1. Define the moment.
Becoming a better person begins with making a conscious decision to change our lives for the better and discovering the steps needed to turn this promise into reality. In 1998, I survived a brutal carjacking, robbery, and beating by a car gang along I-10 on the east side of Houston. My attackers beat me and dumped me out. When I awoke, my first thought was, “Thank you, God, for letting me live. I’m going to serve you for the rest of my life, and I’ll begin by being a better person from this day forward.” The catalyst for changing our lives can be sparked from hearing an inspirational speaker, reading a book or watching a movie.
2. Make a list.
Define what needs to be changed. A vague goal is much less effective than a concise list. I have always kept a journal or notebook nearby to list lessons I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had to refer back to.
After my carjacking, I made a list of things I absolutely had to change about myself to fulfill the promises I made to God. I was determined to become a better person and Christian, and that list became my guide. To this day, I update my personal goals yearly and add ways to improve myself. We will never be perfect, but we can always strive for perfection.
3. Clean house.
This begins with changing what we think, read, watch and do. It’s just as much about your mental attitude as your environment. Mastering happiness begins with mental self-discipline and watching what you think and do. Instead of feeding your mind negativity and sinful thoughts, take control by controlling what you feed your mind. Reading your Bible and other inspirational material is a great start.
4. Be kinder, more thoughtful and more thankful.
Every day, say at least one nice thing to three different people who aren’t expecting it. Try it for a month, and notice the difference it makes in how people treat you and how you feel about yourself. The simple gesture of saying “thank you” is another way to show your kind spirit. I’ve always said there may be people who can outthink us, but there will never be people who can out-thank us.
5. Keep a journal.
Every person has a great story to tell, whether it be spiritual or educational, a memorable experience or a story of overcoming adversity. Keeping a personal and business journal has been a cornerstone to my success. At 75 years old, I have several journals, including a spiritual journal I use at church or other events to jot down significant things I hear. Wisdom you hear over the years should be reviewed often to best absorb its lessons.
6. Take better care of yourself.
When you take good care of yourself mentally and physically, your opinion of yourself and others’ opinions of you will skyrocket. I enjoy regular walks to meditate, get my thoughts in order, mentally refresh myself and get a little exercise. I take inspirational materials with me on trips so I am always improving myself. Some of the most creative thoughts I’ve ever had have arisen during this time of reflection and meditation. This habit is vital for our improved mental and physical health.
7. Make meaningful memories.
One of the greatest challenges we all face is how we manage our time. Allocating quality time to our family and loved ones should be at the top of our time management priorities. When I made my life change, I vowed to make God and my family more important than my company. To me, one of the most exciting things was when I began to make God, family and others No. 1, I found greater hope, peace and happiness. Also, when I began enjoying more leisure time with my family, I returned to work more creative, more rested and much more productive.
8. Remember the people secret and make others No. 1.
Among my favorite books is “How to be People Smart” by Les Giblin. The principle is simple: Being people smart is not about our intelligence; it’s about how effective we are with people. If you make others feel like No. 1, they respond in kind. This begins with being a good listener. People always enjoy being around a person who is interested rather than interesting.
9. Become a better networker.
Networking is getting together to get ahead. One of my personal practices is I make at least three referrals a day. They don’t have to be business related. Networking just means sharing leads and referrals and making personal introductions every day. Networking can help you become better by improving your communication skills and expanding relationships with others.
10. Be more benevolent.
When we begin serving God and helping others, it improves who we are and how others feel about us. Energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens once said God makes some of us successful so we have the resources to help others. I feel better, happier and more excited about life when helping others. It is also professionally rewarding. Since we began publishing inspirational and faith-friendly books and movies, our business has quadrupled. The BIC Alliance staff shares my passion for helping others and making contributions of time and energy to help those less fortunate.
Faith is the greatest self-improvement and success medicine. Even for those who don’t have a spiritual life, I believe reading the Bible and following Christian principles help make each of us a better person. For me, the more I made God, family and helping others No. 1, the more I found greater love, peace, happiness, and success.
12. Create a legacy of love.
We all leave a legacy, but what will we and others see when looking back over our lives? If I had died from my carjacking, I would not have been proud of my legacy. The main question we need to ask is simple: Is the world a better place because of my life? The secret to being a better person is leaving a legacy of love. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. You can start becoming a better person and leaving a greater legacy by making a conscious decision right now. I recommend getting started by reading the article “8 Steps To Becoming A Better Person” by Elizabeth Harrell.
We are currently in development of our next inspirational book, “The Making of an Entrepreneur,” and accepting nominations for C-level business leaders and entrepreneurs within the energy and industrial sectors and beyond. For more information about “The Making of an Entrepreneur” or to nominate someone, press here.