This isn’t about becoming someone entirely different or correcting for any flaws you think you have (believe it or not, those things you refer to as your “flaws” are actually your advantages in disguise). This is about tangible ways of making the most of what you have and making a larger impact on the world and people around you (which in turn actually makes you a happier person). We’re not talking about wishy-washy ways either – every single step of this is practical and achievable so let’s jump right into it shall we?

1.) Learn something new: It doesn’t matter what this thing is – it could be anything from 7 ways to use eggs in a meal to learning a new language or learning how to code. Learn a new skill that is applicable to your life and one that you can see how you would use – how nice would it be to be able to make new meals for yourself that you like or finally be able to speak decent Spanish when you go to Barcelona? Try to set a plan and stick to it and most importantly – make sure whatever the new thing you’re learning is, it is something that is practical and achievable! (Basically, don’t decide your new skill will be something like “turning concrete into gold” no matter how appealing that sounds… πŸ˜‰ )

2.) Practise on your talent: Having talent for something (anything) is great and a good part of the journey to “greatness” (whatever that is) is actually having talent however, once you recognise your talent, spend some time developing it. There is honestly no substitute for practise. Talent just makes practising that bit easier! Even the best opera singers have to practise hours without end on their talents to get as good as they get, so did the Williams sisters at tennis, so did Picasso… you get the point really, practise makes your talent turn into something extra-ordinary so invest some time and practise at what you’re good at.

3.) Do one conscious good deed once a month: This is not so say you don’t already do lots of good deeds (you probably already do) but go out of your way to do something nice for someone at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be big – it could be a little charitable donation, a kind word to someone who you know needs it, an offer to baby sit for a friend, cooking a nice meal for someone – anything! Its typically a win-win situation as not only do you help someone else, you also make yourself feel good at the same time (even though this is not the aim of course).

4.) Similarly, at least once a month, consciously treat yourself to something nice!: A nice piece of chocolate, a relaxing spa weekend, a trip somewhere nice, a nice book, time off from any work or hobbies – again, doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is something you want. Stop looking for excuses to not do this and just give into what you want. It’s very important that you take strides to make yourself happy too – that kind of happiness can be surprisingly quite infectious.

5.) Move around more: Exercise is good for you (as we all know) and it doesn’t have to be as strenuous as running several miles a day. It can just be a simple walk around your neighbourhood in the evenings or getting off one stop earlier or deciding to get off your seat on your lunch break at work and taking a quick walk outside. Point is, moving around is really great not just as you’re getting more exercise but also because, you interacting more with everything else around your and giving yourself a change of scenery (and routine) that you desperately need but probably weren’t aware of:

6.) Pay attention to the essentials your body needs: The key word here is “needs” not “wants” – (you need water, you do not need chocolate – despite what Cadburys or Kraft would like to have us believe πŸ˜‰ ). I’m not saying you shouldn’t get things you want, I’m just saying that you should always prioritise the things you need. You need water, you need minerals and vitamins (from vegetables), you need carbs (despite what some people want you to think – though maybe not an overload of carbs), you need sleep… the list goes on! My point is – never let these things fall to the background – you need them and should always have them all the time!

7.) Travel more: Travelling truly does help you open your horizons and senses to a world that is bigger, more diverse and more interesting than you would have realised otherwise. I think Mark Twain pretty much summed up my point up nicely here – β€œTravel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
(Hopefully travelling will also mean at some point you get bitten by the travel bug and want to always see more of the world – though judging by the look of you, I’d say you’ve already been bitten by the travel bug πŸ˜‰ )

(N.B.: There is a video version of this post up now! Check it out here. πŸ™‚ )

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