boy at a bar, I can get ready for a night out and unashamedly sweat off all of my makeup dancing with my best friends because I just don't care about any of the boys in the bar anymore.

I'm not saying that being in a relationship is a bad thing by any means. For me though, I worried too much about finding a boyfriend and not about filling my life with me. I'm more aware of who I am and what I want now, so if a man does present himself, I can decide with an unfiltered mind if he is something I want to be included in my life. I am living selfishly and enjoying this time on my own, and I believe this time spent finding myself will make me a better partner if I do end up in a relationship down the line.

Please, please, please be selfish! Go on an "Eat, Pray, Love" adventure. Read a book that makes you cry. Start running. Sit in your room and soak in the silence that is all yours to have. Sit in your room and scream because you don't owe anyone an explanation to what is in your head or coming out of your mouth. Just please know yourself before you give her to someone else.

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