12 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life

Updated on February 7, 2020
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Dreamworker has a lifetime of successful business, relationship, career and financial experiences she enjoys sharing with her readers.

Many people want to improve their lives, but few know how to do it. This usually is because they let their emotions rather than their brains guide their decisions. Thus, they continue to make the same mistakes that block them from finding the success they wish they had. Here is a perfect example:

The Musician Was Playing But Not Performing

I knew a guitar player who kept losing jobs. Musicians with fewer skills were always stealing his gigs. He did not understand that his refusal to entertain while playing kept him from succeeding. He did not see the need to schmooz the audience, sing or tell jokes. He thought just playing well was enough to captivate each audience; obviously it was not. So the other performers booked the jobs while he sat home and fumed while worrying about paying the bills.

A simple change of attitude could have made a huge difference in his life, but he couldn't accept the fact that he would have to change his ways if he wanted to succeed.

He didn't want to evaluate his situation because doing so would be uncomfortable and would force him to ask himself questions such as:

  • What are the other musicians doing that I'm not doing?
  • Why am I not getting the jobs I want?
  • What can I do to help myself?

The answers would force him to take some sort of action, but he was not sure he wanted to deal with their consequences.

Such questions often provide answers people may not like, but at least they provide a better picture of one's circumstances and will let people know what can be done if they want to figure out a better way of doing things.

Things you can do to make your life happier and more successful.
Things you can do to make your life happier and more successful. | Source

1. Choose to Overcome the Negatives

How you deal with the negatives that life throws your way is one of the main determiners of success.

When you lose your job, your marriage fails, you are forced to face a serious illness or you have a financial crisis, you can either crumble under the stress or rise from the ashes and deal with your issues head on.

You may not realize it, but you do have this choice.

Every day we see examples of people who have found ways to successfully cope with the problems that have come their way. The secret for all of them has been to accept their situation, understand why it exists and then choose to overcome it.

They have learned that if life knocks you down, you can either stay down and be destroyed or get up, dust yourself off and fight for the kind of life you deserve to have.

It is both amazing and awe-inspiring to see the heights people can reach once they choose to succeed.

2. Think Logically

People who can set their emotions aside and analyze their situations logically can deal with them much more effectively.

They prioritize their problems and analyze the most important ones so that they can determine their causes. Once they understand why something bad is happening, they can address the source and do what they can to correct it.

For example, someone who is having problems paying his bills every month can quickly figure out that he is either spending too much or earning too little. Once he sees this, he can then decide whether he wants to analyze ways to reduce his spending, ask for a raise, find a different job that pays more or find a second job.

Any of these options will resolve his problem, but by setting his emotions aside and thinking logically he has been able to find them and then decide which one is best to use.

3. Know Who Holds the Power

Far too many people fail in life because they don't take the time to figure out who among them holds the most power.

This one thing is the reason that so many people have difficulty in their jobs because the person in charge is not always the boss! Sometimes it is his wife or someone to whom he owes favors or fears for some reason. Thus, if you anger this person, they can make your work day miserable.

Powerful people often hide their allegiances, so observing their relationships and watching what you say can go a long way towards helping you to avoid unwanted problems. This holds true for all relationships.

Dale Carnegie wrote a terrific book called How to Win Friends and Influence People that I have kept at my bedside for years because it emphasizes, better than any other book about creating good relationships, the importance of never saying a bad word about anybody. The lessons it teaches have helped me tremendously in my life and can do the same for you.

4. Be Careful Who You Listen To

Listen only to people who offer credible advice. To do otherwise is to confuse yourself and force yourself into making bad choices.

People tend to pass advice on that is based on hearsay rather than personal experience. This can be extremely damaging and should be avoided at all costs.

For this reason, you should never accept the negative comments that others make to you in the guise of giving you supportive advice.

For example, middle-aged widows are often told that for many reasons, they will never find another husband. Women who accept this as fact can easily just give up and spend the rest of their lives alone, but those who ask what these statements are based on soon find out that the people giving this advice have no idea what they are talking about

The advice givers might know one or two women who never remarried, but their reasons may not be that this happened because they were widowed! They may not have wanted to marry again, they may have been too "picky" or they may not have met any men that they even like enough to want to marry!

Each situation is different, so those who make blanket statements such as this do not serve their listeners well.

Always think for yourself when faced with advice givers so that you can clearly evaluate your options.

I was 43 when my young husband died suddenly. Many friends advised me that because of my age finding another husband would likely be impossible. I met my second husband four months later and married him six months after that and have been happy ever since. Good thing I didn't listen to them!

5. Listen to Credible Advice Like This!

6. Don't Whine

It’s not easy to smile when life is beating you up, however, keeping a positive attitude is one of the best ways to help yourself survive the difficult times.

  • Those who do this give themselves hope and are happier with their situations.
  • Those who don't, only make things worse for themselves.

Whether it’s an illness, the death of a pet or any other sad situation, nobody likes a whiner or someone who is constantly leaning on them for support.

Giving in to sadness drives people away and only worsens bad situations, but staying strong and working towards resolutions brings people to you as if you were a magnet.

A positive attitude attracts people and enriches your life.
A positive attitude attracts people and enriches your life. | Source

7. Accept Life's Lessons and Use Them Well

No matter how bad things get, it’s important to remember that all we really have in life is the present. There are no guarantees that we’ll be here next week, let alone five minutes or even one minute from now. We are all temporary.

What happens to us is temporary, too, so if what is going wrong in your life now won’t matter in 5 years, why let it upset you?

Why not use unhappy experiences as stepping stones that will help you have a better life in the future?

  • You got fired, but because of that learned what you needed to do to keep your next job.
  • You injured yourself in a fall, but because of that, you learned to be more careful so that you wouldn’t fall again.

Everything that happens to you in life is a lesson that will help you. If you take the time to learn from each lesson, you’ll grow and prosper.

8. Mind Your Own Business

In trying to be helpful and kind we sometimes involve ourselves too much in the lives of other people and take on responsibilities that should be theirs. This is a terrible burden for anybody to carry and can really damage your emotional well being.

If you allow people to handle their problems and take care of your own, you will have the energy you need to fight the battles that come your way.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a great saying: "Let go and let God". It means that you should accept the fact that a supreme power, not you, has control over everything and you should step back and let him work his magic. He will always handle it better than you will!

9. Eliminate Toxic People From Your Life

Most people spend a good deal of time worrying about what other people think of them. As a result, they spend the majority of their time trying to keep other people happy. This is a trap that can lead to a damaging and downward emotional spiral because there is no way any human being can please everybody!

The easiest way to overcome this problem is to realize that you don't need people to like you, nor do you need to like all of them.

If you understand this, you can stop worrying about how they perceive you and start enjoying your life!

Many individuals keep toxic people in their lives because they fear being left alone or left out, but they suffer dearly for this kind of thinking. What they need to understand is that by clearing away the toxic people, they leave room for the good ones.

10. Practice Civility

Behaving in a civil manner means acting in socially acceptable, kind and decent ways. If you are clean in body, thought, values and lifestyle and if you behave respectfully when in the company of others, people will like and admire you.

They will want to be with you because doing so makes them feel good. When they feel good, they will reach out to you and help you when the need arises because they know you would do the same for them.

Practicing civility is one of the best ways for people to find peace and happiness. It is more important than being rich or claiming success because it speaks to what is best in all of us, for without goodness of heart, all of those other things mean nothing.

Being civil always creates positive results for people.
Being civil always creates positive results for people. | Source

11. Value Yourself

Many people tend to ignore their own needs as they slog their ways through life, but in truth, if you don't value and care for your own needs, you won't do well.

Life is serious, and we must all face serious situations as we go through it, but this does not mean that we should forget to smile, try new things, reach out to people, volunteer our time, seek love and friendship and do all of those things that enhance us.

They say that laughter is the best medicine. This is true. There is no shame in relaxing, enjoying and laughing. So while you are creating better habits and attitudes, don't forget the important role that happiness and self valuation play in your life.

12. Learn to Be Content

You will not do well if you try to follow somebody else's path or live a life that is based on the decisions that others make for you.

The happiest and most successful people in the world are those who are content with the life they have and say thanks every day for the blessings that have been bestowed upon them.

You can become one of them simply by following the advice in this article.

Do you believe that doing some or all of these things will help you to be more successful?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Sondra Rochelle


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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      19 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      First, analyze self and self's purposes. Know, study, analyze what is thy ideal – in body, in mind, in spirit. Not as to what ye would like for thy neighbor to be like; not what ye would desire thy friend or thy foe to think; not what ye would like for thy Creator to do – but rather ‘What sort of neighbor am I?’ And ‘Do I live that I would have my neighbor be? Do I think, do I act in a way and manner that I would wish my friend, my foe, to do toward me? Is my ideal indeed in Him, who is the way, the truth, the light?’

      Then, study to show thyself approved unto Him, a workman not ashamed; never condemning, but living that as ye would have others do.

      -- Edgar Cayce reading 2326-1

    • Dreamworker profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      19 months ago from USA

      Natalie Frank: You're correct. Problem is that people are so busy these days that they don't take the time to look at their situations to see what can be done to improve them. It's a downward spiral in many cases that leads to all sorts of problems.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      19 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Great advice for any age. We often underestimate the effects our thoughts have on every aspect of our lives. If we can get control of them and make sure we are thinking rationally and positively we can often make meaningful changes in our moods and quality of life.

    • Dreamworker profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      19 months ago from USA

      Carolyn Fields: You certainly are welcome...and I'm glad to hear that things worked out for you.

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      19 months ago from South Dakota, USA

      I relate to your comment about losing your husband. My first husband died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49. I "could have" let that moment define the rest of my list. Instead, I consciously regrouped, and reinvented my life. I'm now happily remarried, and doing things I love. It's not always sunshine and roses, be I can always find the positive when I look for it. Even if it's only finding the "lesson" from the situation I'm in.

      Great hub. Thanks for posting.


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