10 Ways to Grow as a Human
The goal is to join humanity to work together to love, nourish, and protect this big, beautiful, diverse world of ours. Here are 10 steps to help you achieve that goal:
1. Be a good listener. Listen with all your attention. Practice not giving an opinion or advice unless asked. When you are in a disagreement listen without thinking of how you are going to answer, or why you think that person is wrong. Just listen to what others are saying to you. It helps us to get a better understanding of what is happening and what the other person is going through and feeling. If you are not really listening, instead you are thinking of ways to rebut, you are not doing anything to grow as a human.
2. Don’t make excuses. Own your mistakes and learn from them. Pointing fingers at someone other than yourself for your failures will get you nowhere. Be happy with yourself, even with making mistakes because mistakes are a sign you are trying. And when you keep trying you will be successful.
3. Stick up for yourself and others. When you see something, say something. Whether you are a man or a woman, young or old, it is important to open your mouth when you hear something that is just plain wrong, degrading, bigoted, sexist, or mean-spirited in general. We’ve all heard something that rings a bell on our bullshit meter. Some people let it go not wanting to stir the pot. Sometimes we think, “oh that’s just so-in-so being how they always are.”
Well, I for one, am sick of that cop-out. Maybe “so-in-so” should understand how offensive they are. Maybe “so-in-so” should try and put themselves in someone else’s shoes. If that person has just said something disrespectful toward women, for example, a gentle reminder that he wouldn’t let someone speak like that to his mother, or his wife, or his sister – so why does he feel he has the right to disrespect someone else’s mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, niece, or sister?
Whether you are a man or a woman in this case; whether it’s in the workplace, a public, or private setting – never smile or laugh when someone is insulting or degrading someone else. If you do you have just opened a door for someone to do that to you. If you remain quiet you are complicit. Make a stand and let people know when they’ve said something out of bounds, not okay, dismissive, demeaning, or distasteful. You’ll be doing yourself a favor as well as standing up for someone else.
4. Release your anger. I think it’s important to experience your anger. Listen to your mind and body and figure out where that anger is coming from and pay attention to how you feel when that anger erupts. Pay attention to what it’s doing to your mind and body. Develop ways to release and tame that anger such as meditation, tai chi, praying, waking a walk, or focusing on something more calming. Learn to manage your thoughts. It’s good to go through what you are feeling, even anger. It’s not, however, good or healthy to stay within it or keep reliving it. Once you experience it, it is imperative you understand that you do not have to carry it with you and if you do carry it with you, you will make yourself miserable.
5. Learn about others. You will never be able to identify with things you know nothing about. You have to be willing to learn about other people, people different from yourself – different from how you were raised, your culture, race, class, sexual preference, or faith.
When you hear of someone’s plight it’s important to stop and take a moment to consider how you would feel if you were in that situation. It’s not your place to judge HOW they got into that situation or how they are handling it. Your place is to listen with heart and truly ask yourself what you would do if it were you. Learning about others is a great display of empathy and compassion. It is a great way to understand another human being.
6. Articulate your thoughts. Be direct and honest. Look, honesty sometimes sucks but a lie is a violation of trust. I know I, for one, would want to hear that new outfit looks terrible on me, rather than hearing it looks good when it doesn’t. Of course, at first I’m going to feel a little crappy about it, but I would rather hear the truth.
You will get farther in every aspect of your life if you just articulate your feelings, ideas, thoughts, wants, and needs clearly to others.
If you want a raise, make a solid case on why you deserve a raise and articulate that to your boss. If you feel someone is treating you poorly, articulate how you expect to be treated. Don’t smile and slough it off, don’t shy or shrink away – let your feelings be known in a calm and coherent manner. Unfortunately sometimes in life, we actually need to convey to people the proper way to treat others. When these times arise, it’s important we express ourselves in a firm and deliberate manner.
7. Help others. One of the most effective ways to practice being a better human is to help other humans wherever you are and whenever you can. Helping others in small ways does big things in the field of energy floating around and within us.
Give up your seat to the elderly person on the bus, help a mother get a stroller up the steps, hold the door for someone, help your spouse bring in the groceries, lend a hand to a co-worker, help someone reach something from a high shelf – all these things take nothing but a little kindness and a few moments of time.
8. Have respect for all others. You don’t have to agree with people to respect them. Just as you want others to respect your opinions and ideas, you have to afford that same thinking to the opinions and ideas of others. No matter how different another person is, everyone deserves respect.
Clean up after yourself. Respect your environment. Don’t litter. If you just washed your kitchen floor and someone walked in and left mud all over it – you would feel disrespected and rightly so. It’s no different with being outside of your home. Be respectful of both public and private places and treat them like your own.
9. Education is your friend. If there is something going on that you simply don’t quite understand, learn about it! If you don’t understand a political view, for instance, you will never understand it unless you learn about it from someone who actually has that point of view (Here’s where your listening skills come in.) Watch news from sources that are not biased to the opinion you yourself hold, but look for sources telling the other side of the argument. (Here’s where some respect skills come in.)
Make it a point to learn as much as you can about both sides of an issue, otherwise you cannot make an informed opinion. (Here’s where your learning about others skills come in.)
Every single one of us, human, animal, and even plants are all interconnected through energy. We will be healthy humans when we not only accept but are aware and educated on, the different facets of life we all live. We are all different people living different lives in different races and cultures and through different lifestyles. Strive to be well-rounded and unbiased and you will be a good human.
10. Take responsibility. It’s okay to feel however you are feeling. In fact, it’s normal and healthy to work through hard times. But you can’t remain in pity or sadness. Figure out what happened, what you could have done differently, forgive yourself and move on. It wasn’t the first mistake you made and it surely won’t be the last. Sometimes there is nothing you could have done differently, you have to understand that as well.
If you’ve wronged someone it’s up to you to make amends. It’s part of your growth as a human. Own your missteps, understand them, then move along.