I know no one reads directions anymore and product manuals are almost immediately thrown in the trash. But what happens when you get to that step when things just don’t seem to fit properly? It’s time to get the instructions down right. You’ve got to fix the inside before anything will stick on the outside.
This post is part of a 14 part series on How to Be a Better Person. I’ve also super-duper fancied this group of posts up into an Amazon Kindle book. Check it out: Forget Perfect, Just Be Better: 101 Simple Ways to Grow in Relationships, at Work, in Life, and Through God.
1) Mental Fist-Pumps
The further and further I go from the good old high school and college days, the more I realize I don’t have the same emotional safety-net I once had. Sure, I can talk to my wife and call up a buddy at the drop of a hat, but this just doesn’t seem to help on some days.
Every entrepreneurial journey can be especially rough and lonely. You’re busting your bum to hustle out as much useful output as you can on a limited amount of time. If you can’t keep yourself going, no one else will. You’ve got to be your own fuel to keep your fire burning.
Go ahead and give yourself permission to be cheesy. Cheer yourself on and congratulate yourself for little wins. Aim for at least 5 today. Mental fist-pumps are okay. You deserve it.
Every time you pat yourself on the back, you push yourself forward.
2) Unique Snowflakes
I didn’t find this out until I was in my thirties, but my mom used to buy us clothes from Goodwill when we were in and around middle school. Do I think there is anything wrong with this? No, they have great stuff. Would my friends have cared? Maybe. Did I give two flying whoopity-doodads? Heck no.
The more we can get over relying on someone else’s opinion of the way we look, the more we can start to focus on what really matters in life. Being able to direct your own actions and behaviors based on your own judgments is key for guiding your life.
Stop the appearance judging game with yourself to build up your experience. Do not judge the appearance of anyone today. Catch yourself and just stop.
Any clothes are better than being naked. Focus on what matters: the person inside.
3) Fixing the Unhappy
Ever gone on a hiking trip? What kind of stuff did you put in your backpack? It doesn’t matter what was inside, but I can guess it was probably too much. In fact, if it was more than water and a knife for a day trip, it was too much. And guess what? That extra stuff just weighed you down.
There are tons of things we don’t need that we tend to keep in our life’s backpack. Constantly dragging it around when we know dang well it isn’t doing us any good. We get used to the weight on our back and forget about it. Our strengths returns once we drop the pack and move on.
List the top 3 reasons you are not happy with something. It can be something big or small – I recommend aiming for something small and doable first, Think of 3 things you can do to fix each one. Do 1 of those 3 things before next Sunday.
Lighten the load and enhance your happy – less weight, more hike.
4) Self Talk is Okay
Remember Jack Handey and his Deep Thoughts? Way overdone, way over-the-top, and easily dismissed as useless. You know what real damage was done here? People immediately think that any type of self-talk is useless as they think back to Jack’s parodies, without realizing they were parodies.
Auto-suggestion, also known as self-talk, has been given the green light by psychology since the Deep Thoughts era, when used properly. Yes, telling yourself you are a “unique snowflake” isn’t helpful. But, it is powerfully enabling to remind yourself that you “have an infinite wealth of memories to look back on for ideas and solutions to your current problems.” Huge difference and I suggest the latter one.
Try out some positive, useful Self-Talk exercises today. See if you can stick with it for a week in a row. Then go for 21 days to make it a good habit.
You are your harshest critic and best supporter. Keep your words on point and the messages uplifting.
5) Judge Not, Just Describe
Do you know someone who’s “not attractive” or is that person just “someone I am not attracted to?” How about a coworker that’s a “total grouch” or maybe just “in a mood I don’t fully understand?” Is anyone you know “short” or are they “4 feet and 10 inches?” Is that unruly kid over there too much of a “wild brat” or does he just not “have the right tools for dealing with this situation?”
Walls. What we build around ourselves are walls. Day in and day out we’re all about putting up defenses, brick by brick. Why? Do fend off the judgers. There’s only one problem. The worst offender is inside. Your inner critic can turn something as simple as a number to describe your weight into something as depressing as a useless label.
Turn something you think is negative about yourself into a descriptive statement. Is someone you know really “fat” or do they just “weigh XXX pounds?”
Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts. Your judgments are not welcome here.
6) Stop, Calibrate, and Listen
I know there are plenty of examples out there, but I will stick with parenting because it’s something I enjoy and am intimately familiar with. Ever sat and watched kids play with something they’re not supposed to? Is your immediate reaction to stop, correct, and teach? This is a little thing called growing up and learning. It’s what child-rearing adults do to help those kiddos.
When does this constant calibration to what works in life finally stop? When can you finally rest in the lesson learning and useful thinking process? Never. Your parents won’t do it for you anymore and now you have to be your own teacher, educator, calibrator, and correction officer.
Continue to pay attention to what you think. Catch yourself the next time you put yourself down or anyone else. Stop it. Replace it with something useful and positive – big or small. Do this at least 5 times today. Keep doing it and get used to it.
The power to make a better you is in your hands and head.
7) The Most Interesting People in the World
You and I, we’re the same, right? Both humans, both between 4’ and 8’ tall, somewhere around 200 pounds plus or minus 100, and we both eat, drink, and sleep, right? But what about our insides? How we were raised, what beliefs we’ve come to hold close, how capable we think we are, what mistakes we’ve made and lessons we’ve learned?
If you really want to begin to understand the concept of ‘infinity,’ try and think about every single awesome thought you’ve ever had. And remember, what was awesome at 2 years old was still awesome from your frame of mind. Now, when you’re done with that, think about how many awesome experiences your best friend has had.
Everyone has a story to tell, probably hundreds, and you don’t know half of them. Pretend the people you talk with today are the most interesting people in the world.
Stay interested my friends.
8) Cliché Olé
When’s the last time you said “he is such a pain in the neck,” “no sweat off my back,” or “maybe when the cows come home?” Do you have any idea what those phrases mean or are they just shortcuts for not having to think too much? Do you really mean what you’re saying?
You know words are very important. Too often, we use familiar phrases as a crutch so we don’t have to spend too much time thinking of what we really want to say. Do you know how many of those sayings and thoughts might be holding you back from trying something new that will help you grow?
Think of your favorite or most often used cliché. Research where it came from and how it was originally used. Now decide whether or not you like what you’ve learned.
Do your own thinking and regain control.
8 Ways to Become a Better Person Through Thinking:
- Mental Fist-Pumps
- Unique Snowflakes
- Fixing the Unhappy
- Self Talk is Okay
- Judge Not, Just Describe
- Stop, Calibrate, and Listen
- The Most Interesting People in the World
- Cliché Olé
Use that noggin on your shoulders and start thinking your way to becoming a better person. Sure, you still have to do the work, but thinking things through is an awesome place to start.
Want to get the whole series in a convenient ebook?
Check it out: Forget Perfect, Just Be Better: 101 Simple Ways to Grow in Relationships, at Work, in Life, and Through God