(Originally featured on MotivationGrid by Harsh yadav)
A man starts from a humble background. With his hard work and smart goal setting, he accumulates enormous wealth, and finally grabs the top position in his company. He becomes the perfect example of ‘A successful man’, at least in his own definition of success. However, in this process, he also grows shrewd and too greedy. His wealth keeps growing exponentially, so does his waist size and several health issues.
A man is too lazy to accomplish anything. All he wants is to lay back and let life take its course. He never learned the importance of time. However, he grew as a good human with time, he loved everyone around him and he helped others. In his own definition, he enjoyed life as much as he could. But, he was not that good in his professional life. Unable to manage his finance wisely, he got under debt and got broke in the end. However, he is as good human as he was before.
A person who started with the same humble background went on learning new skills and used those skills for the betterment of others. He didn’t rise to the top position professionally, but he learned to stay satisfied and never forgot to donate some amount of his income for charity. He didn’t gain pounds of thick muscles under his skin, but he was a ‘fit’ man. He married a beautiful woman, with whom he had 2 lovely children and they were the most important things to him. Although he never tried to be good for everyone or please everyone, he tried to be the best for the ones he truly loved.
So, who depicts the perfect example of growth as a ‘better’ person amongst them? Without any doubt, the 3rd one. He didn’t get as successful professionally as the first one, but he learned to stay satisfied with whatever he had. He was not loved by everyone around like the second one but he never tried to please everyone. He loved the ones who loved him back.
Likewise, our ancient philosophies stressed on the point of overall growth. Imagine a tree showing a sign of growth on just one branch. It turns luscious green and sprouts beautiful flowers, but just on one branch. And the other branches remain dead and dry, showing no sign of growth. Would you call that tree beautiful? No.
Similarly, our quest of being a better person is nothing but a collective result of our overall growth in 3 major areas of the life.
If you show even a little sign of improvement in these 3 areas, trust me, your overall growth as a better person will be far more than the person striving to be best in just one area. Now, let’s begin the quest to be a ‘better’ person by covering all 3 axis.
How to be a better person on the X axis – ‘BODY‘.
The first step in the journey of getting better is to take care of our body. It’s evident – one can’t get better in other areas if he isn’t in control of his own body. Understanding this part is the first stepping stone in your journey to be a better person.
Respect your body.
Your body is a vehicle that drives you to the long miles in this life. You need to respect it. Don’t abuse it with bad habits, bad routine or anything that can affect your health. The moment you start taking it for granted, it starts doing the same with you. Even the bible says “A body is the temple of holy spirits”.
Eat healthy food.
What you eat (so shall you reap) reflects on your health. The healthier you eat, the healthier you become and more energetic and lively you feel. The more junk you eat, more it will deteriorate your health and you will be stuck in an endless loop of diseases and health issues. If your body is your vehicle, food is the fuel for it. Make sure you fuel it with healthy and nutritious food.
Follow a fitness regime.
So, now you have started fueling your vehicle with the healthy food and taking care of it properly. But, every vehicle needs a proper maintenance to run smoothly and in perfect condition. Right?
Likewise, humans need to learn the importance of keeping ourselves fit. I am not talking about packing pounds of muscle and getting swollen as Hulk , but I am talking about ‘being fit’. Always take some time out from your routine and dedicate it to fitness. Attach yourself with right kind of motivation. Even a mile of morning walk daily can do wonders for you in the long term.
Understand the importance of sleep.
Sleep is the most underestimated thing for most of us. We go on working in offices for long hours and keep ourselves occupied in other tedious tasks without taking much-needed rest. We think that we are meant to sacrifice both our days and nights in order to achieve everything we want, just like most successful people do; that’s how we are programmed. Trust me, that’s only a half cooked knowledge we all have been served since ages.
Our body is designed in a way that it demands rest to work in a perfect and harmonious way. Always strive for a sleep of at least 7 hours and follow a effective bedtime routine daily. Not only it will keep your health in check but will also make you more creative and skyrocket your productivity.
‘Who you are’ matters more than ‘how you look’
We are talking about the importance of body and health, but we need to understand that this is just a part of overall growth. Do not connect these things with looks. Don’t hit the weights just because it will woo others. Do it for your own health. Also, don’t spend too much time on how you look, what matters is how you are as a person.
How to be a better person on the Y-axes – ‘Mind‘
Mark my words – “Our mind is the most powerful tool we have”. It can be our best friend, if it is used in a correct manner, and can also turn to be your worst enemy if used in a wrong way. Your thoughts reflect your personality and your personality influences your actions.
Read good books.
Out of all the things that promise to make you a better person, books top them all. Almost every successful person stresses the importance of books and how books played an important part in their life. Great books have the power to turn you into a man who you’ve always dreamed of becoming by training your subconscious mind to achieve the impossible.
Pick one book and read it. No matter what book you choose, I can promise it will teach something valuable to you. Try to read at least 3 books a year and they surely can unlock the doors of wisdom for you.
Watch your thoughts.
If your mind is the most powerful tool you have, then your thoughts are the ones who influences it. Always watch your thoughts. Every moment you are creating your life, every thought of yours is designing the quality of your life. The more good quality and positive thoughts you have, the more your life will start getting better, and vice versa.
Your thoughts are shaping your destiny, so it’s your duty to keep a watch on them if you want them to shape it in the most luscious way possible.
This is the one quality shared by every good human we have around, they all are givers. When I say giver, I don’t necessarily means in terms of money and wealth. It also stands true in case of sharing knowledge or wisdom. Every good thing needs to be shared, as dalai lama said “The only good thing to do with good wisdom is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself“. That’s the only way you can emerge overall as a better person, selfish people are no good for anyone. Strip down greed and let your mind take it’s selfless course. Don’t lock your fragrance in a box, open it and let it blend in the surroundings. Share is to care.
Stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.
I am not the only one preaching the importance of the present moment and how crucial it is to keep yourself focused in it. Specially when when it comes to relationships people tend to dwell into the past and feel stuck there forever. Don’t let your past relationship affect current one. If you want to be a better person, you need to stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. Your present is the only thing you have in control, regretting about the past and worrying about the future is not going to solve any problem for you. Make your present a better place to live in and that will automatically create a better future to live for.
This is one of the qualities that I judge people upon. No matter how much wealth they have accumulated or what soaring heights they have reached, they would still not fit in my definition of being ‘successful’ or even ‘better’ person if they are not grounded. Strive to be the one who can touch the sky while keeping their foot down on the ground. That can help you grow as a better person more than anything.
How to get a better person on Z axis – ‘SOUL‘.
Now, we have come down to the last and most important part which controls everything. If our body is our vehicle and mind is its fuel, then our soul is the one who designed this vehicle. It’s the prime source of all the engineering. Our thoughts affect our actions, but it’s our soul that influence our thoughts. By being better inside, you will be better from outside too!
Meditation is the ‘chicken soup for the soul’, that too a delicious one. It helps you to rejuvenate your soul and directs your energies towards the positive channels. It helps you connect with all the three axes at one time, i.e. body, mind, and soul. It gives you a sense of calmness by bringing your senses into the present moment and lets you enjoy the deep silence. It brings you closer to the reality. Spend few minutes of your day in learning and practicing meditation. There are several YouTube channels and videos where you can learn various meditation techniques. This should be on your ‘daily to-do’ checklist if you want to learn how to be a better person.
Always do some charity.
You will agree with me on this, that the moment we do some charity (no matter big or small) or help others who are in need, we feel great about ourselves and feel closest to our emotions.
You should always donate some amount of our income to charity or any social cause. Always save some amount of your income for this purpose. Learn few easy ways to save money. Don’t do it merely to show off, but do it because it’s your social responsibility to contribute towards the society. Trust me nothing can satisfy your soul than helping others and uplifting them.
Appreciate your relationships.
Most of us get so busy with our day to day life and work, that we rarely spend time with our family and loved ones. We keep running after things and in this pursuit, we often neglect the most precious thing we have. Maintain a healthy work life balance. Your family is the most valuable thing in your life. Don’t neglect them for anything. They keep your emotional health in check, which in turn feeds your soul in the best way imaginable.
Work on your moral values.
A man is a man until he sticks with his moral values. It is as true as it sounds. A man of low moral value and poor ethics can never rise to the top. Always believe in yourself and learn good values and stuff them into your soul and should stick by them always, regardless of the situations. this is one of the important traits of successful people. Your values project your personality, which automatically will turn you into a better person and will bestow a sense of pride throughout your life.
Be the man in your mirror.
Now, we have finally come down to the last point, which will work as the last brick you put on the wall. I particularly feel that this is the most important point which everyone should consider when striving to be a better person. Every morning the moment you wake up and every night before you hit the bed, reach out to the mirror and ask the person you see there, “Are you proud of me?” And, in turn, if you get a “YES, I am” as an answer. Then, there is nothing to worry about. You are on the right path to becoming a better person because the man in the mirror will never lie to you.
IN THE END
This journey is not as hard as it seems. All it needs is your true dedication and persistence. Every journey begins with a single step, so start slow and move gradually, and in no time you will keep getting better in all areas of your life.
Strive to be better than being the best. When we say “I want to be the best”, our mind automatically pictures us getting ahead of everyone else. Work towards being ‘better’, because when we say ” I want to be better’, our mind pictures no one but just us getting ahead of ourselves. And, that is what you require to achieve the soaring heights in this journey called ‘LIFE’.
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