9 Things That Will Make You a Better Person ...

Below are some things that will make you a better person! Life doesn't always smell or look like a rose and when we are unable to see the bigger picture, we can be guilty of taking our stresses out on others. By taking a few small steps to change yourself and some of your habits, as well as remembering to be gentle on yourself, hopefully you will become a better person over time. Here are a few ideas on things that will make you a better person.

1. Keep Your Dignity

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One of the main things that will make you a better person is learning to keep your dignity. Remember that you are responsible for your own decisions and choices in life and try not to get down on yourself when you make a wrong turn. Treat yourself well! Even if you have a disagreement with someone or someone hurts you, go into the interior self and remind yourself that your life is special, unique and worthwhile; the essential you is not wounded The desire for dignity is universal, however knowing it and honoring it in ourselves is key.

2. Forgive Your Parents

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This can be a tough one, however by learning to forgive your parents (and ourselves), life will become a lot easier. Everyone has scars from their youth, even if they were raised by amazing parents; however, it is the process of letting go of those old childhood hurts that can be the most challenging. Most of us are trying to lead our own authentic lives, learning from some of the mistakes our parents made. As I mature, I find myself learning lessons from painful experiences that were also often experienced during my childhood. If you are a parent, it can be exceptionally challenging not to make the same mistakes! No parent is perfect. They haven't raised children before, and they are often learning and growing with their children.

3. Share Your Time and Talents

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We all have talents, whether we are acutely aware of them or not, and we are all given the same amount of time each day; hopefully by sharing our time and talents, we will become better people. Sometimes, I feel guilty when I don't give fully of my time, and afterwards, I think to myself, I really should have spent more time with that person. By learning to share more of our precious time and energy with others and by being more giving (as we are all unique and offer something different to the world), we will become a better person.

4. Go Swimming

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I love water and swimming in it! The process of doing laps or just playing in water helps calm down any frayed emotions. Ocean water can provide us with that powerful, stimulating energy, as it teaches us that there is something bigger and more natural out there. Whenever I have had a bad day, even if I can't go swimming, a hot shower, jacuzzi session, long bath, anything involving water helps me become a better person.

5. Pursue a Passion

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Finding yourself and pursuing what brings you joy, what you've come to this earth-walk to do, will definitely make you a better person. Learning to tune in to what your inner self is telling you is key, and by slowly making your dreams a reality, even when others are trying to bring you down, is the way to go. The reason other people try to bring you down is because they were too weak to pursue their own passions and as a result, think others shouldn't pursue theirs. If you spend a little bit of time with yourself and honestly jot down what brings you joy, you will soon discover your heart, your passion, and what makes your world move!

6. Be a Friend: do Good, Feel Good

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This goes hand in hand with sharing your time and talents, but it is still great advice! We can all be better friends - to others - as well as to ourselves. We all experience a warm and fuzzy feeling when we know we have done something for someone else, or given of ourselves freely (even when we are having a bad day). By practicing to do good more often, we in turn will feel good about ourselves and through it become better people.

7. Become an Early Bird

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When I am up at 7 a.m. on the weekends, I see things I wouldn't normally see when I rise at 11 a.m. The sun is up, the birds are chirping their songs, people are outside exercising, and there is a lot of activity going on. I'm not naturally an early riser, so it does seem strange to get up super early, yet when I do, I feel ten times better as I know I took advantage of the day! Somehow, it gives you that time to invest in you, that alone time to work on your project(s), to read a book, to pray or practice meditation, and makes you feel less resentful when you get up early.

8. Join a Library

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I realize that with kindles, iBooks as well as books that are available on mobile apps, libraries are becoming a dying breed, however, by joining a library, you have access to all types of books (some you wouldn't normally read), you have free access to computers and research material (journals, periodicals), as well as books that have literally just been published. Libraries can offer community group seminars depending on where you live and are a great resource

9. Switch off the TV

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This is easier said than done, but the television can really drain us of precious time and energy, which we can't claim back. I remember seeing a guy wearing a t-shirt stating, "Empty-V" and of course it was a play on words with MTV. Don't get me wrong, there are some informative documentaries out there, but for the most part, TV can be a real time-waster. If you are so used to watching the box when you get home from work, try going outside for a walk, baking cookies, reading a book, something else. In time you will find yourself watching less and less TV and actually pursuing some of the things that bring you more joy (and you may even discover your passion as a result)!

I'm sure there are many more ways that will ultimately make us better people, but these are the main ones that I can think of. By starting out small and slowly, over time, we will change our habits and become better people through the process. What are some things that you do that make you a better person?

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