How to Be Great

Опубликовал Admin
6-11-2020, 06:50
Everyone has a different idea of what it means to be great. For one person, it's getting up and singing on Broadway, or another it's saving lives by working as a Triage nurse. While only you can determine what will make you great, there are some definite overlap between the lives of great people! See Step 1 to get started.

Being Great in Your Personal Life

  1. Be passionate. You want to bring passion to all parts of your life. It will help you to be excited about what you do and what you experience. Being passionate about things is also a great way to find friends and romantic partners, because people are drawn to those who are passionate about things.
    • Figure out what you like. This could be anything from cooking, to video games, to saving the whales.
    • You should get out and try new things to figure out what interests you. For example: you might go to a free lecture at your local university about global climate change and become passionate about saving the planet. You wouldn't have found this passion if you hadn't gone outside your usual comfort zone and tried something new.
    • You can also share your passion with other people. Get your friends interested in your interests, or go online and find like-minded people to get excited about your passions with. There are tons of websites out there devoted to everything from rock climbing to knitting. You can even look around your area to see if there's a group devoted to your passion, or a way to start one (like a writer's group, or a quilting circle).
  2. Cultivate gratitude. Being grateful for things in your life is a prime way to boost your mental and physical health. It doesn't necessarily mean that everything is going swimmingly in your life. In fact, many of the most grateful people are those who have experienced some trauma or life altering (usually "bad") event, like an illness or death of a loved one.
    • Keep a gratitude journal. This means that every day you write down between 3 and 5 things that you are grateful for. They can be as simple as "the sun warmed me today" or "I got to have bacon for breakfast" or as big as "I got engaged today" or "my book got accept for publication." Make sure that you spend time thinking about the things that you are grateful for.
    • Say "thank you" to the people you talk to throughout the day: the server who brings you your lunch, the lady who holds the door for you, your son when he makes you dinner. By spreading gratitude you are not only showing yourself everything (even the minor things!) you have to be grateful for, but you are also spreading that appreciation throughout all the people you encounter.
    • It is impossible to have both fear/anxiety and appreciation at the same time. By cultivating your gratitude you are making yourself better equipped to deal with the more difficult aspects of life in a healthy, healing manner.
  3. Change what you can. Lots of things happen that you have absolutely no control over. This is why it's important to maintain control over the things that you do have control over. These include: your attitude towards life, your job, how you spend your free time, the people who are in your life, and so on.
    • Attitude is immensely important. You can be having the "worst" life ever and still live well, because your attitude is what is important. Don't focus on the problems in your life, unless you're using them as a learning experience or in order to make changes. Instead, focus on the good things.
    • This doesn't mean that you ignore when things go wrong, or even that you aren't allowed to feel upset about those things. It means that you don't stay mired in misery over the things you cannot change.
    • Trust your instincts. If the job you're doing, the place where you're living, the relationship you're in doesn't feel right, see if there is a way to make it better (i.e. talk to your boss about the job, discuss your relationship and so on). If you can't make it better, it might be time to walk away from it and find a different job, a different apartment, or a different relationship.
  4. Keep learning. Honing your mind and keeping your brain sharp is a great way to maintain your mental health, reducing the possibility of Alzheimer's, for example. By continuing to learn and to grow as a person you open up further possibilities.
    • Learn from your mistakes. Whenever something happens where you get rejected, where you screw up, where you fail, examine what went wrong and what you could do better the next time around. Mistakes are not the end of the world and if you remember that, you'll be less afraid to fail. For example: if you tried to make a souffle and the end result was completely deflated, you might look back through the recipe to see if you missed a step, or you didn't follow the instructions as you should have done. It's the same for any sort of failure in life.
    • The more effort you put into learning about your passions the more likely you'll find other people who are interested in them, too. By taking classes on a subject you really enjoy, or going to a convention, or joining a chatroom on the subject, you'll be communicating your passion while learning!
    • There are lots of free or low cost ways to keep learning. You could enroll in a free program like Open University where you can take free online classes in almost any subject. You could also check out what your town or city has to offer. Lots of communities have free lectures at museums or universities, or libraries. They also sometimes offer opportunities to learn different things.
  5. Stay healthy. You'll need to keep your health as much as possible if you're looking to be great. Again, there are certain things that can't be helped (like certain illnesses that come out of nowhere) but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you manage these types of conditions. If you don't have a serious illness, having a healthy lifestyle can boost your energy and make life easier to cope with.
    • Eat right. Go for the good, healthy things like veggies and fruits, especially the leafy greens and the colorful veggies like red peppers, Swiss chard, carrots. Get plenty of protein with an emphasis on the leaner meats like chicken. You can also get protein as well as good fats from nuts (almonds and walnuts being the best), eggs, or soy. As for carbs, avoid things with refined white flour and choose instead, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grains (Ezekiel bread is especially good).
    • Get enough sleep. Most people, these days, are operating under a sleep deficit. This means that you aren't functioning up the levels that you could be! Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Have a set bedtime (preferably before 11:00 p.m.) and a set wake-up time. Turn off electronics (cell phones, computer, iPod, etc.) at least 30 minutes before bedtime, so that you aren't messing up your sleep cycles.
    • Drink water. Being dehydrated has a bad effect on your body. It makes you feel sleepy and foggy, it can give you headaches and make it difficult to concentrate. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. You want your urine to be pale yellow in color. Caffeinated or sugary beverages will only make you more dehydrated.
    • Get exercise. It's best not to use exercise as a weight-loss routine, but instead to use it for its health benefits. Exercising releases chemicals, like endorphins, that enhance your mood so that you feel happier.Find an exercise routine that you like. It could be anything from doing the climbing wall at your gym, or going for a run, or even putting on music and dancing. Do this for 30 minutes each day.
  6. Take responsibility for your actions. One thing that is incredibly important to being great, is to take responsibility for the things that you do and feel. Remember, that no one owes you anything (not respect, not sex, not love) except civility and that the same is true of you.
    • Don't blame other people when things go wrong. Sure, they might have had a hand in it, but it is very unlikely that it was entirely their fault. Owning up to your mistakes and taking responsibility for them will help people see you as a team player, someone who can handle things appropriately.
    • Again, remember, it's not the situation that's the problem, it's your reaction to the situation. Even the worst situation can be handled in a positive manner. For example: a lot of people who are diagnosed with severe and life threatening illnesses find that this strips away a lot of the pretensions from their lives, allowing them to live more fully and completely.
    • This is not to say that you aren't allowed to feel upset, or angry, or sad. It just means that you don't place the blame of those emotions on other people. No one can cause you to feel anything. (Of course there are instances where someone does irreparable harm to you [like assault, abuse, rape], act in a way that gets you [legal] justice and allows you to heal.)

Achieving Great Things

  1. Figure out what you want to do. The world values people who work and you'll spend a large portion of your life working, presumably. This means that you need to find something that you love, or you need to figure out a way to do your work in a manner that fulfills you.
    • Consider the things you're passionate about. If you're really into social justice, look into getting a law or social science degree and work for a nonprofit of some sort. If music is your thing you could start a music camp for disadvantaged children, or do music therapy for the dying.
    • If you find yourself in a job you hate, start looking for another one. You don't have to quit right away, and it's usually a good idea to have another job lined up before you quit the first one. It's best to keep an open mind about the types of jobs you might encounter, because you never know what might be around the corner.
    • If you're in a difficult job and you can't leave, try to to find ways to make it easier. If you have a difficult boss, irritating customers, work that is immensely boring, try to find creative solutions to these difficulties. For example: for boring work, come up with a few reasons why that work is important (you're feeding people, you're cleaning up after people, you're helping people get loans so they can have an amazing life!). Remind yourself of these reasons when the job is getting you down.
  2. Set goals. While plans change often and quickly, you should have goals set that you want to accomplish. You should also work towards these goals as best you can, despite the other things that are happening in your life.
    • Have a list of goals, ordered from most important to least. These goals can be things like: run a 10k marathon, and land a job at a publishing house, and make a constellation quilt for a king sized bed.
    • Work hard towards your goals. If you want to work in publishing, don't just halfheartedly look at some job opportunities. Figure out what it would take to get that job you want. Get the degrees and experience you need, look into internships and entry level positions, demonstrate that you're willing to go that extra mile.
  3. Create a time-frame. You want to make sure that you have specific plans laid out for how to accomplish your goals and time-frame in which to accomplish them. This, again, doesn't mean that you can't adapt that time-frame or the goals, or that things can't change. It does, however, mean that you maintain your focus and can prove your accomplishments.
    • For example: if you want to run that 10k marathon, you'll need to pick the proper time to do it and the proper place. You'll need to set a specific time-frame for training. How far and fast do you need to be able to run? And when? Are you prepared for the marathon? Have you signed up for it? Each time you cross one of these off your list, you get closer to your goal and you feel accomplished.
    • Refer back to your goals and your time-frame each month. What do you still need to accomplish? What do you need to adjust to make things more feasible? What has changed since your last check-in and what have you accomplished since then?
  4. Use positive thinking. Visualization may sound like a silly thing, but it has actually been shown to be effective. It's a technique that many famous people have used to help themselves succeed, including Mohammad Ali.
    • Visualization helps the brain get ready for the actual physical act, be it getting a pay raise or asking that cute boy on a date. The practice of visualization can help increase your confidence, your motivation, and help set you up for success.
    • Each night, right before you go to bed, sit up straight and visualize yourself succeeding at your goals and your life. Visualize these things as if you were actually there (getting the raise, giving a successful speech, asking the girl out). Utilize your five senses: what does it smell like? what sounds can you hear? who is there with you? what are you wearing? Each night as you do this combine it with a positive affirmation: "I am super confident," "I make a great publishing assistant," "I am an amazing runner."
  5. Celebrate your accomplishments. When striving towards greatness, you need to take time to recognize and celebrate the things you've already accomplished. These don't have to be huge, life-shattering events. Quiet, simple events like "successfully kept my house clean for 3 months running" count, too.
    • Think back over the last 24 hour period. What was your greatest accomplishment in that time? It could be something as simple as "made a delicious and nutritious dinner" to something as big as "didn't give up on dancing."
  6. Be creative. Creativity is a key to being successful in your life and greatness comes from creativity. It comes from having a flexibility of mind to consider other options than the ones immediately obvious. People who use creativity in their lives tend to find it easier to deal with obstacles.
    • Think outside the box. People tend to get stuck in thinking about how to use certain things. Look at the objects around your house and come up with alternate uses for them to get your brain accustomed to looking at things in a different way. For example, you could build a terrarium out of clear plastic c.d. case fronts.
    • One thing that stifles creativity is fear of failure. To get around this, consider an obstacle or problem without limitations attached. These questions can help open you up to the realm of different possibilities: "if I could ask anyone in the world for help, who would I ask? If I had access to any possible tools, what would I use? what riskier solution would I try if there were no possibility for failure?"
    • Daydream. This process helps to form connections and recall information, rather than just being a mindless activity. Setting aside time to let your mind wander can help you have better and more creative ideas. You can daydream while taking a walk, before you fall asleep at night, or even for a few minutes at work.
  7. Take risks. If you're going to be great in your own mind and in your own life, you're going to have to be willing to take risks and court the possibility of failure. No one who did well in life got there because everything went 100% smoothly for them (of course, some people did have advantages, but that doesn't mean they didn't take risks).
    • Put yourself out there. Be open with people about who you are and what you do. Don't hide your passions and interests. When you're open to life and all its vulnerabilities, you're also opening yourself up to success and to new things.
    • Obviously, be smart about the risks you take. For example, jumping off a 50 story building without any sort of rope or way to break your fall, is the sort of risk that is going to end in your death or serious injury. It is not advisable.

Cultivating a Strong Social System

  1. Find a community. Community doesn't necessarily have to mean the people in your hometown or city. It simply means a group of people that supports you. Being part of a community can actually help you live longer and more happily and can make you feel less alone.
    • This is where your passions come in. You can find a community and a place to belong based on things you're interested in. For example: if you're interested in social justice, you might find like-minded people in your area at a rally, or by volunteering at a nonprofit.
    • You can also find community through the internet, on places like Reddit or Tumblr, for example. A lot of these places have search functions that can help you more easily find people with similar interests. All you have to do is reach out and make a move to talk to them.
    • Don't burn bridges. You don't necessarily want to maintain toxic people in your life, but not dumping people dramatically can benefit you in the long run. Even toxic people can do things like write recommendations for you, or introduce you to other people. This is not to say that you don't have the right to protect yourself. If someone is acting in a threatening or derogatory manner to you, you have every right to call it out and to cut them out of your life completely.
    • Remember the 30/30/30 rule. This basically says that 1/3 of the people you meet will love you; 1/3 will hate you no matter what you do; 1/3 simply won't care one way or another. Work on strengthening your relationships with the 1/3 who love you and forget the rest.
  2. Be the friend you wish you had. Instead of worrying about what kind of friends you have, be the person you wish you had as a friend. People will respond to that sort of friendship and you'll find yourself attracting the kind of friends you wanted.
    • Be supportive of your friends. When something good happens to them, celebrate with them without the sting of jealousy. When something unhappy happens, make sure that you're there to help them.
    • Tell your friends what they mean to you. Be open about their importance in your life, without worrying if they feel the same way. For example: you might tell your friend how much she means to you by writing her a letter detailing all the awesome things about her. You could also tell a friend "I don't know what I would do without you. You always manage to make me laugh, even when I'm feeling down."
  3. Learn to listen. Real listening is a skill that most people don't cultivate, or don't learn until they're much older. It means that when you're talking to someone you're truly listening and thinking about what they're saying rather than being distracted thinking about what's for dinner or about the next thing you want to say.
    • This is called active listening. To do it you need to avoid being distracted by the things going on around you. If you do get distracted, ask the person to repeat what they just said.
    • Ask questions and listen to the answers. Instead of replying right away with a story or thought of your own, ask them a follow up question and keep doing that. People will notice that you are interested in what they have to say.
    • Maintain eye contact and try to avoid fidgeting or checking your phone (especially this last one). So many people only listen with half their attention
  4. Be kind. This is a hard one, because it is so easy to get ratcheted up and forget that other people are typically doing the best they can, just like you are. Being kind doesn't necessarily mean being a pushover or "nice." It means giving people the benefit of the doubt and trying to see things from points of view other than your own.
    • For example: When that irritating person cuts you off in traffic, instead of going into a cloud of irritation (and maybe flipping them off), give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they didn't see you. Maybe they were distracted by bad news at work, or at home. Maybe they're simply an angry person, in which case they deserve your sympathy, because their life is guaranteed to be harder than yours since they can't let things go.
    • Being kind means not gossiping behind people's back, being upfront when someone has upset you instead of using passive aggressive actions. It means not having to have the last word in arguments, and really listening to the other person's side. It does not mean that you accept abuse from other people.
    • Be kind to yourself as well as to other people. Write down a list of the things you tell yourself on a regular basis ("I'm ugly," "I'm a loser"). You wouldn't (hopefully) say these things to another person, so you shouldn't say them to yourself. When you find yourself doing so, stop and turn the thought around. Say instead "I'm thinking I'm a loser, but I know that it's just an errant thought and not true."
    • Don't compare yourself to others. Someone else is always going to be doing better at life than you and if you continue to compare yourself to the people you think are more successful, you're going to be intensely unhappy. You'll also start to resent them, which is the opposite of kindness.
  5. Be honest. Honesty is an act of courage and trying to live your life in this manner will mean you become great no matter what you do as a job or what you accomplish. You don't have to be rude to be honest. Again, you're tempering your opinions with kindness, but it does mean that you don't sugarcoat things.
    • For example: if you're at work and you make a mistake, it might be easy to cover up the mistake or pretend it wasn't you. However, it wouldn't be honest. Act with integrity and own up to your mistake and give an example of how you might fix it.
  6. Give back. This is an intensely important part of being great. Giving back to your community (whatever it might be) helps to foster an atmosphere of giving and makes sure that the members of your community are cared for. Philanthropy actually helps to maintain your health and have a better mental state.
    • Help out friends and family. Offer to drive your grandmother to her doctor's appointment, take care of your friend's kid so he can go on date night with his partner, clean your sister's house when she's intensely busy.
    • Volunteer in your community. This could be for something like a soup kitchen, or a shelter. It could be for an important arts nonprofit, or for a local social justice group. You can also donate money and items, even a small amount can make a huge difference.
    • Do something for a stranger. This could be something simple like donating to someone's medical fund, or secretly buying the drink of the person behind you in line. Do these things anonymously, so the impetus is on the act rather than the congratulations for doing it.


  • Being great isn't about being better than everyone. Feel equal to people. Give a helping hand. It's about being true to yourself and being the best you can be.
  • Hang out with people who think you're great. Don't change into something you don't want to be to impress people. It's the first step to living a lie and making yourself unhappy.


  • Your life isn't going to work out the way you think it will. No one's does. This can be a good thing if you make sure that you're willing to go with the flow and to put a positive spin on the things that happen.
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