5 Productive Ways To Make Yourself Better

5 Productive Ways To Make Yourself Better

Be Your Best Self And Have Fun With It
2017
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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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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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From Someone Who's Wrestled With Self-Doubt, I Finally Learned I'm Enough

Everyone struggles with insecurity but I am here to tell you you're enough.

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Every human at some point in time struggles with confidence. If you are not part of the mass majority than I congratulate you. That is a true accomplishment in today's world. But most of us battle with our own insecurities the majority of the time.

The internal question of "am I good enough?" It's on a constant loop. Whether it pertains to your intelligence, relationships, body image; there is always that thought circling our minds. Building confidence is a long journey, however, I am here to say it is possible.

I am someone who has consistently wrestled with self-doubt. It is difficult for me to open up about, but the whole part of coming to terms with your reality is the vulnerability of sharing and allowing others to take away from your experience. So here we go!

For years I have struggled with body image, like many do. My whole life I have heard from health professionals that I am overweight. Too far past the healthy percentile for my height and age. Constantly being encouraged to watch portions and exercise more frequently.

I always thought to myself that my life would be better once I lost weight. That more people would find me attractive, my confidence would increase, and I would finally feel at ease with myself. All I needed was motivation within myself, to push for what I have been fantasizing over. I wish I knew that this was not everything.

I didn't start to lose extreme weight until my freshman year fall semester. Something that was an initial healthy outlet, became an obsession. I wasn't a moderate gym member and nourishing my body properly. Instead, I was going to the gym twice a day, running for two hours straight each session, and pushing my body to its limits. I was burning myself out.

Someone who used to always enjoy food dreaded the thought of eating. I would excessively exercise and convince myself that I was full and overeating after only eating an apple for an entire days meal.

As I once told myself that losing weight would change my life for the better, it was crippling to my mental state. I looked in the mirror, thinnest I have ever been, and all I saw was someone who was obese. My mind was messing with my reality.

The anxiety I had over eating was immense, starving myself to achieve beauty. I scared those closest to me. My friends and family, I am so sorry you saw me in such a chaotic phase in my life. I am sorry that I had worried you so much and hurt you while hurting myself.

With time, I caught an illness before it completely overcame me and stole all my joy. What people don't tell you about weight loss, is that no matter how many pounds you lose, it doesn't correct the burden and weight you carry in your heart.

Why do we focus so much on the external, when it is often our internal that needs remedies? It is because we all have insecurities we allow to fester. However, let's recognize that true confidence comes from within. You have to be satisfied with your innermost self first.

Months of healing and I finally realized; I like my soul. I am compassionate. I give back to my community. I give back to my friends. I love my family with my whole heart. I am kind to each person I come across. And that's what is truly important. That is what defines me. Once I realized that I appreciated me for me, my confidence flourished.

Now exercise is not a chore but something that genuinely fuels me! I run outside for pure joy. Not for the pressure to lose weight but to have gratitude for my bodies capabilities. How beautiful it is to know that you are alive, breathing in the fresh air. Feeling your lungs inhale and exhale. Knowing that your body is strong and capable of such movement.

Our minds and bodies need rest and deserve to be taken care of properly. There's no reason to focus solely on the physical because that is not what embodies who you are. There are more important things in this life.

Every single individual has something that makes them special, do not allow for your confidence to diminish by comparison. Do not let the world steal your light through societal expectations. Do not shrink yourself. Someone else's beauty is not the absence of your own.

Your heart is what makes you who you are, allow for the world to see it. Be confident, undeniably and uniquely you. The next time you're in a constant loop of insecurity, use this affirmation; "I am enough!"

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