6 Ways To Better Yourself

6 Ways To Better Yourself

There is no challenge more difficult than the challenge to improve yourself.

We've all made mistakes in our lives. There are things each person regrets, and there are things each person is proud of. As we continue to progress with our lives, we learn more about who we are and what we want out of life. No one's perfect. We all have room for personal growth, albeit in different ways. Here's some ways to better yourself and live a more fulfilling life:

1. Listen.

To really show someone respect, you have to listen to what they are saying. This means letting go of any preconceived notions or prejudices and sincerely giving your time and understanding to those around you. Don't listen with the intent to reply, but listen with the intent to understand. By listening and understanding what those around you have to say, you learn new things, gain new perspectives, and have new experiences. Listening to what others have to say is an art that involves putting your ego aside and putting others before yourself.

2. Don't make excuses.

Blaming others, pointing fingers, and making excuses in life will get you nowhere. We all make mistakes. It takes courage to admit them, own them, and learn from them. Excuses and lies are separated by a fine line, and an individual who constantly relies on excuses is only setting themselves up for failure. Learn to make efforts, not excuses.

3. Give what you can.

The only way we can make this world a better place is by acting with kindness in all aspects of life. Anything that goes towards helping others is never a waste. We lift ourselves by helping others rise, and a heart that gives is a heart that gathers.

4. Educate yourself.

Take the time to understand what is going on in the world around you, and let go of preconceived notions you may have that are not based in fact. Ignorance breeds hatred, distrust and frustration. It isolates humans from each other and detracts from the true essence of humanity. Education and understanding promote interconnectedness; awareness produces well-roundedness. Knowledge allows you to understand viewpoints different from your own.

5. Be yourself, love who you are.

An original is always worth more than a copy. You cannot be accepted and understood by others if you do not accept yourself. Pretending to be someone you are not will wear you out mentally and emotionally, and allow for feelings of self-loathing to harbor. Being yourself and accepting that individual allows you to add value to who you are. Trusting in that, forgiving yourself for the mistakes you have made, and loving who you are will enable you to empower yourself.

6. Be thankful.

Life isn't fair, and it's most definitely not perfect. There's always going to be people who have more than you, who you envy, who seem to have it together so much more than you. But there are always going to be people who think that about you. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. Never forget the things you already have in light of the things that you want. Wake up every day being thankful for simply being alive. Go to sleep at night being thankful for having another night to sleep. Be thankful for friends, for family, for freedom and for everything else that you have--take nothing for granted and you will be happy.

Every day is a new beginning, an opportunity to for you to be better than the person you were yesterday.

Cover Image Credit: globetrottingstiletto.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.


I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.


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