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15 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

What does success in business and good health have in common? Being Nice.
Studies show that volunteerism and helping others has a positive effect on our career, our health and our-self. Here are 15 steps that will help you on your way.

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15 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

  1. 1. By Bill Barlow @LifeIsAPitch
  2. 2. 2 Reasons:  For Yourself  For Others Many studies show that your health is improved when you help others. A 2013 study by the University of Exeter Medical School found that volunteering was connected to lower rates of depression, high reports of well-being, and a significant reduction in mortality risk. And a 2005 Stanford study found that those who volunteer live longer than those who don't. But helping others means that you may need to be a better person.
  3. 3. If you need selfish reasons to for becoming a better person consider these. The effects of giving back are especially dramatic:  A 2011 Johns Hopkins study found that volunteering seniors were more likely to engage in brain-building activities, which lowers the risk of Alzheimer's disease.  A 2013 study by United Health Group found that employee volunteer programs increased engagement and productivity. The study showed that volunteers were healthier and more productive in business, more creative and collaborative and less prone to burnout and overwork.
  4. 4. Studies also showed that:  Over 75 percent of the employees who had volunteered said they felt healthier.  Over 90 percent said their volunteering had put them in a better mood.  Over 75 percent reported experiencing less stress.  Ninety-six percent said that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life (which in turn has been found to strengthen our immune function).  Employees who volunteered also reported improved time- management skills and enhanced ability to connect with peers.
  5. 5. If you want to reap the health benefit or just actually be a better person I created 15 easy steps that can help you. Individually these may seem like common sense but if done together they will evoke change in you and those around you.
  6. 6. “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself” Abraham Maslow
  7. 7.  Listen to yourself and pay attention to the interaction that you have with others.  If you pay attention you may start to notice that at some point in your interactions things seem to go wrong.  Try to determine what happens and how you can change that.  Being aware of this can help you change it.
  8. 8. “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
  9. 9.  Being angry or getting angry easily is the number one reason why you may be having a difficult time in being a better person.  Once you can become aware of this you can start to change it.  Learn to let go of anger, envy and hatred.  Our frustration should not be taken out on others.
  10. 10. „Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain
  11. 11.  Something as simple as speaking in a kind way can improve your relationships.  Kindness promotes kindness.  Over simplified; speak kind to others and they will speak kind to you.
  12. 12. „I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemmingway
  13. 13.  Listening is learning.  When you listen to others they tend to gravitate toward your kindness.  When you like to listen you will see a remarkable change in the relationships you have with other.  The change goes far beyond listening itself.
  14. 14. “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight” Phyllis Diller “To truly laugh you must be able to take your pain and play with it” Charlie Chaplin
  15. 15.  Smiles are as contagious as laughter.  People are attracted to smiles and laughter because it spreads happiness.  Even in difficult times thoughtful smiles and tasteful laughter can bring someone away from depressing thoughts.  Be warned however, it will have the same effect on you.
  16. 16. “There is still a part of me that wants to hold my head up and make eye contact” Cameron Diaz
  17. 17.  Positive and friendly people make eye contact.  When you speak to someone, look at them.  When you look at them smile.  This is something so simple yet so elusive these days.
  18. 18. “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you will start having positive results” Willie Nelson
  19. 19.  Positive thoughts bring positive action.  To accomplish this, think positive thoughts in your mind.  Try to find the positive side of every situation.  Where possible articulate this to someone, (examples) “the good news is…”, “look on the bright side…”, “Well at least they didn‟t…that would have been worse”.  Incorporating positive speech is the byproduct of positive thoughts.  Positive outcomes are the byproduct of positive speech.
  20. 20. “Every Blessing ignored become a curse” Paulo Coelho “Life has no blessing like a prudent friend” Euripides
  21. 21.  Everything you do is either a blessing or a curse.  You can change your life and the lives of those around you very quickly.  Try to determine if you are saying or doing something positive or creating comments or actions that are negative.  All of your negatives are curses. All of your positives are blessings.  When you bring blessings, you are either helping someone, encouraging some or listening to someone.  When you bring a curse you are criticizing or saying negative things, refusing to help or refusing to listen.  You can be a dream maker or a dream breaker for someone solely by your words and actions to others.
  22. 22. „Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  23. 23.  It is one thing to think positive and another to act positive.  Being enthusiastic brings a second level of positive energy to a situation.  Doing positive, avoiding negative but not being enthusiastic is being neutral.
  24. 24. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
  25. 25.  Give someone a completely unsolicited compliment.  Do something nice for someone else – for no reason.  Even if the person is a stranger say something nice that you don‟t have to say.  You will see the immediate effects of kindness take over.
  26. 26. More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made. Greg Lemond
  27. 27.  Being a better person is not just about what we do for others it is what we do together with others.  It is important to understand that sometime we are at fault, we were the cause or we started an issue.  Be aware of this, let go of the anger associated with this, smile and sincerely apologize while telling someone what they mean to you.  This can be powerful as it releases negative energy within you that hill otherwise block you from achieving your goals.
  28. 28. “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do.” Benjamin Franklin
  29. 29.  When things are not going your way how do you sound to others?  How do you like listening to others complain?  There is a way to be constructive, positive and accurate when the situation warrants.  In most cases you will find that your complaints have no purpose other than being a display of your raw emotions.  Consequently, making excuses is often much the same thing.  Think about what you are complaining about, why you are complaining and how it sounds to others. This will dramatically impact what you say.
  30. 30. “I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carol
  31. 31.  This is going beyond complaining less and not making excuses.  This exercise really stretches you to do things you may not want to do and helps you to be a better person.  Do something someone asks you to do and you will fell better when you are finished.
  32. 32. “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” Les Brown
  33. 33.  Realize that the foundation to being a better person is to help those around you.  When others feel better as a result of your help you feel better as well.  Studies have shown that this people who help others have less stress, feel healthier and are in better moods than those who don‟t help others.
  34. 34. “No one saves us but ourselves. We ourselves must walk the path.” Buddha “Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys” Fyodor Dostoevsky
  35. 35.  If a situation compromises your values it will eat away at you.  You will be negatively affected by these situations.  First try to be positive and change the situation by telling others how you feel. Tell them why you are not comfortable and what is bothering you.  Listen to their response. If you realize that the situation will not change then you need to walk away.  No one has the power to change every negative situation, once you determine that you can‟t change it, it is ok to remove yourself. You will feel better for doing so.
  36. 36. Why Not? If you don’t want to do it for someone else, do it for yourself.
  37. 37. By Bill Barlow @LifeIsAPitch