Life improvements aren’t always easy, or quick, but they can make a big difference in who you are as a person.
Obviously things like exercise and changing careers are the obvious choices, so we’re going to skip those and take a look at a few unexpected things that will change your life in ways you can’t imagine. Some of these will be easier than others. Some you can do right away, and some won’t pay off for a decade or more, but they will all radically improve your life.
1. Stop Checking Email
Most of us are connected to the internet in ways our parents couldn’t even imagine was possible. This has created a world of instant communication. It’s also created a world of instant distraction. These devices can rule our lives. Turn down the frequency of your email checking, and you’ll be happier and more productive.
2. Stop Thinking You Control Other People’s Feelings
Most people never learn this. Count yourself lucky if you do. The term “walking on eggshells” means changing what you do to appease others. Truth is, you can only control your actions and feelings – not those of others. It’s up to them to react appropriately to you. If they don’t, that’s not your fault. Don’t feel bad if they react negatively. You can’t control it.
3. Wake Up Early
The health benefits of getting up early are plentiful. Most people think this is difficult before realizing they do it every year already during daylight savings time. Each year, twice a year, we change our sleeping patterns to the tune of one hour. Do this just for yourself, and reap the benefits. Or, just skip the next time change in the spring and keep the hour for yourself.
4. Read as Much as You Can
Articles, books, newspapers – read it all. Everything you read will give you fresh opinions, perspectives and ways to look at life. You’ll be just a little bit more intelligent with everything you read, and grow just a little bit more mature.
5. Get Uncomfortable
Put yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. This usually means trying something new, or something you may not have liked previously. It can open up a whole new world for you that you could have missed out on!
6. Don’t Sweat the Small - or Big - Stuff
There are very few things in life that will change your life more than the ability to stop worrying about things. Scratched table? Who cares – it’s just a table, and it only cost money. Missed the train? There will be another one. Stop worrying, enjoy life. Things will all work out.
7. Stop to Smell the Roses, and Everything Else
Life moves pretty quickly. If you don’t take the moments you can to enjoy the little things, they’ll be gone before you know it. The way a coffee tastes on Sunday morning, the smell of springtime, and the cat on your lap – enjoy them and you’ll be infinitely richer for it.
8. Visualize Outcomes
You can see the future; you just don’t know it. Whenever you’re struggling or worried, work the entire list of outcomes. What will actually happen if you miss the train? What is the worst possible outcome? Usually it’s not as bad as you think. Often by thinking things through, we’re able to see the outcome is usually acceptable and worth the risk. Give it a shot on your next decision.
9. Dress Smarter
People have told you to dress to impress, or dress for the job you want. There is some truth to this. Dressing better will give you more confidence. You’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll attempt things that you may not even consider tackling in sweat pants. They always say clothes don’t make a man, and that’s true. However, clothes do increase a person’s confidence in their abilities.
10. Do Things for Your Future Self
If you look at yourself today, wouldn’t it have been really nice if your past self maybe laid off a brownie or two? Maybe just exercised more? Or saved up a little bit or extra cash? The good news is that you can do things today for your future self that will be appreciated. The best thing you can do is get yourself in financial shape. Learn how to create and manage a budget. Future you will think past you was awesome.
11. Be Nice
Too often in life we bush past other people without thinking about the consequences to their lives. All these little interactions can add up overtime. In your daily life just be a little bit nicer to people you may not normally give the time of day to. You’ll find that you instantly feel like a better human. Instantly! Enough of these interactions add a ton of positivity in your life and will literally make you a better person.
The physical act of smiling actually releases the same endorphins as exercise. That’s not to say you’ll burn the same calories as an hour at the gym, but you could feel just as good. Smiling is contagious as well. So you can take comfort in knowing that your smile is absolutely making people feel physically better.
13. There’s Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself
Most people never learn this. They fear so many things. Fear is just a feeling that prevents us from doing things. You should have a fear of fear. It stops you from achieving everything that you can. It stops you from finding new experiences and meeting new people. The sooner you realize there’s nothing to actually fear, your experiences in life will become much richer.