Remember the children's story "The Little Red Hen"? The hen asks her farmyard friends to help her plant some wheat, then eventually bake the wheat into bread. None of the other animals volunteer — except when the hen asks, "Who will help me eat the bread?" The hen declines their "help", because they didn't help her make the bread.
Don't be one of the farmyard animals that says "Not I!" Helping others is effortless — whether it's lifting something heavy for someone who can't, aiding a coworker or cooking dinner with your spouse, it doesn't take much to practice.
It's also a win-win situation — you bring someone else joy, but it also gives you a self-esteem boost! And you might get a slice of bread out of it, too.
It may take less effort to pass the buck when it comes to mistakes, but that's worthless. The people you blame don't deserve it, and they won't be happy to see you pointing fingers.
Think about why you're blaming people in the first place — chances are, the mistake is all on you. But that's okay, because owning your mistakes helps you learn and grow. If you take responsibility for your errors, you'll know how to avoid them next time.
Living up to your downfalls improves your life. You spend less time full of regret and anger, and more time being happy and healthy.
Listening isn't just for retaining information. It also maintains your personal relationships and shows you're willing to give everyone a voice.
Dr. Donald M. Friedman, a practical health care advisor, says, "If someone listens to another with full attention, conviction, commitment, and support, the speaker feels affirmed and important and has a sense of his/her value and the validity of his/her feelings, ideas, and experiences."
By listening effectively, you validate what people are expressing to you. That can lead to advancements in your career, your connections and the people you meet.
4. Be Polite and Respectful
In the movie Evan Almighty, you might recall that Morgan Freeman, a.k.a. "God," wanted Evan to perform ARKs — Acts of Random Kindness. When you hold the door for someone or say "Thank you" or "You're welcome,"that's an act of random kindness. Better yet, it's being polite!
A little politeness can go a long way. How many people have you heard say that a stranger's kindness made their day? It's the little things that count.
And who could forget Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"? When someone does something that ticks you off (throwing trash on the ground, for example), apply that mentality to your own life. Don't toss your trash on the floor for someone else to clean up — respect people's time, feelings, lifestyles and anything else they do. Let people live their lives the way they want to.
5. Become an Organ Donor
Being an organ donor is one of the simplest ways to betteryourself. According to the DMV, one organ donor can save up to 8 lives.
Think about it for a second — you can spend your entire life dedicated to becoming a better person, but after you're gone, what impact will you leave? Becoming an organ donor can help change lives, even when you're not around.
The registering process is easy:
1. Get registered with the Organ Donor Registry of your state.
2. Choose ‘Yes’ to the organ donation option when you apply for or renew a driver’s license.
3. If it's available, sign a donor card.
By practicing and remaining aware of these five strategies, you'll be on the road to bettering yourself in no time. Each one is a small investment for a big impact — it doesn't take that much to change the lives of others. You'll wake up every day feeling grateful for all the work you've done in making yourself the best person you can be.