How to become a better person, in 5 basic keys
To be happy it is important to improve our emotional balance and move forward.
In many articles of Psychology and Mind we have stressed the importance of making life an exciting place to go through based on objectives and goals that make us stay awake and active.
It is not that we are fanatics of positive psychology, but we are very clear that one of the keys to happiness is, precisely, having the ability to keep improving day after day.
Improving as a person: it is possible... and necessary.
Let's not fool ourselves: to live is to try to better oneself day after day. In fact, it is often said that happiness is nothing more than the prelude to happiness, that is, we are happy when we are close to achieving certain objectives and goals that we have set ourselves. Happiness is not, in itself, a goal that we should set ourselves, because happiness is more a state of mind that accompanies us when we feel motivated doing things we like, spending time with people who make us feel good, and so on and so forth.
The problem is that many of us have burdens and responsibilities that anchor us to a gray everyday life that does not motivate us enough to want to improve as people. In addition, we live very influenced by everything that has been instilled in us, and on many occasions we act unconsciously to the detriment of other people, and we deceive ourselves into believing that, for some reason, we are acting correctly.
Forced to be happy?
In a very interesting article, the Valencian psychologist Álvaro Saval talked about a kind of social imperative that has taken shape in the last decade: the obligation to be (or appear to be) happy people. Of course, society draws a notion of happiness very closely related to material success. This material success (having a good job, a nice car, expensive trips...) can do us a disservice when it comes to pursuing a life that allows us to improve as human beings and address our most genuine interests.
Happiness should not be an obligation but a natural consequence of living in line with what we want to do and be, discovering our true passions and discovering our true interests.To discover our true passions and dedicate ourselves body and soul to them. To be better people, and therefore more connected with our environment, it is necessary to practice and train.
5 keys to improve as a person (and be happier)
I propose five keys to develop the necessary skills to improve as a personDo you dare to try?
1. Be grateful and generous
There are a number of values that have an instant effect on the people around us. Perhaps the two most important are generosity and gratitude. When we are generous, kind and grateful to someone we pass on the street or to a close family member, we create a good feeling that not only affects how we feel about them, but also how they feel about us, we create a good feeling that not only has an impact on how others value us, but also on how we perceive ourselves.. It makes us feel good to be kind to others because, after all, we are empathetic beings.
In addition, gratitude points the way to overcoming certain traumas, anxiety and stress, helps us eliminate negative thoughts from our minds and strengthens our self-concept.
A good way to develop gratitude and kindness is to do altruistic acts, that is, to do good without expecting to receive anything in return. This may seem shocking in a cultural system based on commercial and self-interested transaction, but there is a lot of research in psychology that indicates that being supportive is linked to well-being, health and longer life expectancy. It is not about becoming Maria Teresa of Calcutta overnight, but if we begin to give importance to altruistic acts it is very likely that we feel more fulfilled and have a greater emotional balance.
To channel this advice we can choose to do some volunteering ... or simply to be kind and detached in our daily lives, with people with whom we live or we cross the street.
2. Whoever has a friend has a treasure
He who has a friend does not know what he has.. In a society where we pay less and less attention to each other, having one or more trusted people with whom we can share unique moments is a great value for our happiness and to be better people. Of course, I am not referring to the "friends" we may have on social networks such as Facebook or similar, but to real friends, those who can be counted on the fingers of one hand and there are fingers left over.
Real friends arise in the most unimaginable situations and contexts. It is necessary to be aware of the importance of taking care of friendships to generate that dynamism that brings us the plans in common with a colleague, or those endless chats where we talk about anything.
One of the main causes of depression is loneliness. Living away from human contact immerses us in a gray and monotonous reality, and therefore keeps us away from happiness and motivation. If you think you don't need anyone to make you happy, you're probably trying to be self-deluded, because that's not what science (and common sense) tells us. Maintaining friendships also requires effort and altruism on many occasions, but it is worth it.
3. Live life with optimism
Yes, a cliché. But it is true nonetheless. People who are not optimistic are no better or worse than anyone else, but unconsciously they are forging a dull, static and little given to the joys. Why? There is nothing that incites more to demotivation than not having a positive view of the possibilities that, as a person, we have in life.
Being pessimistic is not only a form of self-blame, but a toll-free highway to mediocrity.. That is why we must say no to pessimism and charge our batteries with a good dose of optimism, even if at first we are not 100% convinced. If positive psychology has a certain recognition, it is precisely because it has studied in depth the magnificent effects of being an optimistic and enthusiastic person.
Optimism must be a philosophy of life in order to move forward and infect those around us with good vibes. We must be able to devote our energies to everything over which we have control, and if we see that something is out of our hands, we can always turn to people who can help us and lend us a hand. If we are faced with a complicated or even fatal event, such as the death of a family member, it is normal for us to collapse, but we must always think that better times will come when that bad moment will only be a memory of a contingency of life.
4. Relativize the importance of material goods
In another text published on this website, we echoed a study that points out that money does not bring happiness. It may seem obvious, but some people still believe that if they accumulate more money and wealth, such as cars or houses, they will be happier. Well, there is every indication that they are wrong. Science has shown that, beyond a threshold where we live comfortably, earning more money no longer bears any relation to the degree of happiness.
Entrusting our well-being and happiness to material things is a way of achieving the opposite effect, a permanent unhappiness, since we will continue to want to accumulate more money. we will continue to want to accumulate more and more and we will never be satisfied with what we have.. And this is because, at the end of the day, the good moments in life are not the ones you share with a convertible car or a latest model smartphone, but with other people who make you feel special.
When we ask ourselves the question of what really motivates us in this life, almost all of us tend to answer by giving very little importance to material aspects. We are not motivated by being rich or having the best watch or technological gadget. We are motivated by feeling good about ourselves, traveling, surrounding ourselves with people who are sincere and who make us feel unique..
So why do we insist on pursuing the material? Human ambition has this flaw, that it prioritizes tangible rewards over the intangible things of everyday life. But we must constantly remind ourselves what we want to achieve in life and what we really value. Only then will we be stepping up and being better people than we used to be.
5. Spend time on the things you enjoy doing.
We have already been giving hints throughout the post about the importance of dedicating time and effort to those activities and people that really make us feel good.. It's pretty hard to be happy if we don't spend time on the things that motivate us, isn't it?
Obviously, not all of us are lucky enough to work in something we are passionate about or to enjoy enough free hours to compensate for this need, which undoubtedly makes us better people. To do this, it is important to organize ourselves well and build bridges to self-efficacy. That is, we must set small goals with which to improve little by little, and thus stay motivated and hooked to that hobby that we like so much.
Of course, sometimes it is difficult to become very good at what you practice. For example, I am a chess fan and I play every day a few games, but I know that it would be very unrealistic to think that in 5 or 10 years I will be as good as Gari Kasparov. The small goals we set for ourselves (for example, in my case, it could be to play a minimum of two games a day) should help us to move forward and stay activated, motivated by the process and not by the result.. In the end, playing chess, as well as any other hobby, is an enjoyment by itself and it does not stop being so because I lose a few games against better players than me. We must put the enjoyment of learning above finalistic issues.
In the workplace, most people are somewhat dissatisfied with the tasks they perform or the treatment they receive from their superiors. This is natural, and it's not wrong to complain from time to time, but there are things we can do to make this happen. there are things we can do to make the routine a lot more pleasant.. For example, we can start by being friendly and cheerful with our co-workers to create a climate of closeness and cooperation.
In short, to be happy and be better people we must walk towards habits that motivate us and keep us activated. If we are happy with what we do, others notice it.