My main goal for summer 2015 is to be happy; totally, consistently, intensely and overwhelmingly… happy. Is that too much to ask for? Probably. However I am a firm believer that we, as people, are perfectly capable of creating our own positive mentality. With that in mind, alongside my apparent utopian goal of unequivocal happiness, today I wanted to share some little ways to improve your life. These are a few things that I am personally going to aim to achieve, and perhaps you can too! Without further ado…
1. Pay More Compliments
My first step is perhaps the easiest; if you see something you like, say it! If you like what someone is wearing, tell them! If you think someone is one of the funniest people you’ve ever met, let them know! Your words have the power to improve someone’s day considerably, but that’s a power that people tend not to use to its full potential. When Harry Potter found out that he had the power to conjure spells, he didn’t think “oh, that’s nifty” and retire back to his cupboard under the stairs; no, he used his powers to save humanity by defeating the wicked Lord Voldemort. While the power of compliments isn’t quite to the same scale – and unfortunately you never did receive that Hogwarts letter of acceptance – it’s still something you should utilise.
Perhaps the aspect you choose to compliment will, unbeknownst to you, be an area that the other person is really insecure about. In which case, congratulations, you’ve just made someone’s day! A compliment costs nothing. That is, of course, unless you’re choosing to send said compliment via text and are victim to a malevolent pay-as-you-go phone contract – but you get the point.
2. Learn a Language
This definitely isn’t as easy as just learning an entirely new vocabulary overnight, but bear with me here. Learning a new language is extremely rewarding and can be done slowly but surely. Personally, I’ve integrated half an hour of learning Spanish into my every-day life. While my progress wasn’t explicitly obvious at first, I’m now really pleased (and, moreover, surprised) with how much I actually know. However if a foreign language is just alien to you – and, don’t worry, this undeniably doesn’t suit everyone – try improving your own native language. The English language is constantly growing and has over one million words, so there’s always something new to learn. Websites such as dictionary.com always have a ‘word of the day’ if you don’t know where to start.
3. Become More Organised
One thing I have irrefutably improved in my own life over the past year is my organisational capacity. I like everything to be in order and have a place, particularly paper work and books. However being organised can stretch to more than just tangible organisation. You can also very easily organise your time effectively, in order to utilise each and every day efficiently to its full potential. This has consequentially improved my time management throughout the recent exam period; thus removing a tiny bit of the seemingly obligatory stress which appears synonymous with revision.
4. Write Things Down
In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than the written word. Not only is this a great way to remember things, it’s also extremely therapeutic. If I couldn’t write things down, I don’t think my brain would be able to function. Give it a try sometime!
5. Embrace Your Passions and Achievements
One route to immediate contentment is to embrace the things you love; do more of what makes you happy. I’d also like to point out something I believe to be of profuse importance: your achievements aren’t always explicitly obvious. You don’t have to represent your country in a particular sport or get the best grades in the school to be an achiever. Those things are great, but maybe you’re good at something else. Perhaps you’re really good at drawing detailed portraits, or perhaps you can solve a Rubik’s Cube faster than anyone else in your town. Maybe you were the first person to know all of the words to that Beyoncé song, or maybe you have really neat and desirable handwriting. Perhaps you were the first person to see that particular butterfly on that particular leaf, or perhaps no-one has ever said that particular string of words in that particular order. You could be someone’s favourite person. You could be the stranger in the background of someone’s favourite photograph. You are quietly unique, but deafeningly incredible. Embrace that.
6. Discover New Places
The great thing about the Earth is that you can never see all of it. Our world is your canvas; the set and scenery to your very own feature length film. You have everything at your fingertips, so direct that film like Wes Anderson and get Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar. This is a bizarre analogy but let’s roll with it anyway.
Perhaps there’s a place you see all the time in your hometown but have never explored, or perhaps there’s a country you’ve never been to and have always desired. Don't contain your wanderlust! Near or far, discovering new places is a definite way to improve your life.
7. Say “Thank You” Often
My final step for self-life-improvement is appreciation. You have all of these incredible things (and people) in your life, so acknowledge them. Saying “thank you” is imperative – two simple words which can easily sum up all of your gratitude in a matter of seconds.
Just because you are presently the current version of yourself, that doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to maintain that persona. You can change who you are while still being true and faithful to yourself, so don’t ever feel like you’re stuck in one position for the rest of your life. Change is not always a bad thing, especially at the hands of your own happiness, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Be the best version of you and prioritise yourself for a little while. Nothing is impossible - except, perhaps #EdexcelMaths.
Thank you very much for reading. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram under the username @jackbenedwards. Also, if you’d like to share this post with your friends, I certainly wouldn’t complain and it'd help me out a lot! Have a great day and, until next time, goodbye!
5th June 2015
By Jack Edwards