How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better person

“Make the most of yourself. for that is all there is of you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’ve all made mistakes throughout our lives that haven’t exactly put us in the best light–like bullying someone in school or telling what seemed like a little white lie. Chances are, however, you probably felt a little guilt and grew because of the situation.

I’m an average guy trying to become better in both my work and home life. I’ll never be perfect, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try.

If you want to continue to grow as a person, here are 15 ways to make the most of yourself.

1. Compliment Yourself
Every morning before you go on with your daily routine, take a couple of minutes to give yourself a compliment. Whether you compliment your outfit, haircut, or how you recently completed a task using your unique skill sets, giving yourself a little emotional boost will make you happy. And, when you’re happy with yourself, that emotion can be contagious to those around you. Inspirational speaker Tony Robbins has a mantra he says aloud to himself most days to put him in a peak performance state.

2. Don’t Make Excuses
Blaming your spouse, boss, or clients is fruitless and won’t get you very far. Instead of pointing fingers and making excuses about why you aren’t happy or successful in your personal or professional life, own your mistakes and learn from them. When you do this, you will become a better person. When I personally started living up to my mistakes and downfalls, my life turned itself around. I became happier and healthier, and my relationship with my wife improved. We are happier than ever.

3. Let Go of Anger
Letting go of anger is easier said than done. While anger is a perfectly normal emotion, you can’t let it fester. When this happens, you may make unwise decisions, and more important, it may affect your health. Research suggests pent up anger can cause digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, and even heart disease.

To help you let go of anger, Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD, suggests you write your feelings down, pray or meditate, or begin to manage your thoughts.

4. Practice Forgiveness
Joyce Marter, LCPC, suggests you forgive and let go of resentment. She notes, “If for no other reason than for yourself, forgive to untether yourself from the negative experiences of the past. Take time to meditate, and give thanks for the wisdom and knowledge gained from your suffering. Practice the mantra, ‘I forgive you and I release you.'”

5. Be Honest and Direct
How would you feel if a loved one or business partner lied to you? Chances are you would see that as a violation of your trust. If you want to be a better person in either your personal or professional life, you should always tell the truth and state as clearly as possible what you are trying to convey. Learn to articulate your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in an open and honest manner.

6. Be Helpful
Whether giving up your seat to an elderly person on the subway, assisting a co-worker on a project, or carrying in the groceries when your spouse comes back from the store, being helpful is one of the easiest and most effective ways to practice becoming a better person. I find that the more I help others, the better I feel about myself and everyone around me.

7. Listen to Others
As Jeet Banerjee notes on Lifehack, “listening to people and giving everyone a voice is one of the greatest things you can do.” He adds that he “got to meet some of the most amazing people, close some of the biggest deals, and develop connections that will last me a lifetime all because I took time to listen to people. Being a good listener can change your life in a positive manner.”

8. Act Locally
It may not seem like a big deal, but supporting a local cause, donating clothes, or buying from local farmers’ markets or businesses are simple ways you can help your specific region. You may not be able to save the world, but you very well could make a difference in your neck of the woods. Get to know and care about your community.

9. Always Be Polite
How much effort does it take to say, “Thank you,” or to hold the elevator door open for someone? Not much at all. However, these acts of kindness can make someone’s day. I decided a few years ago that it doesn’t matter if someone is ultra rude, condescending, or worse. The way someone else behaves is not going to determine my behavior.

10. Be Yourself
Tiffany Mason has five excellent reasons on Lifehack why you should be yourself. These include being able to align yourself with your values and beliefs, establish your identity, build courage, create boundaries, and find focus and direction.

11. Be Open to Change
Whether trying a new restaurant, traveling to an unknown part of the world, or doing something that has always scared you, you should always be open to change. This allows you to grow because you experience something new. It helps you be high functioning and self-confident if you are not wary of change.

12. Be Respectful
How would you feel if you had just cleaned your home and someone came in and tracked mud everywhere? You’d probably be a little ticked that they hadn’t taken off their shoes. Take this mentality and apply it to everyday life. For example, don’t toss your trash or cigarette butts on the floor of public restrooms or sidewalks just because someone else will clean it up. Be respectful of others’ time, thoughts, ideas, lifestyles, feelings, work, and everything else. You don’t have to agree with any of it, but people have a right to their opinions and yours is not necessarily correct.

13. Don’t Show Up Empty-handed
Going to a party this weekend at your friend’s apartment? Make sure you don’t arrive empty-handed. Even if you’ve been assured that there will be plenty of food and drink, bring along a little something to show you appreciate being invited.

14. Educate Yourself
If you don’t understand why one country is invading another, take the time to educate yourself on the current event. Ask a person intimately connected with the event for his or her thoughts. Remember, we’re all interconnected, and being aware of different cultures, different people, and what their lives are like can make you a more well-rounded individual. This will also help you understand points of view different from your own.

15. Surprise People
How good does it feel to make someone smile? It feels pretty good, right? Surprise your loved ones or co-workers now and then, with a gift, a night out on the town, or by offering help when you know they could use it.

Becoming a better person doesn’t happen overnight, but it is possible. Believe in yourself and know that it is possible!

What other tips have you found useful for becoming a better person?

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Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

We all want to be our best, but many people wonder if it’s actually possible to become a better person once you’re an adult. The answer is a resounding yes. There are always ways to improve yourself. This answer leads to more questions, however.

What is the best way to become a better person? What is the easiest approach? And what are the most important aspects of self to work on? Taking into account your own wellbeing as well as the best interests of others, here are some of the most important ways to become a better person.

Let Go of Anger

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KOLOstock / Getty Images

We all experience anger in our lives. Uncontrolled anger, however, can create problems in our relationships and even with our health.   All of this can lead to more stress and additional problems, complicating life and keeping us from being our best selves. That’s why learning to manage and eventually let go of anger is so important to becoming a better person.

Letting go of anger isn’t always easy. But the first step is learning more about recognizing anger and knowing what to do when you feel angry in your life.  

Recognizing anger is often simple if you make an effort to notice when you feel upset and decide to manage this feeling rather than denying it or lashing out at others as a way of coping. Focus on noticing when you feel angry and why, and know that there is a difference between feeling angry and acting on that anger. Then, know your options.

You can change your beliefs about what is making you angry. This can work by learning more about the situation, or even reminding yourself there may be things you don’t know yet.

Remind yourself that maybe that person who cut you off in traffic was distracted by something challenging in their own life. If a friend seems to be rude to you, inquire about how their day is going and find out if there’s more that you don’t know.

You can also focus on what your “anger triggers” are, and eliminate them as possible. For example, if you find yourself becoming frustrated and angry when you have to rush, work on making more space in your schedule (even if it means saying “no” a little more), and try to eliminate that trigger. If a certain person makes you angry, try to limit their role in your life, if it doesn’t work to talk things out with them first.

It’s also important to learn to let go of grudges and residual anger from each day. Don’t wake up holding a grudge from the night before if you can help it. Focus on forgiveness, even if it means you don’t let someone who wronged you continue to have an important role in your life. When you stay in the present moment as much as possible, this becomes easier.

Practicing stress relievers like meditation can also help you to let go of anger.   Focus on releasing the hold that the past may have on you. Put your attention to the current moment and it becomes easier to avoid rumination and stay in a good place.

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How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better person

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Life can sometimes drag you into a situation where you stop and ask yourself: What should I do with my life?

This question can be overwhelming in the sense that it forces you to reconsider the purpose of your life, and the reason why you are doing whatever you are doing. In the race of life, people are just running, and most of them do not even know what the race is for. Why? Because everyone else is also doing the same.

Most of the world behaves like sheep in a herd. Just because one sheep is doing something, other sheep will do the same, and same is the case with people. They do not respect uniqueness and individuality unless it is proven to be amazing! Take Elon Musk for instance – the man struggled a lot during his entire life, he did all kinds of odd jobs, but he was clear with one thing – the purpose of his life, which helped him become who he is today. Today, everyone respects him and thinks of him highly. He is a celebrated person today, only because he chose to be different, instead of being a part of the herd.

You can also choose not to be a part of the sheep-herd, and listen to your heart. Here are five ways to find your life’s purpose and make yourself better.

Think Less, Act More

Sometimes the biggest mistake we end up doing is wasting a lot of time thinking about things, instead of doing them. When we think and plan, we spend our time and energy, but when we do not put that plan into an action wasting the entire effort. Hence, think less and act more if you want to bring a real change in your attitude and life. This one small change can be a life-changing experience for you only if you choose to implement it in the most real sense.

Pay Attention to Your Heart

Sometimes, the decisions that we take from our heart give us good results, compared to the decisions that we take from our mind, and using all kinds of logistics and practical knowledge that we have. Following our hearts might ‘sound’ risky at times because your heart can also ask you to jump off a cliff, but then if you stick to your heart, you will always, find a way out and end up in a good place.

Start Writing

Writing is a habit that can bring about a drastic change in your life. Earlier, people used to maintain diaries and notebooks to pen down their deepest thoughts and desires, and now blogs have taken that place. But writing is a great tool to vent out your frustration, express your thoughts, and also keep your progress in check. Instead of blogs, you can write small essays about your day, and your life to keep track of everything.

Be Yourself

Stop pretending to be someone you are not, and stop hunting for your life partner if you are single. Many people who are single, hunt for their life partners, and in the process, they waste a lot of time and energy. And many times, they end up with no results at all. Hence, break-up with your obsession with finding that special one, and focus on your life in a more productive and fulfilling manner.

Do not Procrastinate

Procrastination is an evil thing, and many times it is the root of all problems and dilemmas. When we delay something and decide that we will do it later, we subconsciously put that thing on the back of our minds, and since that thing is there, we can neither focus on other things nor do that thing right now and finish it off. When we procrastinate, we knowingly spoil stuff for ourselves and later repent. When you have scheduled an activity for yourself, do it. Do not delay it unless it is an emergency and you do not have time to do it at that time.

When you start doing things on time and finishing them quickly, you will see the difference in your productivity level, hence efficiency will also increase. This habit can shape your life in such a manner that you can easily achieve your dreams. The only difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people do more than what they plan! They act more without overthinking every step.

Here is a block quote – The sounds they emit work as a type of energy medicine that has been known to heal pain and stress disorders.

Feeling lost? Do you want to know how to find yourself again?

Finding yourself again may seem impossible right now, but there is hope. In our complete guide, we will guide you through step-by-step how to find yourself again.

“But exactly how do I find myself again?” your racing mind keeps pressing, needing an answer right now. “I’ve lost myself, and finding myself again feels hopeless.” Believe it or not, there is hope. You can find yourself again. Read on now to find out exactly how finding yourself again works.

Table of Contents

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1. Introduction

Finding yourself on the deepest level will radically transform your life.

“But finding myself isn’t easy,” you think. Actually, knowing that you’re feeling lost is a good thing! It means you’re in the homestretch. Congratulations are in order, because you are further along than most.

When you’ve lost a sense of who you are, it’s similar to the grieving process when you lose a loved one. The first stage of grief is denial, the stage most stay in their entire lives. Then there is anger and frustration, when you start to recognize that you are just going through the motions instead of being who you want to be. Then you bargain with yourself, thinking that something will come along, won’t it? Sure it will. But what if it doesn’t? No, it will. But then there’s depression, where you think, “I find myself dwelling on the negative. Nothing will change, because I’m not doing anything about it.”

And now here we are: acceptance. You have accepted that you’ve lost touch with who you are, want to get back something you lost, and you’re ready to find yourself.

2. Why Do You Feel Lost?

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better personThere are several reasons why you can be saying to yourself, “I am lost”. You might feel like you are drifting along looking at yourself from a helpless lens while your body just does what you’ve trained it to do. Excitements are few, challenges are sparse, and the routine has taken over.

Falling out of touch with yourself happens when you buy into other ideas of what you are supposed to be or should be doing. This can happen whether those ideas come from friends, family, society, or even yourself. When you follow what you think you are supposed to be doing rather than what you want to be doing, it’s a path that leads to losing yourself. If you want to do something, but don’t because of someone else’s expectations, you are not living your own life. You lost yourself, and only your true self can lead you to a path of happiness, passion, validation, and independence.

Picture walking aimlessly into unfamiliar woods. The longer you continue walking in that direction, the more lost you become. That is what the path of not being your truest, happiest, and most authentic self is like. Simply recognizing and admitting to yourself that “I am so lost in my life” is extremely difficult. You overcame that. You did, not us. How do you move forward from this realization? We’re here to help you with the next step: finding yourself so you know how to get out of those woods.

The idea of finding yourself simply means accessing your confidence, natural and potential abilities, sense of self-worth, self-reliance, and independence. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Easier said than done.” But that’s true for anything (except for maybe onomatopoeia).

Learning how to discover yourself again doesn’t mean understanding where you are currently; it’s figuring out who you are and where you can go. So, let’s start by discussing how you can find yourself by figuring out how you got where you are.

3. Why is it Important to Find Yourself?

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better personSelf-help expert Gretchen Rubin, author of the “New York Times” best seller Better Than Before, Happier at Home, may have put it best: “What I do for my work is exactly what I would do if nobody paid me.”

When you are finding yourself, you find what makes you truly happy, not just “happy enough.” You are here because your heart isn’t singing, and we’re here to give your heart the music it’s been looking for. Finding yourself opens up your potential to truly accomplish anything you set your mind to.

You may have heard the saying, “You made your bed, so now you have to lie in it.” What happens if you lift a bed and bring it out to the curb? Would it be a lot of work? Sure. But now that the bed (your life) is in the past, it’s time to make a new one, and it can be anything you want it to be. Other people won’t understand or won’t care to understand why you’re making a new bed. They’ll wonder what was wrong with your old bed. This is a mentality that causes us to lose our sense of self in the first place. What we’ve learned, society’s expectations, and the path that seemed to be paved for us at birth all create an avalanche that pushes you along and sweeps you up until you don’t know who you are anymore.

“What is the meaning of life?” It’s an age-old question with a timeless answer: to be happy. Being happy can only be accomplished by discovering yourself, and here’s how.

4. Where Do I Start?

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better personMost online life coaches agree that a good first step for what to do when you feel so lost in life is to make a timeline of your life. Not only is it fun, but it is extremely beneficial. List your past achievements, your regrets, and moments that stick out as momentous, both positive and negative. List every major life event you can think of. For the negatives, consider what you gained from the experiences. For the positives, consider what felt good about them and what resulted from them.

Now make a list of your goals and dreams. It can be quite specific, like becoming a pilot, or very general, like simply wanting to feel more satisfied in your daily life. This will be useful as a reference point going forward, as well as something you can pull from when talking to a mentor or life coach.

This first initial exercise is essential for us to see what we look like on paper. A new perspective is what this is all about, and you will be surprised in the revelations that a timeline of life events can bring to the surface.

People who have found themselves will be able to make a list quickly and easily, and might even put it on their fridge with pride. That type of person is doing what they want and what they love, and feels passion in accomplishing both their long-term goals and their daily duties.

“Make the most of yourself. for that is all there is of you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’ve all made mistakes throughout our lives that haven’t exactly put us in the best light–like bullying someone in school or telling what seemed like a little white lie. Chances are, however, you probably felt a little guilt and grew because of the situation.

I’m an average guy trying to become better in both my work and home life. I’ll never be perfect, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try.

If you want to continue to grow as a person, here are 15 ways to make the most of yourself.

1. Compliment Yourself
Every morning before you go on with your daily routine, take a couple of minutes to give yourself a compliment. Whether you compliment your outfit, haircut, or how you recently completed a task using your unique skill sets, giving yourself a little emotional boost will make you happy. And, when you’re happy with yourself, that emotion can be contagious to those around you. Inspirational speaker Tony Robbins has a mantra he says aloud to himself most days to put him in a peak performance state.

2. Don’t Make Excuses
Blaming your spouse, boss, or clients is fruitless and won’t get you very far. Instead of pointing fingers and making excuses about why you aren’t happy or successful in your personal or professional life, own your mistakes and learn from them. When you do this, you will become a better person. When I personally started living up to my mistakes and downfalls, my life turned itself around. I became happier and healthier, and my relationship with my wife improved. We are happier than ever.

3. Let Go of Anger
Letting go of anger is easier said than done. While anger is a perfectly normal emotion, you can’t let it fester. When this happens, you may make unwise decisions, and more important, it may affect your health. Research suggests pent up anger can cause digestive problems, difficulty sleeping, and even heart disease.

To help you let go of anger, Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD, suggests you write your feelings down, pray or meditate, or begin to manage your thoughts.

4. Practice Forgiveness
Joyce Marter, LCPC, suggests you forgive and let go of resentment. She notes, “If for no other reason than for yourself, forgive to untether yourself from the negative experiences of the past. Take time to meditate, and give thanks for the wisdom and knowledge gained from your suffering. Practice the mantra, ‘I forgive you and I release you.'”

5. Be Honest and Direct
How would you feel if a loved one or business partner lied to you? Chances are you would see that as a violation of your trust. If you want to be a better person in either your personal or professional life, you should always tell the truth and state as clearly as possible what you are trying to convey. Learn to articulate your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in an open and honest manner.

6. Be Helpful
Whether giving up your seat to an elderly person on the subway, assisting a co-worker on a project, or carrying in the groceries when your spouse comes back from the store, being helpful is one of the easiest and most effective ways to practice becoming a better person. I find that the more I help others, the better I feel about myself and everyone around me.

7. Listen to Others
As Jeet Banerjee notes on Lifehack, “listening to people and giving everyone a voice is one of the greatest things you can do.” He adds that he “got to meet some of the most amazing people, close some of the biggest deals, and develop connections that will last me a lifetime all because I took time to listen to people. Being a good listener can change your life in a positive manner.”

8. Act Locally
It may not seem like a big deal, but supporting a local cause, donating clothes, or buying from local farmers’ markets or businesses are simple ways you can help your specific region. You may not be able to save the world, but you very well could make a difference in your neck of the woods. Get to know and care about your community.

9. Always Be Polite
How much effort does it take to say, “Thank you,” or to hold the elevator door open for someone? Not much at all. However, these acts of kindness can make someone’s day. I decided a few years ago that it doesn’t matter if someone is ultra rude, condescending, or worse. The way someone else behaves is not going to determine my behavior.

10. Be Yourself
Tiffany Mason has five excellent reasons on Lifehack why you should be yourself. These include being able to align yourself with your values and beliefs, establish your identity, build courage, create boundaries, and find focus and direction.

11. Be Open to Change
Whether trying a new restaurant, traveling to an unknown part of the world, or doing something that has always scared you, you should always be open to change. This allows you to grow because you experience something new. It helps you be high functioning and self-confident if you are not wary of change.

12. Be Respectful
How would you feel if you had just cleaned your home and someone came in and tracked mud everywhere? You’d probably be a little ticked that they hadn’t taken off their shoes. Take this mentality and apply it to everyday life. For example, don’t toss your trash or cigarette butts on the floor of public restrooms or sidewalks just because someone else will clean it up. Be respectful of others’ time, thoughts, ideas, lifestyles, feelings, work, and everything else. You don’t have to agree with any of it, but people have a right to their opinions and yours is not necessarily correct.

13. Don’t Show Up Empty-handed
Going to a party this weekend at your friend’s apartment? Make sure you don’t arrive empty-handed. Even if you’ve been assured that there will be plenty of food and drink, bring along a little something to show you appreciate being invited.

14. Educate Yourself
If you don’t understand why one country is invading another, take the time to educate yourself on the current event. Ask a person intimately connected with the event for his or her thoughts. Remember, we’re all interconnected, and being aware of different cultures, different people, and what their lives are like can make you a more well-rounded individual. This will also help you understand points of view different from your own.

15. Surprise People
How good does it feel to make someone smile? It feels pretty good, right? Surprise your loved ones or co-workers now and then, with a gift, a night out on the town, or by offering help when you know they could use it.

Becoming a better person doesn’t happen overnight, but it is possible. Believe in yourself and know that it is possible!

What other tips have you found useful for becoming a better person?

9. Learn to honor yourself.

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better person

The world is full of opportunities, but sometimes too much thinking can get in the way. Changing your life for the better is about picking a destination and taking one step at a time to get there. If you try to take shortcuts, you may actually end up making your journey longer and more arduous. Getting serious about making improvements is a great start, and taking action is the next important step.

Here, then, are 10 tips to help you start improving your life:

  1. Be grateful for what you have. When you stop to remember what you have instead of worrying about what you may not be getting, it changes your perspective for the better.
  2. Start your day the night before. The most successful people I know end their workday by making a list of what they have to do the following day or two ahead. This allows the subconscious to work on things while you sleep.
  3. Be ready to grow up. Adults have the ability to learn to delay gratification, but we also have a choice as to how to behave when things don’t go our way. If you remember to take the high road, you’ll end up where you want to be.
  4. Drop the attitude. If you think the world owes you a living, you might want to reevaluate your position. It is quite possible that, by feeling entitled, you are pushing away things and people you might like.
  5. Don’t ignore your emotions, but remember that feelings aren’t facts. Emotions need to be honored—they don’t have to be justified—but just because you have a feeling doesn’t mean that you are right.
  6. Watch out for negative thinking. Sometimes we get into negative feedback loops and don’t even know it. If thoughts of being helpless and hopeless continue to enter your mind, you might just need to take a nap or perhaps talk with someone who can help.
  7. Set up and stick to a routine. We are creatures of habit; and good habits, such as getting regular exercise, make us feel better. Maintaining good habits also helps us feel that we have some control over our lives. Just do it.
  8. Drop your resentments. We all have them. Whether they are toward our parents, partners, or peers, resentments take up too much psychic space to allow us to function properly. By choosing to drop them, you will make your life much lighter. But the hardest part is making the decision to let your resentments go.
  9. Know who you really are, and learn to honor yourself. We all fake it from time to time and once in a while, this can be a good thing, but never compromise your personal values and always strive to be your best self.
  10. Enjoy a part of every day. Look for those little bright moments that happen all the time but that we often fail to recognize. Make a point of seeing some good in every day, and you will change your life.

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better person

No matter what the world throws at you, it’s important to strive to be a better person and inspire people to do the same along the way. Life lessons will ultimately shape who you are, after all, and give you chances to overcome hardship in your life, prove you’re a good role model, and feel good about yourself.

But that’s not the only part of becoming better as a person. There are also trials. And as these “be better” quotes prove, becoming the best version of you is a journey, not a single action.

The good news is that being the best you can in every situation is a step you can start anywhere, at any time. And no matter how many times you falter, you can keep getting up and making that choice.

In many situations, it’s easy to fall prey to negativity, and no surprise that occasionally, you make a choice that doesn’t serve your higher self. So stop worrying about it, because it’s bound to happen.

Negativity can be seen in many facets of life, especially with all of the negativity we’re faced with at all hours of the day on social media. It’s always out to get you to lower yourself and give in.

These are things you’ll deal with every single day, and yes, sometimes you will make the choice to react badly to your situation. You’re only human, after all!

But don’t worry! Being human also means you should step back and observe the situation and yourself before you say or do something you’re sure to regret after the fact.

It doesn’t matter who started it; you are responsible for your own behavior, not them. That is why you need to hold yourself accountable every time you slip.

But mostly, you need to choose to be a better person in any situation. That’s right, I believe that we can and should choose to be better, and you can use these quotes to inspire you.

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better person

How to find purpose in life and make yourself a better person

12 Ways to Make Yourself Proud

Why do anything half-hearted if you have the ability to do it well? If you don’t do your best, you’re only developing bad habits, damaging your reputation, and letting your team down. Plus, you’re robbing yourself of the rewards that you truly deserve. So, make yourself proud. Give everything 110 percent. It’s the extra 10 percent that everyone remembers.

A To-do List to Make Yourself Proud:

Follow your passion. If you love what you do, you won’t view your job as work. You’ll wake up each morning excited to face a new day.

Give it a try. The next time someone says, “The odds are against you,” remember: If you don’t try, you automatically forfeit the opportunity to succeed.

Know your strengths. Don’t let your ego fool you into believing that you’re a know-it-all. Just because you’re an expert in one area doesn’t make you an expert in everything.

Focus your efforts. Trying to be excellent at everything leads to mediocrity.

Leave your comfort zone. Set stretch goals that challenge you to do your best.

Compete with yourself. Forget about competing with others. It only breeds animosity. Instead, compete with yourself and find new ways to better yourself. The truth is, when you compete with yourself, you both win.

Learn from the best. Identify role models from whom you can learn. Ask for feedback on ways to raise your game.

Practice, practice, practice. Excellence comes from practice. Period.

Give yourself a report card. Learn from your efforts. After every activity, ask yourself, “What can I do to perform better next time?”

Don’t quit. If you’re not proud of what you do, you’re not done. As Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Don’t let success go to your head. Celebrate success, but don’t let it change you as a person. Humility is a sign of strength, not weakness. People with humility are modest about their achievements, grounded in their values, and quietly proud.

Define happiness for yourself. Success in life begins and ends with purpose. People who live a life of purpose have core beliefs and values that influence their decisions, shape their day-to-day actions, and determine their short- and long-term objectives.

Do You Make Yourself Proud?

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“You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.” – John C. Maxwell

When it comes to getting results, it takes motivation and ability.

Motivation makes things happen.

Where there’s no will, there’s no way. One of the best ways to improve your personal effectiveness is to master your motivation and find your drive.

If you can master motivation, you can deal with life’s setbacks, as well as inspire yourself to always find a way forward, and create new experiences for yourself, and follow your growth.

In this post, I’ll demystify motivation and give you the motivation tools that really work.

1. Connect to your values.

This is the ultimate secret. If you can connect the work you do to your values, even in small ways, you can change your game.

One of my values is learning and growth.

I find ways to grow my skills in any situation. For example, I don’t just “call back a customer.” I “win a raving fan.” I don’t just “do a task.” I “master my craft.” I don’t just “get something done.” I “learn something new.”

2. Find your WHY.

Figure out a compelling purpose. Turn this into a one-liner.

For example, when I fall off the horse, I remind myself I’m here to “make others great.” This gets me back on track, sharing the best of what I know.

3. Change your WHY.

Sometimes you’re doing things for the wrong reason. Are you doing that task to get it done, or to learn something new? Just shifting your why can light your fire.

4. Change your HOW.

You can instantly find your tasks more enjoyable by shifting from getting them done, to doing them right.

I think of it as mastering your craft. Make it artful.

Sometimes slower is better. Other times, the key is to make it a game and actually speed it up. You can set time limits and race against the clock. Changing your how can get you out of ruts and find new ways to escape the mundane.

5. Remember the feeling.

Flipping through your head movies and scenes is one of the fastest ways to change how you feel.

Remember the feeling. How did you feel during your first kiss? What about laying on the grass on a sunny day?

When you feel good, you find your motivation faster.

6. Shift to past, present or the future.

Sometimes you need to be here, now. Sometimes, the right here, right now sucks. The beauty of shifting tense is you can visualize a more compelling future, or remember a more enjoyable past.

At the same time, if you catch yourself dwelling on a painful past, get back to right here, right now, and find the joy in the moment.

You’ll improve your temporal skills with practice.

7. Find a meaningful metaphor.

Find a metaphor that fuels you. Maybe you’re the “Little Engine that Could.” Maybe you’re “in your element.”

The most powerful thing you can do is find a metaphor that connects to your values. This is why I turn my projects into “epic adventures.”

8. Take action.

Here’s a secret that once you know it, can change your life. Action often comes before motivation.

You simply start doing an activity and then your motivation kicks in. Nike was right with “Just do it.” For example, I don’t always look forward to my workout, but once I start, I find my flow.

9. Link it to good feelings.

Find a way to link things to good feelings. For example, play your favorite song when you’re doing something you don’t like to do.

It has to be a song that makes you feel so great that it overshadows the pain of the task. It’s hard to tell yourself you don’t like something when it feels so good.

A similar approach is to find your theme song.

10. Impress yourself first.

This is how people like Peter Jackson or James Cameron or Stephenie Meyer inspire themselves. They make the movies or write the books that impress themselves first. They connect their passion to the work and they don’t depend on other people setting the bar. Their internal bar becomes their drive.

11. “CHOOSE” to.

If you tell yourself you “HAVE” to do this or you “MUST” do that or you “SHOULD” do this, you can weaken your motivation.

The power of choice and simply reframing your language to “CHOOSE” to can be incredibly empowering and exactly the motivating language you need to hear. Choose your words carefully and make them work for you.

12. Pair up.

This is one of my favorite ways to make something fun. One person’s painful task, is another’s pleasure. Pair up with somebody who complements your skill or who can mentor you and get you over the humps.

13. Change your question.

Sometimes you need to change your focus. To change your focus, change the question.

If you ask yourself what’s wrong with this situation, of course you’ll find things to complain about. Ask yourself what’s right about the situation and you can quickly find the positives and get your groove on.

14. Fix time for eating, sleeping and working out.

Sometimes your body or emotions are working against you because you’re not giving them a break or fueling them the right way.

One simple way to improve results here is to find a routine for eating, sleeping, and moving or working out that supports you.

15. Play to your strengths.

Spending too much time in your weaknesses wears you down. Spending more time in your strengths helps you renew your energy and find your flow.

Strengths are the place where you can grow your best. Find the things that you can do all day that you really enjoy and find excuses throughout your day to do more of that. Success builds on itself and this helps you build momentum.

Try out the motivation techniques to see what works for you.

At the end of the day, all motivation really comes down to self-motivation, and you get better at motivation by building your self-awareness.

Learn how to push your own buttons from the inside out.

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This piece originally appeared on Sources of Insight