Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.’
I really believe this is the best way to live.
A life without constant growth and development leads to a stagnant “Groundhog Day” effect that, for me, feels like hell on earth when experienced (and boy, have I ever experienced it). Though we cannot always achieve what we want to in the moments we want to, we can always challenge the ways we process the information, opportunities and obstacles that come our way. When we seek to learn how to do better, we will always find ways to be a better version of ourselves than we were yesterday.
Here are a five easy ways to expand your world and polish yourself every day.
Let every day be a day of Exploration, Curiosity and Education: Pick up a book and read a few pages, try a new food, read a news article, walk down a new block, visit a museum, or listen to a new genre of music. Try and learn at least one new thing each and every day and watch your interests and conversations blossom.
Get Out of Your Space: The best way to change your headspace is to change your physical space. Go for a walk, a coffee run, a real run, whatever. Sometimes, as little as 10 minutes walking around the block in the sunshine is enough to change your entire outlook.
Commit: “We’ll see” and “Maybe” is for losers. Really. People who lose out on life are those who dance in the gray area between yes and no, and we all know this dance is closer to no, anyway. If you say you’ll do something, even to yourself, don’t make excuses when facing the difficult moment you need to overcome in order to do it. Get out of bed and go to the gym, meet the new contact for the coffee you said you’d have next week, set a date to sign up for the class/marathon and RSVP to the party and go. Remind yourself that whatever discomfort you foresee is worth the reward you’re seeking.
Fear is a Trainer, Self-Doubt is a Hater: Unless you’re in a truly unsafe situation or you have a real reason not to believe something, treat fear as a great trainer there to challenge you to overcome your own limitations and build confidence through undisputable action. Self-doubt, on the other hand, is there to poison your happiness. Every time you succumb to it, you fall back, it’s that simple.
Don’t Overthink It: We can think of a million things that could happen, most of them won’t. Be responsible, but be responsive.