Enjoying mental health means having a sense of well-being, being able to function during everyday life and feeling confident to rise to a challenge when the opportunity arises. Just like your physical health, there are actions you can take to increase your mental health. Boost your well-being and stay mentally healthy by following a few simple steps.
- Connect with others. Develop and maintain strong relationships with people around you who will support and enrich your life. The quality of our personal relationships has a great effect on our well-being. Putting time and effort into building strong relationships can bring great rewards.
- Take time to enjoy. Set aside time for activities, hobbies and projects you enjoy. Let yourself be spontaneous and creative when the urge takes you. Do a crossword; take a walk in your local park; read a book; sew a quilt; have funwith your kids; play with your pets – whatever takes your fancy.
- Participate and share interests. Join a club or group of people who share your interests. Being part of a group of people with a common interest provides a sense of belonging and is good for your mental health. Join a sports club; a band; an evening walking group; a dance class; a theater or choir group; a book or car club.
- Contribute to your community. Volunteer your time for a cause or issue that you care about. Help out a neighbor, work in a community garden or do something nice for a friend. There are many great ways to contribute that can help you feel good about yourself and your place in the world. An effort to improve the lives of others is sure to improve your life too.
- Take care of yourself. Be active and eat well – these help maintain a healthy body. Physical and mental health are closely linked; it’s easier to feel good about life if your body feels good. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise – gardening, vacuuming, dancing and bush-walking all count. Combine physical activity with a balanced diet to nourish your body and mind to keep you feeling good, inside and out.
- Challenge yourself. Learn a new skill or take on a challenge to meet a goal. You could take on something different at work; commit to a fitness goal or learn to cook a new recipe. Learning improves your mental fitness, while striving to meet your own goals builds skills and confidence and gives you a sense of progress and achievement.
- Deal with stress. Be aware of what triggers your stress and how you react. You may be able to avoid some of the triggers and learn to prepare for or manage others. Stress is a part of life and affects people in different ways. It only becomes a problem when it makes you feel uncomfortable or distressed. A balanced lifestyle can help you manage stress better. If you have trouble winding down, you may find that relaxation breathing, yoga or meditation can help.
- Rest and refresh. Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed at a regular time each day and practice good habits to get better sleep. Sleep restores both your mind and body. However, feelings of fatigue can still set in if you feel constantly rushed and overwhelmed when you are awake. Allow yourself some unfocused time each day to refresh; for example, let your mind wander, daydream or simply watch the clouds go by for a while. It’s OK to add ‘do nothing’ to your to-do list!
- Notice the here and now. Take a moment to notice each of your senses each day. Simply ‘be’ in the moment – feel the sun and wind on your face and notice the air you are breathing. It’s easy to be caught up thinking about the past or planning for the future instead of experiencing the present. Practicing mindfulness, by focusing your attention on being in the moment, is a good way to do this. Making a conscious effort to be aware of your inner and outer world is important for your mental health.
- Ask for help. This can be as simple as asking a friend to babysit while you have some time out or speaking to your doctor (GP) about where to find a counselor or community mental health service. The perfect, worry-free life does not exist. Everyone’s life journey has bumpy bits and the people around you can help. If you don’t get the help you need first off, keep asking until you do.
In this day and age, innovation rules over us all. There isn’t an area of human interest that isn’t being changed one way or another, and with the internet and its ability to give anyone any kind of information on any kind of subject, it’s not hard to see how our modern era has become such a boom of ideas, both good and bad, solutions and discoveries, both big and small and news of breakthroughs both true and false.
So, what does one do with all this stuff happening in their own organisation and how does it affect existing structures and processes that are already in place? After all, nothing is safe from being slightly tweaked at least, and dramatically revolutionised at most.
Now, say you’ve gotten a job and in time you’ve managed to feel mildly competent about it. You’ve learned the tricks of the trade, some might say you’re even irreplaceable. You have it under control, you’re making steady money and are slowly becoming an authority in your workplace, and you like it. People look to you as some sort of expert, as you proudly tell them what to do.
But one day somebody comes in with a new idea on how to do things, maybe in a better or more efficient way, an idea so alien to you that it reduces you to a toddler. No longer do you feel in charge, no longer can you proudly say no one can do your job better than you. Some jerk just waltzed in and took it all away, it happens and It happens all the time!
However sometimes you need to embrace innovation and learn to adapt yourself. By encouraging innovation in the work place you will also learn new things yourself and perhaps, just maybe, you will even find a better way of doing something you have been struggling with for years.
In our modern day and age there probably isn’t a single person that can honestly say they follow and understand all these new trends the world is using, although there’s plenty that know some of them. Chances are they are not out to make you obsolete but add and enhance how to do things better and essentially help.
For those who manage teams, hold management or leadership positions within their organisation, might what to take a look at the list and ask themselves, “am I killing innovation for my company?”
The 10 guaranteed ways to kill innovative thinking
1. Have a wide range of specific protocols
Create a structure in which everything is predicted by a set of particular steps that must be taken. There must be a feeling that any detour from these paths will cause everything to crumble into chaos.
Do not accept any additions or exceptions to this system. Your workers must know their individual qualities and thoughts have no place rampaging through your area.
They have to realise this is not the place for the passionate individual that wants to make a contribution to the world or explore new opportunities.
2. Focus on minutia
No one will have the time or energy to actually come up with something new when the already existing work is draining their life force and pushing them into the never ending void of painstakingly inconsequential details that will lead to an existential crisis.
They will wander around the office wondering what they’re doing with their lives. No need to worry about anyone shaking the system.
3. Micromanage everything
The obvious sequel to number two – after you’ve dazed them with the pointlessness of their jobs, have as much supervision breathing down their necks as you possibly can.
Make sure that each millisecond of their time is filled with being good productive little workers, and, if anyone gives you a strange, empty look when you use the word “productive”, know that you’re doing well.
4. Numbers are your best friend
Now, everyone is aware of the importance of a good number – whether it’s the number of working hours, completed assignments, or the one in your bank account. Bigger numbers always win and make sure your workers know that.
If some lazy bum wants to waste their work time on daydreaming of a better life where an obvious solution or a shortcut is actually implemented and then tries to trick you into thinking they did work by presenting it to you, do remind them if the number of hours they spent on that isn’t their designated quota, as well as if it is not being what they are paid to do.
5. Emphasise your importance
For innovative ideas to happen, one must question the existing way of doing things, and you don’t want that. Make sure your workers know you’ve been around the block for quite some time and have been doing just fine.
If they’re suspicious of your methods, they’re clearly not experienced or competent enough, since any fool can see that the reason you’re doing things the way you are, is the result of the unmistakable wisdom of a person that has already considered all the options that could ever possibly exist and has chosen the best one.
6. “Tried and true”Innovation is risky business.
It represents something still untried that doesn’t have a guarantee of paying off. Also, it can unfortunately cause a rather messy situation for you if you try to implement it in that systematic predictable way of work I have mentioned in the beginning of the list.
One nudge, and everything will crumble down. Of course, somebody might say that it’s worth it and the end result will make things much easier and more profitable, or that the change really isn’t that dramatic in the first place.
But you know better than to listen to that slacker, so long as any kind of loss is a possibility, you’re not taking any risks. You’ll focus specifically on the tried and true method everybody is using and make sure no one can tell the difference between your company and countless others.
7. Award mediocrity
Since you’ve been doing all of the above, you have probably seen a number of workers who are in fact managing to pull through the system you’ve set up, doing their tasks without question, nitpicking every little facet of everything you’ve put in front of them and apparently accepting all your protocols and even thriving on repetition.
Make sure they know that’s the kind of spirit you appreciate and it will get them ahead. If some poor misguided soul has been doing that purely because they had the illusion that more power and privileges could get them liberty from the mental shackles which are your workplace – make sure to set them straight.
You will end up with all of the company’s authority in the hands of your intellectual peers and there will be nothing to worry about.
8. Imported innovation
Even though your company has wisely avoided any risk taking and unnecessary spending of resources, there are those who didn’t. Every once in a while, there are some who succeed.
What to do now? Suddenly, it paid off for someone, and all your “I know what I’m doing” attitude is questioned. Fear not, for you can always present the new development as something that could have only been possible in some outrageously different environment that nobody could ever associate with a place like yours.
Therefore, you are safe from having your abilities questioned, and attempt implementation only after you have observed everyone else do it and seen all the possible pitfalls.
Now, you have the confidence to dive into something new after it has stopped being new to anyone else and still act like you know how it all works.
You don’t really expect your workforce to think. That’s what you’re here for and you have it all figured out. They are only expected to know as much as you tell them, and,with the soul crushing everyday routine you’ve set up, they can’t be bothered to expand their knowledge and interests beyond that.
Soon, they will have the exact same reaction to innovation that you do: “Oh no, more work” (sigh). Now you are brothers in arms and your mission is done.
10. Your company is an island
The chambers of lost souls, which you now call the office, have through steps taken, become inadvertently tied to you. They have useless skills, neurological issues and crushed dreams. They don’t have the inspiration to go seek out different employment or criticise the current establishment, and they know that.
Every innocent new worker that comes through the door is automatically sucked into the void of futile exhaustion, and your ranks grow. You didn’t even have to lift a finger.
So the list is a bit extreme and pokes fun at management that is scared to embrace innovative thinkers within an organisation, but by now you get the point.
So my questions are, have you ever felt stifled in your company, never been encouraged to take ideas forward or rejected when you have suggestions of improvement to your managers?
Or have you been a manager guilty of fearing changes that might make you feel obsolete or less in control?
How can we as good managers encourage our employees and subordinates to grow and proactively innovate in the workplace to enhance our business?
Sent from LinkedIn for Android
Category-1 is those who strategize things as they have the visualization to portray the future. So they organize things in advance in order to avoid any possible set back. I call these people as 'Organizers'.
Category-2 is those people who have the reactive methodology to handle things. That means whenever a situation arises they react accordingly. I call these people as 'Reactors'. Although there can be good Reactors but the majority of them are bad Reactors since most of the situations do not give them the luxury of taking a U-Turn for going back to neutral to start again.
Category-3 is Commoners. These people do not have control on their lives. They are the product of their circumstances. They automatically flow with the wind; no matter where the wind takes them to. Of course, the first category is the best one as they have a proactive approach to life. So coming back to the track to understand the concept of pro-activeness in more details. Here are some points:
I remember when I was studying in university, I didn’t like myself very much. I was rude, selfish, emotionally stingy, self-centered, judgmental, highly critical, very obnoxious, and arrogant. When I think back about it, a lot of that came from insecurity with myself – a lack of self-esteem. I didn’t like myself, and this projected in my behavior toward others. I was dissatisfied with things about me, and hence I was dissatisfied with things about other people. Subsequently, I decided to work on becoming a better person. I didn’t like who I was becoming and I wanted to change that. After all, it’s quite miserable to live a life of self-hate. They say misery loves company, but I think the company misery attracts is self-debilitating in nature. It only makes you more and more unhappy, and no sooner turns you into a wrenched sight. Not a pretty vision, me thinks.
Today, I’m a lot happier with who I am. I can’t say that I’m perfect or that I’ve achieved my ideal persona, because there’s still so much I’ve to work on. I also think that becoming a better person is an ongoing goal to be worked on, and there’s never a real end point to reach.
- Commit yourself to growth (Be Growth-oriented). The more you grow, the better you become. I committed myself to a lifetime of growth back in 2006 (when I discovered my purpose), and I’ve never looked back ever since.
- Work on your negative traits. Are there any traits you dislike about yourself? Some traits which I didn’t like about myself in the past include being self-centered, arrogance, selfishness, critical, harshness, hardness, etc. Identify them, then work on them one at a go. It can be challenging to try to overhaul your character at one go. On the other hand, if you work on addressing 1 negative trait at a time, it’s a lot more manageable and achievable.
- Identify your ideal persona. What’s your ideal self like? Picture him/her in your mind, then write down all the traits of your ideal persona. Then, start living true to your ideal self.
- Find a role model. Having a role model gives us a concrete image of who we want to become. I see role models in people like Ellen Degeneres (for her genuineness and compassion toward others), Tyra Banks (for not being afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and inspiring women to do the same), Ivanka Trump (for her beauty, intellect and grace – representing the modern day woman), Oprah (for being a power mover in the world of self-help), among others. Who is/are your role model(s), and what do you like about them?
- Be a role model. The best way to be a better person is to be a role model to others. How can you be an inspirational guide to others? Live by example. In being a role model, remember it’s not about making yourself into someone you’re not (see #57 on Be Individualistic). It’s about living true to your ideal self (see #3).
- Be a better child to your parents. You only have 2 parents in your life, so appreciate the time you have with them. If your relationship with your parents is non-ideal, it doesn’t mean that everything ends here. I used to have a very poor relationship with my parents, until I achieved resolution recently. Read: How I Found Peace in My Relationship with My Parents
- Be a better friend to your friends. I used to be disappointed at how some of my friends aren’t always there for me when I need them, then I realized that I should think about how I can be a better friend to my friends first before making such expectations of others. Likewise for you, think: How can you be a better friend to your friends? Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life
- Be a better sibling, if you have siblings. I’ve several friends who are the only-child, and they frequently talk about how they wish they had a brother or sister. If you’re lucky enough to have brother(s) and sister(s), treasure them. Spend more time with them; Show them care and concern; Look out for them if you need to.
- Be a better partner, if you’re attached. If you’ve a girlfriend/wife or boyfriend/husband, think about how you can be a better partner to him/her. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to make demands and expectations about what your partner should do/be, but it’s difficult to take ownership for the things we aren’t doing/being ourselves. Commit yourself to being a better partner, and release your expectations of your partner. Both of you will be happier that way.
- Be a better parent, if you have children. Many parents have told me that having a child one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to them. If you have a child(ren), think about how you can be a better parent, without impeding on the child’s growth. Raising a child can be challenging especially as he/she enters adolescence years, but that’s also part of the joy of being a parent.
- Be a better employee in your company (if you work for someone). Often times, I hear people complain about how their companies are not giving them enough benefits/wages/support/etc. While this may be true, think about how you can be a better employee instead. Check if there’s anything more you can do for your manager. See if there are any new projects you can take on. See how you can improve your
- current performance.
- Be a better manager/leader (if you’re managing others). Many people leave their jobs because they’re unhappy with their managers. How well you manage your employees can dramatically affect their motivation levels and their performance. Put their needs before yours and bring the best out of them.
- Be a better member of your community. What communities are you a part of? Say, interest groups? Recreational clubs? How can you be a more active part of the communities?
- Be a better human to others. How can you treat the fellow humans around you better? Start treating them this way.
- Be a better being in this world. How can you make the world a better place? Start doing that today.
- Be Able. Equip yourself with skills. Your skills are like the tools in your toolbox. The more skills you have, the more able you become.
- Learn something new. There are always new things to learn, no matter how much you already know. The more you learn, the better you become. Read: Skills Development
- Hone your current skills. With your current skills, strengthen them. You can never be too good at a skill – there’s always room to improve. Even the best people in their fields, such as Tiger Woods (Golf), Michael Jordan (Basketball), Beethoven (Pianist) never stopped honing their craft. Read: Leveling Up
- Be Accepting of differences – be it different people, different thinking, different lifestyles, different cultures. For they add variety and color into our lives. If everyone is the same, life will be bland – monotonous, even.
- Be Adaptable / Flexible / Versatile. Have your goals and plans, but be able to change them accordingly when the situation calls for it. Rigidity is a sign of weakness, while adaptability makes you so much more powerful.
- Be Adventurous.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Are you sticking to the same routines and hiding behind a safety net? Step out and do something you’ve never done before. It’ll broaden your mind and make you a better person.
- Travel. Traveling broadens perspectives and widens horizons. Since June 2011, I’ve been touring the world, starting with Europe and I’m gaining so many insights about different cultures that it’s amazing. The trip has definitely enriched my perspective on the world.
- Be Altruistic.
- Always have the best intentions for others. Go for the highest good in everything you do, every decision you make, every path you take, every thought you have.
- Volunteer (for a cause you believe in). Not everything has to be measured in money. At PE, I spend hours every day writing the best content and giving it away for free, without asking anything back in return from the readers. With volunteer work, you may be giving your labor for free, but this is time spent in good stead. Don’t underestimate the kind of difference you can make in others’ lives with just a few hours of work.
- Save the environment. Our world is being wasted away, day after day, with the harm the society at large is inflicting on it. What can you do to protect our home?
- Be Assertive. Stand up for your rights and things you believe in.
- Be Attentive. When someone is talking, give him/her your full attention. Don’t busy yourself with something else; that’s just rude and inconsiderate.
- Be Bold. Life is an adventure – don’t live it in fear. Boldly pursue your dreams. Boldly act on your instincts. Boldly create the life you’ve always wanted. Read: How To Overcome Fear and Pursue Your Dreams
- Be Candid. Be frank, be outspoken, be earnest. Say what’s on your mind – Don’t feel the need to censor your words because you’re afraid of what others think. Be true to yourself. (But not at the expense of others’ feelings, of course – See #39 on Be Empathetic.)
- Be Caring.
- Show concern. There’s no need to wait for a cry for help before showing your care and concern. You can do it right away, right now, to those around you. Even if there’s nothing wrong, it’ll warm the hearts of others to know that you cared.
- Call your friends. Are there any friends you’ve not contacted for a while? Call them today and check on how they’re doing. They may not show it, but they’ll be happy that you called – because it showed you cared.
- Be Coachable. There’s always something we can learn from everyone, no matter his/her age, background or area of expertise. Don’t close off on opportunities to learn just because you think you know enough. Open your mind and let every encounter be a learning lesson. The moment you close yourself off is the point where you stop learning.
- Find a mentor. A mentor guides you to become greater than you can be by yourself. You should only get a mentor if (a) the person has something to teach you (b) your personalities gel with each other. Back when I was working in P&G, I had informal mentors who often stepped in to make sure I was doing well. At the same time, they themselves had mentors who guided them. No matter how senior or experienced you may be, there’s always someone who has something to teach you.
- Be Committed… to your goals and dreams. If you’ve set a goal, go all out and achieve it. If you’ve laid down a plan, stick to it all through the way. Don’t waver, for that’s not in you to do so.
- Be Compassionate / Kind. Always look out for opportunities where you can help others. Don’t get caught up in your own space – instead, look outwards and see if there’s anything you can do for others. Even the simplest things, like helping someone carry his/her belongings, is very much appreciated by others.
- Be Confident… in who you are and what you do. There’s no reason not to be. Read: How To Be The Most Confident Person in the World
- Be Conscientious / Meticulous. Are you attentive to everything you do? Such a quality is rare, but so precious. Conscientious people put their heart and soul to what they do; consequently they do a complete and thorough job in whatever they do. You’ll naturally be a valuable asset to whichever organization or team you’re a part of.
- Be Considerate / Thoughtful. Make a habit to consider others in your decisions and actions, for they affect other people. Make sure no one is negatively affected before you proceed with your plans.
- Practice the Golden Rule. It’s the ethic of reciprocity, which states “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”. How do you want others to treat you? Shower others with this behavior, and you’ll attract more of the same.
- Practice the Silver Rule. Related to the Golden Rule, it states “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you”. It’s to make up for the shortcomings of the Golden Rule. How do you not want others to treat you? Make sure you don’t do this to others.
- Be Cooperative. Don’t be insular and seclusive. Be willing to work with others if they need your help. We do not exist in this world alone; Life is possible because we have each other.
- Be Courteous. Practice good etiquette. Always remember your “hi”s, “bye”s, “thank you”s and “welcome”s.
- Be Courageous / Overcome Fear. Is there anything you’re scared of? Don’t be. Fear is mental – It’s only what you perceive it to be. If you challenge that which you’re afraid of, you’ll realize there’s nothing to be scared of at all, because there is nothing to lose – We entered this world with nothing but our consciousness, we’ll leave the world with the same consciousness. Read: How to Overcome Fear and Pursue Your Dreams | How To Overcome Fear(Series)
- Be Curious.
- Have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. So you’ll always be learning new things.
- Ask questions – often. The more questions you ask, the more information you can uncover.
- Get feedback from others. Feedback is one of the fastest ways to identify areas of improvement, since others can see our blind spots. Day 17 of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program is about asking for feedback from others around us so we can improve.
- Be Dependable. Be there for others when they need you. Always check if there’s anything you can do for your friends. If they call you, make time out for them. If they email you, take the time to respond. You never know when it’s someone in pain and reaching out for help. Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life
- Be Discerning. Don’t blindly accept everything you hear or read; Always evaluate what you’re given with a discerning mind. This doesn’t mean you become skeptical; but rather you exercise your judgment appropriately.
- Be Emotionally Generous. Emotional stinginess means to be stingy with your emotions, while emotional generosity is to be generous. So, an emotionally stingy person is typically negative, unhappy, critical, judging, imposing; while an emotionally generous person is positive, happy, encouraging, supportive, etc. Be as giving with your emotions as possible. Encourage others. Be positive. Share happiness. Read: Are You Emotionally Generous?
- Compliment others (with genuine intent). Part of emotional generosity is to be generous with compliments (that’s genuine and not fake). Get into the habit of giving compliments. When you meet someone and if you recognize something nice about him/her, let him/her know. You’ll make his/her day.
- Be Empathetic. Empathy is the key to successful relationships. Learn to see things from others’ perspective. It’ll let you understand people better, resolve conflicts, and develop meaningful connections.
- Be Encouraging. No one likes a wet blanket. Be encouraging when your friends share their problems with you. Be supportive when they tell you about their goals.
- Be Enthusiastic. Life is too beautiful to live dread and boredom. Embrace every day with joy and love. Start every day on a fresh new start! Approach every situation with excitement! And bring this energy to everything you do and everyone you meet.
- Aim for Excellence.
- Take on more than you can handle. If you’re managing your responsibilities fine at the moment, challenge yourself by taking on more. If you’re always doing the same things, you’ll never develop anything. You’ll no sooner atrophy in your growth. Take on more work. Push your boundaries. Stretch yourself. This way you increase your capacity.
- Expect nothing less than the best. Hold yourself to the highest standard in whatever you do. Always aim for the highest goals, the best results, the grandest vision.
- Live your life to the fullest. Because why should you settle for a life that’s anything less? Read: 101 Ways To Live Your Life To The Fullest
- Be Fair.
- Don’t bad mouth other people. Don’t speak ill of people behind their back, because it’s unfair to them and doesn’t give them a chance to defend themselves. Let the person know if you don’t like something he/she did, or otherwise make peace with it within yourself.
- Don’t discriminate. Give equal treatment to everyone, regardless of race, language, religion, nationality, gender, age, social status, financial status.
- Don’t judge. Don’t make conclusions about others’ character of their life based on 1-2 things you see about them. Always give others the benefit of the doubt.
- Uphold justice. If you see unfairness being exacted, step in to right the wrong. This includes intervening when someone is being bullied, or standing up for someone when he/she is being unfairly judged.
- Have Faith. Don’t put too much pressure on an event or a person to give you the results you seek. Do your best within your capacity, and have faith that everything will fall into place.
- Be Filial. Our parents have dedicated half of their lives to having us and raising us. Now that we’re grown up, it’s our turn to repay them for the life they have given us. If your relationship with your parents is not the ideal state you envision, be sure to read How To Improve Your Relationship With Your Parents (Series)
- Be a Follower. Aristotle said it best with this quote: “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” Are you a good follower? Are you able to take directions from others? Are you willing to take directions from others? Before you think about becoming a leader (see #60), you’ve to learn to be a good follower first.
- Be Forgiving.
- Let go of your anger. Is there anything or anyone you’re angry with? Perhaps it’s time to give it/him/her and let things go.
- Bury the hatchet with someone. Beyond embracing forgiveness inside you, reach out to the person you had grievances with in the past. This is not going to be easy, but it’ll bring you a huge step forward in your growth. When I was younger, I had some conflicts with schoolmates here and there, due to misunderstandings. After I started PE, I decided I had to live by example if I was to pursue my purpose to help others how to achieve their highest potential. So, I reconnected with old schoolmates whom I had conflicts with. It was much easier than I thought – most of them reciprocated in kind, and after that we stayed connected as friends. Read: Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, Day 24 – Right a Past Wrong
- Be Friendly / Approachable. We are all humans, here to connect with one another. If you see someone you don’t know, take the first step to know him/her. With people you know, keep yourself accessible so they can approach you whenever they need help. Read: 10 Tips To Make New Friends
- Be Generous. Find joy in giving. Remember life is not a zero sum game. By giving, you get to gain even more. By giving, you open the channel to receive new things in life. When people experience the beauty of giving, they’d want to give back too, so what goes around, comes around.
- Share the good things in your life. What are you happy for? What do you have that others don’t have? What are you proud of? Don’t keep them to yourself – Share them with others. Happiness isn’t a zero sum equation.
- Donate. Get in the habit of donating things you don’t need anymore. For example, old clothes, textbooks, books, toys, and the like. All my unwanted clothes are always donated to others. Sometimes I take the nice, unworn pieces and give them to my friends who can better appreciate them.
- Be Gentle. Our society has brought out a very “hard” side in all of us – one where we’re abrasive, one where we’re hard, one where we’re demanding. Bring out the gentle side in you for a change. It’ll make you a warmer person to be around.
- Be Grateful. For the good things you have, because not everyone gets to have them. For the bad things you have as well, because they strengthen your character and make you appreciate everything so much more. Day 14 of 30DLBL is all about gratitude.
- Write a thank you note to a friend. I think a lot of times, we take our friends for granted. We forget about what they’ve done for us and are doing for us, as well as the value of our connection. Write a thank you letter/note/email to a friend and let him/her know how much you appreciate him/her. He/she will be very happy to receive your letter.
- Be Hardworking / Diligent. Without hard work, we can’t wish to get far in life. I’ve seen people who like to take the easy way out, and this is not what I promote at PE. There are no “quick tips” or “hacks” that will give you instantaneous results – at the end, it boils down to sheer, hard work.
- Be Helpful. Offer your help even if people don’t ask for it. There’s always something you can do for others.
- Be Honest. To lie is to shrink into a lesser self; To tell the truth would be take a step up in your growth. (Unless there’s a higher value at stake, such as protecting someone’s well-being.) One of my values is truth – To discover the truth via personal experience and constantly challenging what’s around me, and to be truthful in everything I do and say. I don’t achieve this 100% of the time, but I do my best to uphold it every moment of the day. Read: How To Deal With Dishonest People
- Be Humble. People who are arrogant tend to suffer from an inferiority complex, which is why they feel the need to parade their accomplishments. Learn to be humble. There’s no need to talk about what you’ve achieved – if they’re really good, the results will speak for themselves.
- Be Independent. Learn to manage your life. Learn to tackle your problems by yourself, without imposing on others. Feel free to approach others if you need help, but you should never expect them to solve your problems for you.
- Be Individualistic. Always be you – don’t try to be anyone else. Read: Finding Your Inner Self
- Have Integrity. Set your moral and ethical principles and stick to them. Never compromise on them no matter what.
- Be Intuitive. Follow your gut instinct. Let your intuition guide you. You’ll never go wrong with it. The more you follow your gut, the stronger your connection with your intuition will be.
- Be a Leader. A leader is someone who is able to bring the best out of others, who is able to inspire others to be bigger than who they are, who is able to energize people into action, who is able to lead a way with a common vision. Contrary to what many think, leadership doesn’t begin when you lead a group of people; it begins in our everyday life, with how we conduct ourselves and how we live our lives. Are you a leader of your life? Read: You Are the CEO of Your Life
- Be a Listener. The ability to listen is quite underrated in our society today. Many people are good at talking, but not listening. For today, make a point to listen to what others around you are saying. Ask questions. Clarify their answers. You may discover new things you didn’t know before. If you own a copy of Personal Excellence Book (Volume 2), be sure to check out 13 Tips To Be a Better Listenerarticle on how you can be a better listener.
- Embrace Love. Be a beacon of love. Start by loving everyone around you. Show love to your friends, family, partner, colleagues, bosses, clients, teachers, etc – whether explicitly or implicitly.
- Love unconditionally. The highest form of love is unconditional love, where you love others without expecting anything in return.
- Be Loyal / Faithful. To the people that you care for, to the values that you stand for, to the things that you believe in. In the article Discover Your Values in Personal Excellence Book (Volume 1), I share in detail about values: the importance of values, my values and how you can create your own.
- Be Kind.
- Don’t criticize. It’s easy to pinpoint faults in others, but really, it’s not in our place to do so. Not only that, it doesn’t make others feel good about themselves.
- Be Magnanimous. For every thing that people do you wrong, be ready to forgive and forget.
- Accept criticism. If someone offers criticism, accept it. Accepting isn’t the same as agreeing. You don’t have to agree with the criticism, but at least give yourself the opportunity to consider it. Every criticism is an opportunity to improve, to become better. Read: 8 Helpful Ways To Deal With Critical People
- Ignore malicious attacks. If someone flames you, take the higher route – ignore the person. You can defend yourself on areas where your values are infringed, but overall, keep a hands-off approach. It’s not worth it to engage in such discussions, because the flamer will only keep attacking, with no desire to achieve a resolution.
- Be Meditative. Those who meditate will know that meditation cultivates an inner peace within you. It makes you calmer and connects you with your inner self. Read: 10 Reasons You Should Meditate | How To Meditate in 5 Simple Steps
- Be Merciful. Instead of punishment, think forgiveness. Forceful actions – Pain, suffering, death, etc don’t bring closure to issues.
- Be Moral. Do what’s right over what’s wrong. The question of “what’s right” can be subjective depending on your upbringing, but universal values include equality of humans, gender equality, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, etc.
- Go the non-cruel path. I commit myself to a vegan lifestyle because I didn’t want to harm animals. While you don’t have to turn vegetarian/vegan for this purpose, think about how you can follow a lifestyle that inflicts less pain to other living beings.
- Be Mindful / Present. Don’t live in the past or future, but focus on the present moment. For this is where you’re living at now. Meditating helps you to be present (see #66).
- Be Nurturing. There’s always ability in everyone. How can you nurture it out of each person?
- Recognize the strengths in others. Our society today has eased into a state where we keep looking at what we lack or don’t have, as opposed to what we already have. The former is a scarcity mindset, while the latter is one of abundance. Rather than think about what’s missing in someone (be in character trait, knowledge, ability, etc), focus on his/her strengths. What does she/he have? What is he/she good at? What do you like about him/her? Focus on these vs. what you don’t like.
- Be Open-Minded. Be ready to accept different beliefs, attitudes, personalities, cultures, practices, rituals, lifestyles, habits, races, nationalities, diets, etc, for everyone is different. No one thing is right; it’s just a matter of what works best for the individual.
- Be Optimistic / Positive. For life is too short to be negative.
- Don’t complain. Complaining generates all this negative energy that makes you no different than an energy vampire. While it’s okay to vent every once in a while, be conscious of the times when you do that. Cut down on the time you spend complaining and think about what you can do about the situation instead.
- Smile. How often do you smile a day? Smiling is something we don’t do enough. Whether you’re out on the streets or at work, it’s more common to see people with stoic expressions and hard frowns than smiles. The next time you see someone, even a stranger, smile at him/her. You’ll be surprised how many people will return the smile. Even if they don’t, trust that they have been warmed by your smile.
- Laugh. As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Learn to laugh at the jokes people make, at the obstacles you’re facing, at the mistakes you’re making, and at the mystery that is life.
- Be Organized. The state of your life now reflects how organized you are. If everything is constantly in a mess, it suggests you’re probably disorganized in how you manage yourself. In being organized, you create structure, stability and predictability – which frees up your resources to pursue new goals. Creating a life handbookwill help to organize your life.
- Be Patient. Do you get edgy when something/someone is late? Time is fluid; it’s a construct created to help us organize our schedules. Learn to be present and live in the moment instead. Impatience breeds anxiety; Patience brings calmness.
- Be Peaceful. Where you have a choice, go for peace over violence. The latter solves nothing, but creates more pain. The former is the start to a healing journey.
- Be Persistent. No matter what you do, never give up. You will achieve whatever you set out to do, as long as you have the will to do it. My story of how I pursued my passion and turned it into a successful business is an example of that. The only time when giving up is the way to go when your priorities change and you realize the goal you were pursuing isn’t what you want anymore. Read: Quitting to Win
- Be Prudent. Be bold and daring, but at the same time exercise caution. A touch of practicality never hurt anyone; it helps you to be more ready for what’s ahead.
- Be Purposeful. Pursue a cause that’s higher and larger than you. When you do that, you’ll naturally grow into someone who’s bigger than who you are today. Pursuing my purpose to help others grow has made me embark on journeys and make decisions which I wouldn’t have pursued if I was just living my life for myself. Read: Discover Your Life Purpose in 30 Minutes
- Be Reasonable. Know your rights, but don’t overstep your boundaries. Act within good reason – You’ll be the best judge to that.
- Be Repentant. Has there been anything you did that you’re not too proud of? Repent and process it; don’t leave it inside your system, because it’s like rotting flesh – it’ll create an invisible stench and affect you subconsciously in your daily actions. Read: Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, Day 24: Right a Past Wrong
- Be Resilient / Be Strong. Are you facing any obstacles that are making you waver in your goals? You have the strength inside you to do whatever you want – you just have to draw from it. Read: How To Start When You Have Nothing
- Be Respectful. Treat everyone with utmost respect, because every living being deserves that.
- Take Responsibility.
- Live up to your responsibilities. What responsibilities do you have? Are you living up to all your responsibilities? Shrinking away from your tasks is an act of avoidance. Stepping up to them makes you a better person.
- Don’t self-victimize. It’s easy to say “Why me?” when bad things happen. But it does nothing to build your character – in fact it makes you weaker over time, because you’re not taking ownership for your problems. Believe it or not, everyone faces these problems too – it’s not exclusive to you. Rather than wallow in self-pity, accept your problems as part and parcel of life and address them. The more responsible you are, the more control you have over your life. Read: You Always Have A Choice
- Be Self-Loving.
- Be Kind to yourself. Do you often beat yourself up? Stop doing that. You, above all else, deserve kindness and respect from yourself.
- Love yourself. For when you love yourself, you will automatically start loving others too.
- Be Self-Reflective. I make a habit to reflect on everything that happens to me, because that’s when I can draw lessons on what I can do better in the future. Self-reflection can take place via a private journal, an online diary, or conversations with others. Asking yourself the right questions is paramount in the self-reflection process. Read: 101 Important Questions To Ask Yourself
- Be Sensitive… to others’ needs and feelings. Always check to make sure you’re not neglecting anyone.
- Don’t Impose. Imposing means to force your opinion on others. It’s okay to offer your opinion, but if others are not taking it, then there’s no need to repeat it over and over again. Keep it to yourself.
- Don’t give unwanted advice. One biggest problems people face in relationships is when the other party tries to dispense advice that’s not needed. Many times, people converse as a way of sharing. Check if the other party is looking for advice first before you try to offer your 2 cents. It may help prevent unnecessary conflicts.
- Dedicate yourself to Service. It’s said that service to others is the highest thing one can ever do in life. Think about how you can contribute to others and to this world. And dedicate yourself to it.
- Be Sharp. Develop your observation skills. Sharp people are always the first to catch on to something; because of that they’re ahead of everyone else in their thinking too.
- Be Sincere / Genuine. Speak from the heart, always. Don’t say something unless you mean it. One of my core values is authenticity – I only say things that I mean, and never say things if I don’t believe in them.
- Be Spontaneous. Be uninhibited! Allow yourself to act freely, without restrictions. Not everything has to adhere to a plan all the time. Allow yourself to just go with the flow.
- Be Sympathetic. If others are sharing their problems with you, be sympathetic. Don’t jab in with insensitive remarks. Don’t dismiss their feelings and thoughts. Get yourself into the same state as them and express your sympathy, so they know they’re not alone in the situation.
- Be Tactful. There’s no need to be rude or abrasive. Be polite to your fellow humans – everyone has feelings, even if sometimes it may not seem that way.
- Be a Teacher. You don’t have to be a formal teacher in name – The
- very act of sharing knowledge to someone is already teaching in itself. By teaching others, we become better. What are things you’re good in? Share the knowledge with other people. Start by doing it informally, and soon formally teaching others will be second-nature to you.
- Be Trusting. Always give others the benefit of the doubt. No matter what you think, the baseline intention of people is always good. No one deliberately does something to harm others. When they do, it usually comes from a place of lack, but not out of sheer malicious intent.
- Be Trustworthy. Always honor your commitments and uphold your promises. If you make an agreement with someone, be sure to stick through to it.
- Be Unattached. For all things are transient in life. This doesn’t mean
- you become jaded and an emotionless being. What this means is you relish in every moment of your life, every situation you’re in, every person you’re with, as it is, without clinging on to it when it has passed. For we live in the present, not the past or future.
- Be Understanding. Learn to comprehend things from others’ perspective. A common understanding is needed for relationships to be build on.
- Be Vigilant. While the world is a safe place by and large, keep a watch out for possible dangers, especially when you’re in a foreign place. Keep a look out for suspicious people. Stay clear of potentially dangerous spots. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Be Visionary. Set the highest goals and the biggest dreams you can imagine. Then set off and bring your vision to life. Be sure to create your vision board too at the same time. In Day 5 of 30DLBL, you get to create your vision board. I’ve also created a video on Creating Your Vision Board.
The vision board of one of our past 30DLBL participants, Theresa
- Be Vulnerable. Through PE, I’ve learned that sharing our vulnerabilities is what gives us the greatest strength as humans. In the past few years, I’ve opened up about some of my deepest vulnerabilities, including my relationship with my parents, my past heartbreak, my disappointments, among others.
- Be Wise. Being wise means “having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion”. Practice good judgment by exposing yourself to different contexts; considering different perspectives; gathering as much information as you can; weighing out different possibilities. The more experience you gain, the more you learn, and the wiser you’ll become.