5 Productive Ways To Make Yourself Better

5 Productive Ways To Make Yourself Better

Be Your Best Self And Have Fun With It
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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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7 Mental Notes We Should All Keep In Mind

You got today and every day.
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Some days we wake up with no motivation or reason. It is important to make notes for yourself so you continue to value each and every day. Making notes to yourself gives you reasons to wake up and start your day. Here are just a few to keep in mind when going through your day.

1. Today is another day you can improve yourself

2. Make sure to point out at least one positive thing from your day

It is easy to point out all the negatives and things that went wrong with your day, but always try to point out at least one good thing. It could be as simple as that good coffee you had this morning. Bring positivity to your days.

3. You're in control

You control if you will allow someone else to ruin your day. You are in control of your actions. The thing you don't control are the actions of others, but you can not let that affect you. You are in control of your happiness.

4. Don't forget to smile

5. Be kind to yourself

Some days will be harder than others and that's just that. You can not tear yourself down for mistakes you've made or pick at yourself for all the things that are wrong. Be kind to yourself and show yourself some mercy.

6. Don't live your day pleasing others

As a matter of fact, don't live your life that way. Please your damn self.

7. Choose YOU

Choose to live today. Choose to be yourself today. Choose all the things that make you happy. Choose to make this and everyday yours.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Gil

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When The Helpers Learned To Help Themselves

Why helpers and leaders need to take care of themselves, too
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I've been a helper and a leader for as long as I can remember.

From kindergarten when I made my first friend by helping another kid up at recess, to being the person in high school that many friends came to with their problems, to leading the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and then helping lead a Bible study in my undergraduate years, that has been my station. With exceptions, of course, I would say it is a station in which I have performed well.

And yet, there are some ways in which I haven't.

I love to help other people, but sometimes I forget to help myself.

That statement is true for me, and I've known it to be true for many others in positions of leadership or with passion for care. So often our hearts are so big that we feel we can give endlessly, until nothing is left for ourselves.

It's an understandable predicament, and a common one at that. We become familiar with such phrases as "he needs help more than I do," or "I have to be the rock, I can't show weakness." It's not always so easy to deal with, either.

Both from personal experience and the stories of others, I know that leading and helping can leave us isolated. Sometimes we become close to the people for whom we are strong, but more often than not (and typically with good reason) we are a helper/leader more than a friend. We are the person contacted when someone is in crisis, when they need a major opinion, when they don't want to be alone.

I think I speak for most leaders and helpers when I say that our roles can become draining. By nature of our empathy and concern, we spend much of our time either being supportive or looking for someone who needs support.

Even so, many of us feel that we can and should be strong enough to carry on. Much of my life I spent without close friends, and late in high school/early in college I lived with some depression and even suicidal thoughts. But I was a helper and a leader, and I felt deep down that the difference I could make would be limited if I showed weakness.

But I was weak; we all are, really. I just wasn't willing to face it for fear that it would limit my ability to help.

I moved past my depression, but then I covered up my further struggles. Rather than looking at ways I could strengthen or care for myself, I dove into my role as a supporter, as a leader.

Some people say that if you don't take care of yourself you can't make a difference, but I beg to differ. It's not true for everyone, but there are many people (such as myself) that have the ability to cover up their feelings quite well. The thought is often that the pain of others is more important than our own.

Some give all of their time to help and to lead, and for those things they lose sleep, miss meals, and see their social life suffer.

Being so inclined to help and to sacrifice is not bad; on the contrary, it can be a beautiful thing. But there is danger in trying to lead people down paths we have not traveled. When we've faced our own issues, we have stories that we can share to not only give advice with people, but also to truly connect and relate with them.

And then there is the danger of hurting others from our own ignorance of self. As most car owners (hopefully) know, when the warning light comes on and we refuse to look under the hood we risk breaking down in the middle of the road and causing a wreck. If we don't look at our own negative feelings and struggles, they will eventually catch up with us no matter how powerful the engine. In our roles as helpers and leaders, there are many people on the road following us – if we don't check on ourselves and break down in the middle of the road, it's not that surprising to expect some fallout.

We help others, or at least I do, because we love it. I find it fulfilling. But if I tie my worth to other people and lose sight of my worth in Christ, as I sometimes do, I burn out quickly. When I trust in Him, find ways beyond just helping to have fun, and take care of myself physically (working out, eating, getting good sleep, etc.), that love is alive and well.

I still love helping people. But I also take the time to breathe, to enjoy my life, because it's something I hope to see others do too.

Cover Image Credit: Wilson R. Harvey

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