By Awa Melvine
- Know thyself: Use the last ten minutes before sleep to reflect on your day. Just do a mental evaluation of your performance at work, school, etc. Ask yourself what motivated you to do the things you did during the day; how you could have acted differently to get a better outcome. This way you’ll understand yourself more. You will know your strengths and your weaknesses, and know which challenges to tackle and which to save your energy and walk away from.
- Reading: Those who read everyday have an almost unfair advantage. Imagine sucking up information that is the result of an author’s years of efforts and lifetime experience expressed with utmost care and edited multiple times. Well, it’s only unfair to those who don’t read. Reading boosts your vocabulary; and the more words you know, the more depth you are able to perceive in things. The more the world speaks to you. You also learn to look at things from different perspectives.
- The challenge to Love: That is mankind’s greatest need: to love and to be loved. That’s right. To love some other person is a very deep human need. But the world has gone crazy. We envy, hate, fight and even kill each other in pursuit of power, influence, wealth, etc. But our desire for these things can never be satiated. So challenge yourself each day to genuinely love somebody. Your love should be expressed with gestures like a gift or a note or anything to let the person know that you love them and you wish them well; they need the love and they need also to know that somebody actually cares for them.
- Keeping a journal: This point is closely connected with the first point. Keep a journal to record some of your peculiar experiences as you walk through life. Your experiences are great wealth. You will always need to draw upon your past experiences in order to make better decisions in the present and more accurately predict the future based on your current actions and decisions.
- Health: This body that carries us is not a machine. It is also fragile. Health is not the absence of disease. Some people only consult their doctors when they feel pain. Others only do a morning jog in the periods when they feel they are overweight. The thing is, all your efforts in cultivating the other habits in order to live an amazing life can be reduced to nothing in one day if you don’t take your health seriously.
Every night when I crawl under my blanket and engage in habit #1 (know thyself) and find that I have done something concerning all the above habits, I feel satisfied. But the days i fail to do even just one, I feel stupid and believe me, this deals a great blow to my self-esteem. So I had this as my screensaver on my laptop:
I don’t mean this to be an insult to myself. But I read it with defiance each time and strive to prove it wrong: “I’m not stupid”, and then i get up and do my work.
So there you go. That’s the five habits that have improved my life greatly.
Hope it helps you!
Originally posted on Quora as a respond to the question “What are 5 habits that can improve my life?”