How can life shape us into a better person? Do we ever reach perfection? How should we react to negativity? In this post I intend to share my thoughts on the aspects of self improvement I have come across so far in my life.
When Bad Becomes Good
It is inevitable that life will give you setbacks. However, we can see setbacks as opportunities. When events throw you down, get up stronger than before. I think this quote puts it aptly:
“Be stimulated by rejection” - Bob Gill
At the time they occur, negative events may seem undesirable, and arguably they are. Nevertheless, when looking back it is plain to see that they shape us. Everything that has happened to you previously in your life, good or bad, has shaped you into the person you are today. Looking forward, be prepared for more negative events; and make sure you see them as challenges you can overcome to your advantage.
You owe it to yourself
You will never feel bad about being nice to someone.
If you are nice to people, they will be nice back. And if they aren't, at least you will feel good about yourself. It's hard to go wrong with this mentality. Whereas, if you are nasty to people - and they are nasty back - you won't have gained anything. Moreover, if you are nasty to people yet they are nice back you will feel awful. Ultimately, does anyone really pride themselves on being nasty?
“I am a reflection of what I do” - Steve Jobs
The quote above shook me the first time I read it, because it really rings true. As I said in the section above, events that happen in our lives shape us, and often it is what we do that triggers those events. In short, do good things and you will be more likely to open up good opportunities which will further shape you into a better person.
Infinite Levels of Perfection
It's tempting to say we should aim to for perfection. So lets do just that. The problem is, how do we quantify perfect?
I believe perfection is unachievable - because it is an infinite scale. We can become nicer, better, or more perfect, but nobody in the world will ever be perfect. Even if somebody did match our own capped definition of perfection, they might not match someone else's definition.
There will always be someone better than us, and someone worse than us, so it is pointless comparing how perfect we are to others. Instead, we should compare our levels of perfection to… ourselves. How caring was I last year? Have I made progress since then? If not, what can I do to be a better person by this time next year? By seeing perfection as relative to ourselves, it doesn't feel like such an uphill struggle to improve. Moreover, when we look back we can feel a greater sense of achievement.
Pulling it all Together
“I don't care about being right. I care about success and doing the right thing.” - Steve Jobs
When life makes you weak, bounce back stronger, and stay strong. Be nice and you will feel good. Finally, put doing the right thing above any other thoughts.