One of my professors inspired me to write about bettering myself because he inspired me throughout the course of his class. At first, I was bitter about have to take his class, especially because I’m in my third year, and this was a freshman course. The course is about being the best student possible and I thought I already knew everything that was going to be taught but to my surprise, it was quite the opposite. I learned about myself as a student, worker, family member, friend, and partner.
Here are 11 lessons that I learned throughout the class.
1. There is no personal growth without self-awareness.
Knowing where you are and where you want to be is important. How can you know where you want to go if you’re not even sure of where you are now? Make small goals about how you want to better yourself – these goals should be measurable and attainable.
2. Write down three positives events/things that happen to you every day.
I sometimes allow myself to be negative, but this completely changed my outlook. At times we feel so busy that we forget to stop and take a look at all the good things that are taking place in our lives. Give yourself five minutes a day to write down three positive things that happened and you will be pleasantly surprised at all of the positivity in your life. These positives can be big or small, something as simple is a stranger smiling at you is enough. Some days these positives will be obvious and other days you may have to search a little, but they are always there.
3. A little tension is a good thing.
Do you ever feel stressed and wonder how much better life would be if you didn’t have any stress, let’s be honest we all do. In reality having a little bit of stress is a good thing, it keeps you moving and motivated. Imagine not having any pressure to do anything, maybe for a day or two it would be relaxing but after a while it’s boring! Do things that make you a little tense, it’s likely that the benefits are worth it.
4. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you have never done.
I strongly believe in this. Do you find yourself wanting something but not willing to work for it? How are you able to achieve your end goal without working for it. If you want to be smart, educate yourself. You want to be fit, go to the gym. You want to be a writer, apply to Read Unwritten. Just remember, “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
5. Positivity ratio – for every negative thought you must think of three positive thoughts.
Whenever I receive a compliment, I feel good inside and move on shortly after but if someone says something negative to you, it lingers a little longer. This is normal and natural! If you find yourself thinking of negative thoughts you must fight them with positive thoughts. For every one negative you must have three positives to balance yourself out.
6. Eat the frog.
Before we go to bed we find ourselves thinking about what needs to be done the next day and sometimes that list sucks! There are those one or two dreaded things you don’t want to do but they are on the list. Get yourself to do those dreaded tasks (your frogs) first. It’s crazy how much better your day can be when you aren’t constantly reminding yourself that you need to do something you don’t like. Get it out of the way first and enjoy your day.
7. Be Here Now – Do what you do when you’re doing it and be where you are when you’re there.
Do you ever go to work or class and find your mind wandering? I’m definitely guilty of this! Sometimes I go to a class to do work for a different class, but then why go at all? It’s much more beneficial to do what you do when you’re doing it and be where you are when you’re there, and by that I mean if you’re supposed to be listening in class, actually pay attention, if you’re supposed to be working on an assignment, sit in a quiet space and get it done.
8. The iceberg metaphor.
When I meet someone I find myself making judgments about them within seconds. We make assumptions based on minimal information and believe it’s true. When you look at an iceberg, you are only able to see the portion that is above water but we have no idea of what it looks like underwater. Now that’s the same for a person, we look at them externally but have no clue of what is going on inside. Time the time to be nice to everyone, what you say can really affect someone’s day! You never know what is going on inside, make your mark on a person positive.
9. The two types of wolves.
Inside you, there are two wolves, a positive wolf, and a negative wolf. Every day the wolfs fight inside you. Do you know which wolf wins? The one you feed. This hits close to home for me because some days I’m very positive and other days the negativity creeps in, you have to constantly feed the positive wolf, it takes effort. Being positive isn’t a destination is a constant battle that you have to fight.
10. Change your mindset.
Acknowledge your negatives, everyone has them. It’s how you deal with the that is up to you. Don’t let it linger, acknowledge the negativity and then find those positives to overcome the negatives so that you are left feeling positive.
11. The ‘I’ Exam
This is an exam that you take every day. You make the effort to follow what you learn. Every morning you look in the mirror and reflect on yourself. This exam is the toughest exam you will ever write, but the rewards are worth it.
These small lessons push me to be better. To get started, take one lesson at a time and try to apply it your day. Don’t compare yourself to others, work towards being a better “you”. Every single moment you are writing your own story, make each chapter great! It’s up to you!
Featured image via barbara_ines.