How to Be a Better Person

how to be a better person

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

― Ernest Hemingway

I was at my local library recently, just browsing the shelves, when an interesting book title caught my eye: Being, Nothingness, and Fly Fishing“.

The book is subtitled, “How One Man Gave Up Everything To Fish The Fabled Waters Of The West“. Intrigued, I picked up the book and read the inside flap of the dust jacket. It mentions that in the book’s introduction, the author writing about a particular river, said: “The North Umpqua makes me want to be a better fly fisherman”.

I needed some context for such a bold statement, so I flipped to the introduction and found the actual quote.  The full paragraph reads:

Never do I fish as attentively as when I’m on the North Umpqua. I feel I owe the river the very best I have to offer, after all, the river has given its very best to me.  The North Umpqua makes me want to be a better fly fisherman.

Have you ever felt this way about anything? Do you have any things in your life that make you want to be a better person?

  • Does the special person in your life make you want to be a better partner?
  • Does your job make you want to be a better employee or your company make you want to be a better entrepreneur?
  • What about your car? Does it make you want to be a better driver?

Is there anything in your life that would make you say: “I owe this the very best that I have to offer!”

In my role as a life coach for personal development, I frequently meet people who think they are “stuck”.  Often, the truth of the matter isn’t that they’re stuck, it’s that they just haven’t found something that demands the very best they have to offer – something that makes them want to be a better person.

Well, what if the answer isn’t something outside of yourself?  What if it’s not a person or a thing?

What about your life itself?

Please humor me for a minute… just for fun – imagine that you woke up tomorrow with the feeling that you owe your life the very best you have to offer!

What would that day look like to you?

What would it sound like?

Imagine living like that for just one day! How would that feel?

How to Be a Better Person – An Experiment

Now I’d like to propose something.  I’d like to propose that you make up your mind, right here and now, to actually do this tomorrow – just as an experiment.  You don’t have to tell anyone what you’re up to, you don’t have to recruit others to do it with you and you don’t need to make a big deal out of it.  Just wake up with the attitude that no matter what happens throughout the day, you are going to give your life the very best you have to offer! You are going to live your life in a way that makes you want to be a better person.

Be forewarned, this new approach could change everything!

(Seriously, once you try this please come back and tell us about your amazing day by posting in the comments section.)

How to Be a Better Person via @possibilitychange

Recommended Resources

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? The following are some of our favorite resources:

Audible - audiobooks are a great way to listen to books while commuting, working out, cooking, or doing any other activity. Click here to try Audible free and choose any title from the world’s largest audiobook library.

Best Books to Change Life – recommended books on everything related to personal change and growth. The selection is a mix of time-tested classics and more recent bestsellers. Click here to see our Recommended Reading list.

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323 thoughts on “How to Be a Better Person”

      1. This is a form of mind power, you are changing the way you think of yourself and the world, this creates a positive feeling inside you, and it is displayed on the outside.

        Attitude, Faith, Wisdom.

    1. I need help in choosing friends and also having self-motivation.I have tried from deep breathin and thinking positive and its just not working for me.Im 13 years old and i need help from you please.

      1. I hope this helps – I don’t know you so it’s a shot in the dark:
        We all have phases of lack of motivation and self-esteem etc. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. And, trust me – you can always learn from them, like everything in life, if you really want to become more contented. So we need lots of patience and self-acceptance. Forcing doesn’t necessarily work but any little steps you can take that you notice make you feel better (e.g. friends to hang out with – are they generally supportive friends or trying to bring you down in some way?). Learn to recognize everything that makes you feel wholesome and follow that. You could also try giving up your frustrations to the Universe, even if it sounds weird.

        Sometimes, however, you will need to take clear, courageous decisions for the right thing, despite a voice in our heads that can’t be bothered to change because we always have a weak and strong self, and the strong self needs to come through.

        Best wishes, you’ve got all the power and love within you now – discover it.

        1. Tre,

          I will add to Matt’s advice by saying two things:

          1 – The way you feel is normal. Especially at your age – being 13 and 14 is a transitional and challenging age.

          2 – If your feelings become really dark and especially if your thinking seriously about harming yourself, seek help. There are many resources – talk to your school’s guidance department, or a teacher, or a trusted adult.

  1. Already did it. I left a 16 year toxic relationship and went and lived on my own for a year. The day I moved into my apartment I vowed that I would live my life the way that makes ME the best person possible. Not my kids, not a partner, not my boss. ME. It was a struggle to adopt this new approach, but an interesting thing happened when I did. I met someone who had made the same decision for himself. And now individually and as a couple we are better people for knowing and loving each other.

    Urban Panthers last blog post..To poo or not to poo, that is the question.

  2. I’m doing this already. I started my blog mainly to write my way to betterness (and tell funny stories) and I’m making great progress. It’s getting easier to live in the moment and centre myself so that I don’t let my perfectionism get the best of me. I’m choosing to see the positive, even in my own idiocy. ;-)

    My kids make me want to be my best, my spouse, my friends and God.

  3. I try to do this every day. When I open my eyes in the morning, I take a few minutes to feel gratitude for all the little things that make up my life and the lives of those around me. I thank God for waking up, not to mention for my family and the roof over my head. I get sidetracked sometimes as the day wears on, but when I do, I stop myself and try to find a quiet spot where I can remind myself that I AM a better person than a was the day before.

    Jennae @ Green Your Decors last blog post..Sunday Link Love: Green is More Than a Color Edition

  4. Thanks for the great article. Lately, I’ve been asking myself “what is worthy of my attention?” This question seems to boil down what is most important in my life. I usually answer: meditation is worthy of my attention. Giving my full attention to silence and that Ground of Being I find in meditation, brings me closer to the heart or essence of myself. When I quiet the mind, I am able to clearly see myself and the world around me. This simple practice makes me a better person. I’m not as affected by compulsive mind chatter or the storm of emotion and I begin to have a better understanding and compassion for all that is. If I have issues, simply observing them seems to dissolve them, and all that remains is a clear, surrendered awareness. As I evolve, so does the rest of humanity. Changing ourselves for the better is the highest good we can do for humanity and the collective whole. After all, we’re all in this together.

    Ken LaDeroute
    http://www.AffirmationPower.com

    1. Ken:

      Yes, the “compulsive mind chatter” (which so many of us like to call ‘thinking’ or ‘reasoning’) very often does more harm than good when it comes to getting to really know yourself and letting yourself evolve.

      And I love what you’ve said about changing ourselves for the collective whole of humanity! Imagine if everyone just worried about their own day and stayed out of other people’s days! Wouldn’t that be an exciting world? I recently wrote called a post called “Whose Business Is That?” which was about that very topic: http://www.powerofmortality.com/whos-business-is-that

      -Patrick

      Patrick Mathieus last blog post..Well, when you put it that way…

  5. I definitely have to give this a shot. I find myself in a job I barely tolerate and a girlfriend I sort of just tolerate. I think it’s time to do something about this unsatisfactory life.

    Thanks for posting some encouraging words.

    1. BPO:

      Good for you for deciding to take charge of your life! Once you start to give your life the best you have to offer you may find that you want a new job and a new girlfriend – OR – you may find that your current job and current girlfriend now seem completely different to you and are exciting, fulfilling and vibrant parts of your “new” life!

      Over the years I’ve learned that very often life gives us back more of what we put in. If you aren’t putting your best into your career and relationships, then you may not be getting the best out of them. But once you consistently start to put in 100% of yourself … look out!!

      Let us know how it goes!

      -Patrick

      Patrick Mathieus last blog post..Well, when you put it that way…

  6. Patrick,
    I have just stumbled upon your website today and have been feverishly catching up on all the great insight you have supplied. So much of it speaks to me and what I intend to do for myself. Thank you for this posting and all the others. I look foreword to putting it into practice.

    –Zach

  7. @Patrick – oh very good question! My children. They are all in their early 20s, and were THRILLED to have me leave the relationship. For the first 3 or 4 months, we completely reversed roles. They almost became the parent, and it was hard for me at first, but in the end I let them. They each helped in their own way. My eldest daughter is the one with all the business smarts and she helped me with things like plugged kitchen sinks. She would also listen to me cry for a bit, and then she would always say something to get me howling with laughter. My middle daughter trash talked my ex. She and I both know that it takes 2 in a relationship, and I wouldn’t trash talk him, so she did it for me. My son came over at least 3 times a week, just to hang and keep me distracted. I had other support systems, but my children deserve most of the credit in this department.

    Urban Panthers last blog post..Full blown change meltdown

  8. hi
    i just did it yesterday
    woooooooooooooow
    it feels just so great
    you work and do your best throughout the day
    nice article
    helped me alot

  9. amazing post! trying this tomorrow. my ex boyfriend has left me and is doing way better then me. he wants me to ‘figure out’ what i did wrong, but its difficult, from today on i told him i wouldn’t be talking to him again until May. It seems impossible, but I’m going to try. If anything it won’t be impossible, just a challenge. I’m hoping Feburary maybe we’ll be back to normal. Thanks for the advice :)

  10. I really feel like I want to be a better person, to make life for myself and for those around me easier. I feel like I don’t know how though – this may sound horrible, but how do you reconcile your attempts to be a better, more understanding, appreciative, receptive, non-judgemental person when there are people around who are so lacking in these qualities? I really feel doing mental work may be the key to being a better person ;) Working out why I get angry and irrrational, and how to become aware…etc.
    Great blog!

    1. Courtney:

      I think the answer to your question lies in the question itself. (No, I’m not trying to sound like Yoda or a zen master) :-)

      You said: “how do you reconcile your attempts to be a better, more understanding, appreciative, receptive, non-judgmental person when there are people around who are so lacking in these qualities?”

      The way I see it, the only work you can do is on YOU. People will do what they do. You can set an example, but you aren’t responsible for their actions. How you choose to live your life shouldn’t be impacted by how others choose to live their lives. In fact, when you focus on changing others, you are inviting a lot of stress into your life. I recently wrote about this in an article called: “Who’s Business Is That?.

      Of course, another alternative is to choose to surround yourself with people who posses the qualities you are looking for!

      Hang in there – it’s worth it!

      -Patrick

  11. I am a great father and a really good husband. I am a great friend to those close to me. However if I do not know you I come off as someone who “has a stick up his A_ _”
    My friend told me a coworker made this comment about the guy in the property office (I am the only guy in this office). My friend defended me and a few people started telling funny stories about me. The Co-worker said there is no way that the person they are talking about could be the same person. When really friendly people come into my office my first reaction is this guy is a tool. Then I stop and think and I realise I am the tool, but I can’t help myself. The other day the man at dunkin donuts was so happy and friendly, treating me like I had been going there forever and it was only my first time. My 1st thought was he probably is in the country illegally. My second thought was he just wants a tip, but he was friendly to other folks in the bus station who were not buying things. He obviously is a nice guy. I am just a miserable person. So I decided to try and be nice to people and as the cheerful words come out of my mouth I think this is BS I sound like a total ass. I sound so phony and insincere. My smile feels fake. I watched a guy today walk by a State Trooper (I work at the airport so they are everywhere) and pat him on the shoulder say hi and shake his hand. I would never put my hand on anyone, its not me, I am not friendly. If he put his hand on me I would not be happy. Yet the normally stone faced Trooper gave him a big smile and a warm hello. Am I just doomed to be a miserable person the rest of my life?

    1. @sean,

      I kind of have the same problem myself. What I am trying to do is to find inner peace for myself, and forget what others think. I hate it that our motivation to be better people is a result of our interactions with other people. And it’s hard to forget about what other people think, especially when you feel like a target. I don’t have much adivice to give you, but if you truly think you are a miserable person on the inside then find the root of that and focus on how to make yourself less miserable. See, most people at this point would say that once you achieve this, then your inner peace will shine through to others. But again, it’s not about what others see. As long as you know you are not deliberately hurting people and are showing them respect, then screw what they think. Just focus on finding your inner happiness. Think simplicity. Take it from there.

    2. No, just let yourself try to open up to someone, just once.
      Tell the voices screaming caution to shut up for this one time and see
      what happens. Eventually it will become second nature. Also if you can ask the question of youself, you are not that far gone and can turn around. The only one that can give you a second
      chance is You.

    3. tryingtobebetterme

      @sean

      Dear Sean,

      I always thought people like you are so cool and strong. I would have never thought that, inside you, you were not happy with yourself and with your attitudes until I read your comment. I am someone who always laughs and smiles sincerely to others and sometimes envy others who are being so cool like yourself. Don’t call yourself miserable. Just be cool as you are to the mean people. (Because that’s something people like me cannot do to mean people). But for the nice ones, always smile, and maybe try to say hi or hello to them. Because trust me the ones who always smiles, smile from the heart and would love to see a smile back or hear a nice word back. Have a beautiful day! :)

      1. tryingtobebetterme

        But also let’s all keep in mind that those “mean” people I mentioned above, could also be in search of their better selves. So although it could be difficult, let’s all try to be nice to one another.

  12. thats a good mantra to start the day off. i recently got out of a relationship with someone i thought was the one and i feel like i just need to go thru a “rebirth” or something. my ex and i were together for about 4 years so its definately been hard. i can probably see where i went wrong though, i wasnt putting my all into it. see ive been hurt before and i just didnt want to get hurt anymore so i started shutting out and picking up bad habits (ie smoking, drinking, drug use, nonchalant attitudes). and whats crazy about it is i saw it happening but i couldnt stop doing it. it was destroying my relationship let alone destroying myself. so when my ex asked my if he deserved a better girlfriend than me, i told him yes you do. it hurt for me to say that because who thinks someone you truely love would ask you something like that and mean it but i had to tell the truth. i and after I said that I felt like i could have been happy through that time we were together but i chose to grieve on past hurt and it blinded me to what was right in front of me. ive came to terms that ive lost him to my negligence and i vow that to never happen again. its been hard, crying, relapsing on drugs, but after reading “Just wake up with the attitude that no matter what happens throughout the day, you are going to give your life the very best you have to offer! You are going to live your life in a way that makes you want to be a better person.” I now know that the only one responsible for your life and everything in it is you. i vow to forgive and move on with past squabbles and make each and every day worth it, at least for me. I vow to not smoke or drink. One because i dont like it and two because ive been using that as a crutch to feel better about myself. i am human i do deserve to be happy and one thing ive learned in this past 4 years is that you can you cant expect someone to love you if you dont love yourself. so i plan on loving myself, hell im taking myself on a date :), i have to learn to be a better person, it wont change overnight nor will it change the outcome of my life
    thus far but from this day forward i vow to live my life day by day making a point to do something that truely makes me smile each day. Thanks, this helped alot!
    Deanna

    1. Deanna – you rock!

      Doesn’t it feel great to be able to see a clear path to change? And you’ve made the biggest discovery of them all – that you need to love yourself first!

      Good for you for deciding to throw away your crutches and take your life back! If you run into rough spots – just remember one vitally important thing: It’s ALL a choice!
      Welcome to the new you!!

  13. I’m feeling very hopeless — the most I’ve ever felt yet….which is why I’m here. I’m hoping for direction. My head is filled with an overwhelming (to me) amount of crap and I don’t know where to start. Can anyone help?

    1. i feel exactly the same .. i feel im at my lowest point right now.. i mean i seriously just searched how to be a better person .. i want it .. i feel so uncontrollable of my own self .. i dunno what to do ….. can ne body help??

  14. P.S. I came to this page by searching ‘how to be a nice person’…and once I wrote to you here, I looked further and see that you’re popular etc. I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of you. I’m glad that I found you and your site and I’m going to read and explore it right now!

  15. I have just found your website today. I wake up in the morning dreading going to work, barely tolerating my job. I go to bed at night and instead of thanking god for all the wonderful people and things in my life, I dread the following day of doing the same thing. I found your website by asking google how I can be a better person, maybe I would be happier and people around me would notice the attitude change. I need to change my mind about how I feel every day about people who need my help or give me a task or the slow ticks of the clock. I would love to feel great when I wake up, to look forward to the day, instead of being so pessimistic, which I’m starting to believe comes easier to me than happiness for some reason. Maybe the anxiety, frustration and worry in my life will subside a little. Anyways, Thank you for the wake up call. I am going to work on seeing things in a new angle. I’m so glad I found your website.

  16. I am at total disappointment to my self and my family. My Dad kicked me out last nite. Trying to stop taking drugs. Trying to move closer to God. Finding it very difficult to change.

    Feel like i am better off Dead than alive.
    Need seroius help…

  17. Patrick,

    I’ve looked around at a lot of self-help books, sites, etc. and the advice is all very good. Really common sense, if you think about it. But it all seems very difficult to not only put into practice but to maintain. It’s rather exhausting, really. For that matter, life seems rather exhausting and I personally find it difficult to avoid falling into the trap of sort of giving up. While it’s certainly not more rewarding to be introverted or lazy or selfish, it is certainly easier, wouldn’t you agree? So how does one maintain the attitudes that you so helpfully provide? Day after day after day? I could wake up tomorrow morning and say that I’m going to live my life to the fullest, but if something happens to knock me back, it would be very easy to wake up the next day and say, “To hell with it.” Yes?

    I guess I just don’t want to be a better person for a day. I want to make it a permanent change. But it’s making me tired just thinking about it.

    Thanks,
    HBH

    1. @HBH (and @Janey Oltz), I hear you! I understand where you’re coming from and that sometimes the idea of having to recommit yourself each and every day can seem like a daunting task.

      That’s why New Year’s Resolutions usually fail. People wake up on January 1 with great intentions of changing their lives for the better, but when they wake up on January 2nd, their first thought is: “Oh man! 364 more days of THIS??”

      @HBH, you said: “I just don’t want to be a better person for a day. I want to make it a permanent change.” But that’s a lot like saying: “I just don’t want to shower and be clean for a day. I want to be permanently clean.” Life just doesn’t work that way I’m afraid. Life is messy and we get dirty, so we need to shower often.

      I guess I would go back to what I said in the blog article. Look for something in your life that makes it all worthwhile. If you’re having trouble coming up with something… then I’d like to suggest that you reflect on the fact that this is the only life you get, so why not give it all you’ve got?

      I’ve written something called the Mortality Manifesto Pledge and it is designed to be a tool to help people rededicate themselves to their lives on a daily basis. I encourage you to visit the link, read the Manifesto, download it (free), sign it, and TAKE THE PLEDGE.

      It just might be the best gift you ever give yourself.

      -Patrick

      1. @Patrick Mathieu,

        I was thinking (yikes!) –

        If only changing was as easy and enjoyable as taking a shower!
        What if showering was painful and we felt lost and unsure about how to take one? I think a majority of people would dread it every day and we’d have many more stinky people amongst us than we do now! For me, fortunately, taking a shower is not painful – it’s rather enjoyable and comes fairly natural. For that reason I take one regularly and reap the immediate benefits.

        For me, changing things I dislike about myself is like dieting. I have to give up certain yummy unhealthy foods and replace them with not-so-yummy ones. Then add exercise to my routine (which also takes up time). Then, I desperately try to stay focused and convinced that, someday, I’ll have a better looking and healthier body – and that it’s all worth it. Then, like a dummy, I see some improvements and, for some twisted and sick unknown reason, I’ll eat poorly to reward myself. Or I’ll go back to my unhealthy eating habits then tell myself it’s easy – I’ll get right back to it – and don’t. Or I convince myself that I’m not all that unhappy with the weight that I am…and conclude that it’s not worth it…until I convince myself, on some horribly depressing day, AGAIN, that it is.

        It keeps coming back to being self-disciplined, self-motivated and having a great positive attitude. I definitely need to stop thinking ‘I can’t’ and begin thinking that I can—even when it feels like I’m lying to myself! Eventually, it will become a truthful statement.

        What are the steps for changing bad habits? A good idea might be to place a meaningful picture on my alarm clock in hopes to motivate me to get out of bed earlier than I do. Maybe I could write a short bullet-style note to myself to read every morning, placed by the toilet, to remind me of why I’m making the effort to change, etc.

        I’m going to try that tonight :)

        Thanks, Patrick!

        Janey (a.k.a. The Procrastinating Perfectionist)

  18. Im 14…im stressed out every day, im always depressed and i somehow find negativity each day in someway or another…Schoolwork is overwhelming, friends are just adding more stress with their problems asking me for help when i cannot help myself, relationships go down because i tend to compete peoples problems with my own and i try to one up them…i try to find a place where i can sit and relaxe which is most times my room, but even then, the loud noises of the outside seeps in and makes me reach the point of giving up. I’ve tried meditation, poetry as a way of venting, and even exercising to let off some steam but yet nothing works..Is my enviroment my problem or is it just me? I “need” to see the better things in life, to be optimistic even in the bad times and to see that not everything is a negativity, but an opportunity to better myself and help those around me…but things are easier said than done..if you can help me, i would deeply, and gratefully appreciate it…

    Penajosebarbara@yahoo.com

    1. @Jose Orlando, Hi my name is Anne, and I’m 19. I don’t think that there is any advice that I can give without coming off cheesy or lame, but I wanted to tell you that there actually is someone else with the same problems who knows how you feel. Sorry to hear about everything. But, I found it kinda, oh I don’t know, a little freaky that I came to this website only to read your comment and seeing the exact same questions and concerns that I was going to ask myself. Keep going, I say that cause I know how hard it is to keep strong, so keep going. Thanks for typing the things I didn’t know how to phrase myself, gives me encouragement. Good luck!

  19. I do want to be a better person, but i cant figure it out of how peopl can accept me and my ideas. though not everyone one avoids. i am well know by many people around me and got many casual friends…however i dont have a close friend…I would want to get a better friend too who will accept me for who i am and as well as i accept this person for who she or he is…i would love to get along with people, and i believe in my self alot and want to be the first all the time. i also feel i have some characteristics which i think draws people away from me, like when i am talking i talk woth boldness like a man, and like people to flollow me, i dont like to be blame that much though but i do like to admit my mistakes though. I like to help people and have this dream to be able to creat a better society and do not like to depend on people especially financially except if i am forced to becos i am still a student. Some of my characteristics is very hard on me…i cant control it..its like part of me…like when talking i talk like a very significant person and with body movemnts especiall my hand and also laugh like a very signicant person during times with people…sometimes when i am coming peopl gave way and space for me like a significant person…i have no controlver this i dont know how to improve all this. i appreciate some of my qualities but i want to be a better person….like as i talk people would not feel angered, envy or hurt . though i never want to hurt peopl but sometimes i have no control over my expressions like a significant person…or like a man. no matter who i am ….i just want to express in a simple way which can suit people…becos i want a better future.

  20. Hey man, I’m 19 and I’m in a slump. I’d like to take the experiment and try tomorrow to be my best, but I can’t even let the thought into my head. How do you know when that moment’s hit you…the moment where you can give yourself permission to be free. Freedom is a scary thing. I’ve found that since I was about 15 I’ve felt more and more sad every year, and I don’t see it getting better. It’s not terrible, just always there.

  21. I’ve always want to be a better person too! I just learned lately that I am challenged with a slight brain problem that makes performing my best difficult. I’ve always known That I am not living to my true potential. It sometimes takes some outside help to reach your goal of improvement. Like the shower analogy in a previous post, it’s like having a friend hose you down if you have forgotten to take a shower. You will not like it, but you will be cleaner. This might be a 12 step program for those that are addicted to alcohol and drugs. It could mean a trip to the doctors or shrinks. Help is available! Just ask for it, you’ve already come this far.

  22. So I came across this site today, because I received a text from the guy I’m dating stating I make him want to be better – never having heard that before in my past relationships I was taken aback and googled “you make me want to be a better person” and voila here I am. This blog entry was incredibly inspiring for many different reasons. One being, I came in to work today to find that my co-worker (who is notorious for slacking off, adding drama and making my life a work miserable b/c of it) left me a TON of stuff to prepare with very little time before a clients arrival. This happens often, and I thought to myself, “boy I wish I could do the same thing”, but I can’t because it wouldn’t be giving my best and thus would not help me become a better person. I really do intend to give you experiment a go tomorrow, and I hope it can survive the hurdles that other peoples actions help to throw me off my game. I generally wake up with the attitude of, today will be a good today because I choose for it to be – but some days its hard due to other peoples actions and negative attitude. This is very exciting and I really hope just happening to find this blog today is the first step to becoming and continuing to be a better person.

    Thanks for the inspiration Patrick, you really are good at what you do!

  23. Let me try to write this down….Like everybody else, life just comes at you with all it has and holds nothing back (stress – life stuff). However its not an excuse. But I’m in a relationship where I feel unloved and was told I was a horrible person (in so many word) because of the way I have made my partner feel in the past (disrespected, and belittled at times) and he’s had it. I’ll take blame, it’s my fault. However, lots of hurt in this relationship, and I know I do love my partner and have decided to try to make it work, but my partner doesn’t seem to what to try anymore. However there are children involved and don’t want to upset the family. So we are still together sort of.

    So I’ve now decided for my kids sake, as well as my health, I do want to try to be a better person. Googled “be a better person” and came across this. I know I’m not a bad person, but I could be better. Thank you for this artical. One step at a time. Baby steps.

  24. I am trying to be a better person, after an awful emotionally abusive relationship i met my current bf and i realized that ever since then I’ve always wanted to be my best, because he inspires me too. It has not been easy and it isn’t totally. but it is magnificent the change someone can inspire its like he gave me new eyes and i can see the world from a different perspective. So i agree a 100% with what ure saying. Lovely article and i’ll still do the experiment…we could always use some!

  25. i came across this site as i put i want to become a better person into my search engine.
    i have progressed a long way but at the moment i feel as if i am coasting and need to get back on the path and start working again.something i need desperately to work on is the fact that my husband makes me so angry,we married young and maybe for the wrong reasons but i dont want to put my kids even though they.re not babies through turmoil,but he makes me so angry and when he makes negative comments about me and throws my past in my face and doesnt understand our youngest daughter who is a difficult child and puts me down i react badly by screaming at him that he doesnt own me and the anger is such a bad thing.i want to accept his faults and accept that i made my choice and i have to live with it,i may never be able to love him but how do i stop hating him,its not right and it makes me a bad person and i want to be better,to be kind and tolerant and learn the lessons i am here to learn.does this make sense to anyone anywhere.

    1. Hello Andrea,

      One of the hardest things to handle in a relationship is conflict. While a good and fair fight can clear the air and help you to feel closer to your lover, many fights are just hurtful and destructive. Fights that never go anywhere, that are repeated year after year, or that leave you feeling awful about yourself are not going to help your relationship. Those are the kinds of fights we need to take another look at, and find out what is going on underneath. This is true for any conflict that doesn’t feel right, not just those you have with your husband.

      Many break-ups occur because we do not know how to get to our inner depth, or getting to it, how to share it. What we want to say isn’t what comes out of our mouths. We argue about something meaningless in order to get space from our lover, rather than feel the anxiety or fear we may have about setting boundaries or looking at what we need. We argue to feel more alive, instead of looking at what is missing in our life. We argue about what our lover spent money on, rather than face our own issues about money. We argue as a way to control our lover, rather than face our fear of being controlled. Regardless of the content of the argument, until we are prepared to express and respect our lover’s deeper feelings, beliefs, and meanings (and s/he respects ours), very little change can take place.

  26. i’m a 22 year old man i’v made alot of bad decions but i accept that and have learned from it, but life is pretty good right now and it always has been just got my ups and downs like everbody else but at the same time i feel that i have alot of room to make me a better person and a better life for my self but it seems i can get that kick in the back side to turn me into the man i wanna be, so is theres any more helpful advice you think i need i’d like to hear from you but i’m gonna do what you said and see how tommorow turns out

  27. After going through a near death experience and constant struggles in life, I often found it very difficult for change. But after reading good books and blogs just like this one from Patrick….It is simply amazing how far one can go.

    We all have to change the way we “use” to think about things. We have to change ourselves as human beings. We have to work to develop the right mindset and attitude that it takes in order to create the lifestyle that we all truly want. We have to let go of what was, who we thought we were and discover who we truly are. We are all capable of so much more in our lives but we are just frightened of change. But change comes every single day whether you realize it or not. So just relax, open your mind to new adventures and take those steps to learn more about who you truly are as a person.

    Change, it is not easy but it is inevitable…..

    Thank You,
    Patrick

  28. I am not a good person. I take people and things for granted. I don’t want to, I just can’t seem to help it. I want so very much to change my life. I want to be the person others want to be around. I’ve tried so hard but I just can’t seem to change. Please help.

  29. Hi I am only 20 but I already fear myself getting stuck in a trap. I am a perfectionist and contiunually comparing myself my life and my achievements to those arround me. I am studying for a degree whilst working part time and maintaining a long distance relationship with my partner of 4 years. I have had a very stressful year and I feel I am too young to be getting so bogged down. I want to enjoy things and let things happen for themselves rather than be continually chasing impossible perfection. I want to just be. I agree with most of the comments above. I think this website is amazing and just what we all need in these modern times.
    Thankyou for making me want to turn things around.
    Liz

  30. I am a terrible person. I backstab, bitch and treat others badly. I hurt those around me and I end up getting hurt myself. This one time I took it too far, and ended up losing a friend. I want to change and be a better person, and I’m looking forward to trying and see how it works out tomorrow, and for the better.

  31. I am going to try this. I have been going through a tough time in my life. I question everything, My Job my relationship everything.
    I want so badly to be a good person. I have recently started reacting, or i should say over reacting to very simple things. Dishes being left on the counter tops and garbage everywhere. I consider myself not only a clean person but an incredibly organized person as well. So when people come into my life and disrupt that i get tense. Like i want to say something but i don’t know what the best way to deal with it is. With that being said, I tend to just push it way down inside of me and try to just “let it go” sorta speak. But this morning, Not only did i degrade my boyfriend, I did so also to my room mate.
    I totally blew up, i mean over something that wasn’t even directed at me. I felt attacked, I don’t know why but i felt my character was being attacked. I started yelling and swearing basically was not a nice person.
    I do not like treating people like that. I want to be able to think from their perspective, Not just mine.
    Sorry for the story, I just really need some guidance

    Thank you

  32. Two years later to impact my life. I’m starting this tomorrow and doind it for the rest of my life!!!! Excited. I think this article was exactly what I needed, it was the push. I’ve been saying I want to be a better person but I haven’t gone out of my way to do it, didn’t know where to start. This was an excellent and simple way to start. From the bottom of my heart thank u Patrick!!

  33. A wonerfully insightful post Patrick. Look forward to reading your book too. I think the one thing that has kept me going after over 25 years of working in the personal development industry and working on myself as well, is the way it feels when I see someone really “get” who they are beyond the illusion of who they think they should be, have to be, can’t be or wanna be. When I see someone breakthrough like that, and I’ve seen a lot of that, it’s like being a mid wife at a birth, the birth of consciousness.

  34. This blog post you’ve made has come at just the right time. For ages I’ve been trying to become a better person, but after reading this post I realised that I’m doing it wrong.. I’m not trying to make myself better, I’m trying to make everyone else better or worse until it suits me. I dont want to change I want the rest of the world to change for me. Well as of tomorrow I am going to be the best person I can be for life! Thanks so much for the help >_<

  35. I’m trying so hard to a better person, better friend…but I keep failing.
    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I just know that the more I try, the harder I fail, the further I fall and the more I upset and hurt those around me.

    I tried waking up and telling myself “THIS is the day where you live to become better for YOU”, with the thought that if I did this, then I’d better the lives of those around me but again…I failed.

    I can’t keep failing. I can’t keep hurting people.
    I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong, where I’m falling down all the time.

    I’ve tried therapy, counselling, life coaches all without success.
    I think I’m unsavable. I am destined to be a bad person for life.

    I guess the will to change just isn’t strong enough.

  36. Hi, how do you really really deal with the feeling of inadequateness. When you are constantly stuck with the feeling of low self esteem that you dont know how to be the best you can because you think that nothing you do is good enough. Because you have lived with this feeling for as long as you have lived, you are never able to challenge yourself to be the best you can because even if you start thinking so when a new day begins you are crippled with the feeling of inadequateness so much that you sink into the cycle of low self esteem over again that you loose sight of you plan to be a better person because you just constantly keep thinking you are not and others are better than you.

    Really my question is how do you let go of low self esteem because i have read all the material there is and i am still stuck in this destructive phase. I have tried for as long as i can but, i really am stuck.

    1. Hi, Evon –

      I’m not sure that I can help, but it’s worth a try! :)

      First, can you give me an example of something you’d like to change in your life and then can you tell me who is feeding you these ideas that you’re inadequate?

      Looking forward to hearing from you!

    2. I have felt the way you feel before and it was not easy but what helped me was my point of focus.I think the main focus shouldn’t be the determination to get rid of low self esteem,the real thing is accepting that you have a low self esteem and having done that you can do what i first did,go into the world of dreaming[don’t hide your real self in there,just let yourself dream]envision yourself at your best with your best[low self esteem]i admit that when i did this i cried heavily because i kept seeing myself at the bottom and i did not push it away,for how long i cried,i do not know but when i was back to reality i knew that i hated being low self esteemed and that was when i entered into the world of discouvering who i am,my purpose,etc.If you do this and you still feel caged,don’t worry,just mail me because am intrested in seeing you get through this as a victor.I care and thanks

  37. wow, what amazing advise!
    I’m 17, in my last year in school, and really need to start to better myself, become more productive, etc. I’m really lazy, and Im finding it so hard to knuckle down and study but with the Irish exam system, this year is the only year that matters and I need to work, I really hope this helps me :) thanks :)

  38. Hi, Evon –

    I’m not sure that I can help, but it’s worth a try! :)

    First, can you give me an example of something you’d like to change in your life and then can you tell me who is feeding you ideas that you’re inadequate?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    P.S. I keep posting this, see it, and later it’s gone — sorry if this shows up several times! :)

    1. Oh Janey, the one thing i will change is my negativity. I am such a pessimist and I guess my feelings of low esteem stem from that. If only I could change that permanently and not just for a moment in time, but truly rid myself totally of feeling inadequate, i will be so so happy.

      Honestly, I don’t really know where it came from. I just know that for most of my life, i have been saddled with it. Hamaya, gave me a few ideas, i’ll try. I pray that it helps.

      Thank you for trying to help.

  39. good evening,

    this post is wonderful i just feel it came at exactly the right time, i have been trying hard to change to better. but sometimes it goes ups n downs, i feel am active n i can do anything n everything in mind to change to better but when it come to hard work all the enthusiastic go away!

    i cant understand why that happen if i have the passion and deep reason for being better and doing my best.

    i put plans to change, i work on them for 2 or 3 days then i stop without knowing or i just keep postponing everything to tomorrow and the problem i know that tomorrow wont come so i have to do it today but still i don’t do it !!

    i hate it when i do that .. i feel lost i feel that i didn’t give the best i can !
    and when its time to get the results of my work am not satisfied i feel that if i worked hard i would get more than what i got .. keep blaming myself that i didn’t give the best i can!

    this feelings make miserable and sad .. that i can do it right but i don’t get it right !

    thank you,
    Shamsa

  40. Hi

    I’m 28 and still have not found my self in and out of work not s bum but nothing really gets me going any more ..

    I just do things to make others happy and my family but it’s time for my self and what I want and how I want to be happy

    Please can you tell me more about what to do and how I adopt this new way please

    Regards Ashlee baker

    1. hey Ashlee! I’m not sure what you’re like or anything, but I’m sure you’re a great person! I’m 13, so you dont have to take my advice that seriously. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in life, all the silly little things included. Then find ways of making them happen. Since im only 13, I’m in school (hw BLAH!), so I endure those teenage dramas, and one of them is that nothing really makes me really happy or spurs me forward . I want to be a doctor, but bio’s kinda iffy, if you get my point. So what I do is depend on chocolate and sports and do things that come to my mind. If I feel like being a ballerina, I twirl and hop and skip, etc. I talk to myself (no judging plz :) and name objects. I’m weird and that’s the way I like it. When you do things out of the blue, you kinda enjoy and cherish things that you know that only you thought of at the moment. You just gotta get up, sing and dance!(literally) Sorry If this isn’t that good advice……. but this is what makes me happy, so I think that you should try it! Be a kid again while your young enough!

  41. Hi,

    First thing First- Thanks Patrick Mathieu for such a useful post. I’m taking on this tomorrow with all areas of my life- laughter, health, spirituality, learning, career and will share with you guys.
    hope to see more such life elevating post.

    Thanks again,
    Pankaj

  42. Hi … i would like to share some story about my messy life, i lost trust to anybody even because i am afraid to get hurt again. all i do is live my life like nothing, one day i meet a man the who really love and accept for who i am, but ignore him and continue to do bad staff ,one day the man who really love me is gone and that is the time i realize that i was doing wrong about my life and i want to change it. and i realize that i am a loser to lost the who i really love….so its a big mistake and lesson to change. you think its to late for me to change to a better person?

    1. i can relate i have a gorgeous girlfriend she does everything for me and i am ungrateful i have hurt her so much and she is still there for me but now that im realizing the damage ive done she tells me that its to late and that she cant trust me anymore even tho she loves me and i feel horrible for being so dumb and not appreciating and loving her how she deserved , i understamd her pain trusting someone is important and now shes so hurt that she feels the only way for her to forget is to leave me

    2. Hi there, we share a very similair situation ! I believe that u can be a better person ! U just have to want it bad enough.. :) ! I starting today, I do not know how but I am going to be a better person

  43. I need help. I made mistakes and I bragged about them to my friends. I havent done as many bad things as one friend, but it doesnt matter. How do i prove to my friends that Im serious about changing?

    1. Why do you believe you need to convince your friends that you’ve changed?

      If you are changing, if you have changed already, your friends will already know that without you stating or proving anything. People will know by your actions and what transpires in the wake of your actions.

    2. Prove it. My friend left me cause I talk too much, or something. But she came back when I proved that I can control myself. If you can’t prove this to your friends, at least prove it to yourself and know that you can change for the better. (then eat chocolate)

  44. So there have been a lot of comments from people who are feeling down on themselves and their situations and are looking for a way to turn things around. My simple advice is to re-read the last section of my blog post:

    JUST WAKE UP TOMORROW AND DO IT!

    Think differently.
    Act differently.
    Relate to others differently.
    Relate to yourself differently.

    Remember that YOU are the one controlling your life (I know, that can be a scary thing to admit) and it’s completely within your power to start making changes. Start small if you need to, but START!

    If you need help getting started, I have a free daily tool called The Mortality Manifesto that you can download and start with right away.

    -Patrick

  45. I am in the process of being a better person, my problem is I do it for a few months but I am alone, I do not have friends, no one to talk to. I would like to be a better person, i need someone to talk to tho, sometime when things are bothering me i need someone to listen, someone i can trust. can anyone help me or share their experiences on this.

  46. Great article Patrick.
    I want to make more positive changes in my life, I owe it to my journalism career.
    Thanks for the daily dose of inspiration!

  47. Hey I decided to stop lying and being dishonest. Every day I go out there and challenge myself the way I never did in the past. If felt weird at the beginning, but hey… now I am living better and I am looking forward to keep improving every day. I love the changes and the goals the I have.

  48. As I wonder why I have such disconnect with everyone as I got older , as a young professional motocross racer I traveled the east states only ever wanting to become better and better, very small communication with friends and a lot of alone travel time … now that I have landed a great job with great people I start to see myself disconnecting with them … today is the day that I need to change I know I can become a better person .

  49. I found this article by googling “how to be a better person”. I have a lot of ghosts in ny closet (an ex husband) and I now have a fiance. I constantly take advantage of our relationship. My philosophy that its easier to ask forgiveness than permission is all wrong. I have a lot to change about me to make my fiance trust in me. I finally understand how I make him feel sometimes by lying. I hope when I try this he’ll be my support system.

  50. I feel empty. I feel a lack of motivation at home and work and in my social life. I’m overly average at everything. I’m lacking in confidence. I have huge potential and a really good heart. However with a lack of guidance, counselling and mentorship all throughout my life I feel I have now turned into the worlds worst decision maker. I’m terrible with money. I Look for instant satisfaction rather than long term gain. I’ve always felt very if not overly self aware but hugely incapable of doing anything about it. I don’t expect a response but even jus emptying this onto a blog feels good. Never been able to open up to anyone about this as my pride is oversized. I’m only scratching the surface here. In mid 30’s and feel such a failure. Can’t even sleep At night due to troubled thoughts. Thanks for listening.

    1. I am 22 years old and have been on my own sence i was 15. I got my GED and associates in criminal justice. I have two kids and a average job as a security guard. I still feel so underachived..i feel lost and alone yet i am surrounded by peolpe who need this and who want this. There is always someone with thier hand out but yet i am not allowed anytype of issues. This post really makes me feel like i am not alone!! Thank you WIll!!! I hope we find what we need because having so much potential but not being able to trully live life is one of the worst feelings..Trully i wish you the best.

    2. I fully relate to you, don’t feel so bad, there is a lot more of us out there, lets get together and help each other out! This is getting way too frustrating..

    3. Will, I am the same as you if I were to write how I felt about myself it would be what you have just put. But am in the same boat as you I just don’t no how to get out of it!

  51. I keep saying to myself, Ok, from tomorrow, I will be a better person. And then the next day, something bad would happen and I would just turn grumpy. But now I am going to try really hard on this one.

  52. am a good person a nice and caring and always go above and beyond. That is part of my problem. Outwardly I do all these things. Inside my house is a mess and I can only bring myself to take care of myself about twice a week. I do self destructive thingslike drik to much or sleep with men that are bad for me. I take care of everyone else and even though I want to be clean and happy I can’t seem to make my life right. It’s almost like being an ass gets you a better life. I try and fail and it seems most of the people do very little and are doing way better. I wish things would click just once. I plan on reading through this website and implementing your tools a little at a time to find a place where life clicks. Thank you for allowing me to vent

    1. Hi Lissa, don’t worry – you are not alone. Most of the world is f*cked up still and everyone expresses it in different ways. But where there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way :-) The problems are all based on fear of not being loved. Maybe you sacrifice yourself because you want people to love you, and you felt some lack as a child. As children we are easily formed, and it’s there to learn from – to re-heal. so you could start by sending your best wishes to your parents or others who you can remember traumatising you in some way. They, too had their baggage. Talk to supportive people who know there is hope. Try finding yourself e.g. through meditation, that inner voice that is loving and accepting of the self, so it becomes stronger and starts leading your life in the right direction!

    2. HI. I really appreciate what you have to say. I am also self destructive. I know that I am depressed and without medication, the depression will continue. I have the medication and know when I take it am genuinely happy. But just like my home and my car, I am a mess. I just don’t take it for days at a time and fall back into depression. I am abusive to my body by eating when I am not hungry and putting on much unnecessary weight. I got to this site because I searched “I want to be a nicer person.” This is not what I sought out for, but I am finding the practice can still apply.

      I do think attitude is everything and that we have to take care of ourselves. I also am a constant do-er. ALWAYS doing for others and going above and beyond. Yet it’s not always appreciated or returned when I am in need of help. This is not why do-ers do, but it is hurtful when we really need help and the people we help and care for do not care for us.

      I hope you were able to find your place where you can click. I am going to implement this positive process tomorrow and see where it gets me.

      Good luck!

  53. I’m 19 years old and only a few months left to I turn 20. I still live with my parents I don’t have a high school diploma or degree, an I just lost my $7.38 paying job. I really can’t see me living a successful life. I want to go back to school but with out transportation it makes it harder on me to work and study at the same time. I had a ruff life growing up around drugs and gangs that i’v found a way to use it as a excuse, for not finishing school or anything ales. I log into a computer and I search ways on becoming a batter person. But the stress i go thro every day just makes me forget of changing…..but im try this and starting today I’m try to become successful I’n life. Tomorrow I’m going to wake up early and not over sleep. I’m call schools for GED preparation and I’m try to do better because I know I can expect seeing more from my self. Reading this really gave me a jump start back to reality :)

      1. Jody,

        I am so glad to hear you say that to Kevin. I actually logged on tonight on this website randomly because I was having trouble tonight with something I should have realized years ago. Thank you for saying that asking the question means that you can find the answer. I needed to hear that tonight. Thank you thank you thank you.

  54. And another thing is that i cant open up to people and tell them how i feel i keep it all in and let it build up until it all comes our and then it just makes things worse and i am tired of it i really need to start to be a better person and i just need some advice froms someone and some pionters on how to be a better person

  55. i am just 16, but i already feel miserable. i know i am still too young compared to all of you who have posted here, but i am really disappointed to myself.

    i think i’ve been like this for years, but i oftenly stop whenever i get into a relationship.

    i just found this site while ago and started reading. i don’t know if i can do this. i lack trust to myself.

    it would be nice to talk with anyone who may understand. thanks a lot.
    thank you, too, Mr. Patrick, for this wonderful post. :)

    1. @ jann kevin,
      hey,
      u r right…..u r too young to loose trust in yourself!!!
      life is not that bad!!!
      ur line-“t would be nice to talk with anyone who may understand.” caught me.
      if u wanna talk u can mail me to isabellakk185@gmail.com

  56. I have never actually thought about finding something that makes me want to be better. It’s not that I didn’t already have something like that, but I never thought about owing my very best to that special thing. Tomorrow I think I’ll live my life like I owe my very best to the things I do.

  57. So today starts day 1 of this new profound journey.

    I feel like I hit rock bottom at my job today and do want to become a better person because I would make me a better employee. I feel like I have low self-esteem at work, everyone is talking about me and I can not do anything right. I feel as though the world is against me. I don’t want to quit my job because my attitude will go right into the next one. I feel as though I am great at what I do but I get in my own way with the way that I treat people sometimes. Wow, did I really just write that.

    I don’t want to do this for anyone else but myself. 34 years old and need to start living. I have been through a lot in my life that most people haven’t gone through but don’t trust anyone to talk to. I have a great loving husband but don’t think that he would understand, I feel like their my problems and don’t want to burden anyone else with them but now this is stopping me from being a great person. I just feel like I am alone and lost in this crazy world. I just hope that this is a start and would love to change.

    1. Hi Mel

      “:Never do I fish as attentively as when I’m on the North Umpqua. I feel I owe the river the very best I have to offer, after all, the river has given its very best to me. The North Umpqua makes me want to be a better fly fisherman.”

      Sit with the people nearest to you,pour your hart out and tell them what you need to do

      My journey starts today,19/06/2011
      Ken

  58. Great advice Patrick. I’m 17 and going to college (I live in the UK) Recently I have fallen out with a great many friends over my opinionated attitude and views. Seemingly, This has caused many issues for me and I know this now and want to become a better person. Although, whilst I know the very basics to solving this, I often clash with my pride which tells me “stick up for your opinion no matter what”. This often causes disputes and arguments, which in the heat of the moment seem justified and righteous, but later I feel are wrong. How do I live my life in a fashion to which I can respectfully state my opinion and hear others without feeling head strong and being agressive?

    1. Hi Alex, whenever there is an imbalance in the “equal respect for yourself and others” area, there is always fear involved, e.g. of being viewed as weak if you agree, or on the other hand, of disappointing others. I find that it takes time to find that place where you are clear about where you stand, even still having those fears, yet WITH respect for both parties. I try to look inside myself and recognise any fears and then adjust my reaction to it if I know it is counterproductive. If you focus on yourself and others as being wonderful human beings who all have to learn, and practise letting go of fear, or ignoring it and choosing a more courageous path – I imagine that would help greatly to become your true self.

  59. Hi, I want to be a better person. But when you say wake up with the attitude, what do you mean by that?

    -To not be yourself but something even better but still isn’t you?

    -I fear if I become like new tomorrow will the day after tomorrow resume to the old daily life.

    -I think being a better person will help me talk more and be even more confident?

    1. All of us have qualities that are good and some that are… well maybe not so good. What if being a better person is simply finding a way to grow what’s best in you?

      If attention is given to the negative, the negative prevails, but if positive is recognized and treated well, it flourishes. It has been sagely said that we all have a good dog and a bad dog within. It is the one that is fed the most grows the strongest.

      The hardest part about being a better person is that it’s a lonely place. When you truly grow, most others will not understand you, and you cannot impose your understanding on them. Being a better person often means giving up justifications and righteousness, and letting yourself and others be.

  60. Kristen Kobayashi

    I really fell in love with my new boyfriend and this boy is almost like no other person Ive ever found. I think it took a while to sink in through this month we started dating. After today’s date I realized this. I feel I need to step up to high new level of my best in life.

    I don’t want to let my personality flaws, hurt him. I don’t want to ever be insensitive towards him.

    I also remember how this felt four years ago, challenging myself to be a better person since 8th grade ended. I picture tomorrow like being unrebellious and humble to any nagging from my parents. Also I shall grow my faith in God. Just like the time in the summer when I learned to skateboard, playguitar, and be more outgoing :). I’m stoked.

  61. I am always finding new ways to think, feel and react to my circumstances in a different way.. so that it helps me know how a different person would feel at that situation.. does that make sense? :P
    Any way i’m going to try this experiment right from the time i wake up till i’m back to bed. I’m excited! :)
    [Wrote it down on my ‘To do’ list so that i dont forget :D ]

  62. I really think it’s great that we all took the step and Google’s ” how to be a better person”…makes me feel good knowing I’m not the only one struggling. 25 years old, just finished college and got engaged. However, my drug and alcohol use is a crutch I want to get rid of. I wanna be a betterperson in all my relationships , especially with myself. Good luck to all and Congrats on our courage :)

  63. Patrick,

    Took your advice and WOW, what a great day I had. Was able to accomplish alot of tasks and felt good the whole day long. Thanks, I sure can’t wait till tomorrow. :)

  64. Patrick,

    Like most everyone else, I came to your page after Googling ‘how to be a better person’. It was a bit of a last ditch act of desperation to turn my attitude around and gather different reactions from people as I firmly believe that the negativity I was receiving was because I was putting a lot of it out there.

    Your advice was no great revelation to me but it must have been what I was looking for when I Googled the phrase – some confirmation of what I knew I had to do. After reading your page, I agreed to myself that I would take up that challenge for the next day but then realised there was no reason I couldn’t start reacting differently immediately and so it began.

    I’ve been trying your experiment to a degree all week and I have been having a more positive expeirnce than I’d usually have. Just focussing on what you are putting out there and how you are reaping that back is my version of your challenge and thanks for helping down this path. Hopefully I can keep it up and live a much nicer life without the added aggro I was attracting.

  65. i tried this and it actually is interesting. for me my best self was envisioned as wearing clothes that compliment my figure and give me confidence. this best self also is motivated and takes pleasure in simple tasks, is confident and assertive and bubbly.

    so i did it, i woke up today and put on a cute lil outfit with bright colours (both of these on any given day are a rare occurance for me), and went about doing things that i would typically put off ’til a later date, (such as paying rent, getting groceries..not really great things to put off : / ).

    i felt good because i was putting my best forward. this is not the most desireable form of confirmation; however, i’ve been getting hit on all day by strangers even.

    i’m slightly puzzled because i didn’t know i had it in me to be happy. i also don’t believe this is a false confidence. it is my best self and that is real.

    1. You rock! You always have, but now you are giving yourself permission to rock. It’s so good to hear that you know that this “new you” isn’t something that’s made up – it’s the real you.

  66. Your blog is truly inspiring. I wish more people could learn to let go of the petty fears of criticism and rejection and just live their lives in a way that not only benefits themselves, but others around them. It only takes a smile, a “thank you”, or a hand shake to brighten someone’s day. Your postings are lovely and seem sincere. Keep it up!!

    -Libby

  67. i got a lot of things going on in my right now, i do bad things and it’s very hard for me to get a girlfriend due to what i do, and i really want to change,but it’s hard for me.

    1. Micah – I have news… you are ALWAYS going to have a lot of things going on in your life. I don’t think life ever gives anyone any downtime so that they can make changes. We just have to want to change enough to start making the changes (however small) despite how busy we are.

      Good luck – you can do it!

  68. Hello everyone, i am 31, and i felt so left out, i am not a degree holder, and i don’t know how to be a better person, i used to ask myself ,why i am so unlucky…i am so envy with all my cousin’s they finished college and they have a good life a contented life…i really need help, i have no one to talk to, and i have no one to turn to when ever i feel misserable…please help me!

    thank you!
    Dianne!

    1. Dianne – my suggestion would be to stop envying your cousins and spend more time asking yourself what you want out of YOUR life (not theirs). What does a ‘good and contented life’ look like for Dianne? Then start moving towards THAT.

  69. Hi. I found this blog because I am looking for ways to better myself. I have overcome such adversity in my life, but I found out I have been doing a lot of things wrong. I need a guide to help me be a better person so I can attract better friends and have a better life. :) I don’t want much in life except great friends and peace. :)

    1. There is never a time when I give life my best if I believe I “have too” do somthing. When I “want to do somthing” I feel alive and free when I devote myself to the action. So the key is too know myself, know what I value, know what inspires me, and use that understanding to change my mind from “having to” to “wanting too”. I resited cleaning my whole life, it was a chore, I had to do it. And guess what? I was sloppy. I knew I wanted to improve in the area of self love, that self love would make me happy, and I valued being happy and that being neat and organized was an approach to practing self love, and if I practice self love, I will master self love so I changed my mind and made an agreement with myself that I want to clean, I value being neat and organized and I devoted myself too it 100% and guess what? I find joy in washing the dishes, I feel content folding towels, it makes me happy to make my bed in the morning. Every day I learn how to become more and more skillful at cleaning I dont care if anyone approves of my neatness and organization. I do it becuse I love it, I enjoy it, i do it because I want tool

    2. Hi Anne:

      IMHO if you’re overcoming adversity – you’re not doing anything “wrong”. As for surrounding yourself with better friends… have you made a list of what qualities you want in a great friend? If not, write that up and then start looking. You might want to check out meetup.com and see if you can find groups of like-minded people to hang out with. (That’s just one idea – there are 100’s of ways)

  70. I have been doing some research the past few days and reading all kinds of comments/blogs about how people are wanting to make a difference in their lives to overcome whatever situation they may be in or have experienced in the past.

    I liked this post very much because even for me, I never would have thought to even think to give my best at every single daily activity for many of us would only apply a good attitude to things that we do best. No matter what stage we are in our lives, to have this way of thinking would help us to manage our fears and overcome them with a better sense of knowing that you can deal with issues and move in a positive direction and not be held back from what you want to achieve in life.

    Thank you Patrick for opening my mind to a different way of thinking.

  71. I thought life was pretty good for me. My job is so-so, but it’s not bad, I live in a better environment than a few months ago, I have a degree, and I’m healthy. Today I just lost my boyfriend to my quick temper and my ruthless mouth. I thought being truthful was an admirable trait, but I continuously crossed the line. The biggest mistake was doing it with him. I cut him down when he would never do that to much to the extent that I went. I feel ashamed, embarrassed, sad, angry, and stupid.

    I know the failing of our relationship wasn’t all my fault, or at least I don’t think it is. I just don’t know anymore. I don’t want to be so ugly anymore. I don’t want to lose anyone else.

    1. Leslie – it can be very tricky to balance being true to yourself (the truthful trait you spoke about) against what other people want / expect from us. When I wrote about giving your life the best you have to offer, I am NOT suggesting you sacrifice your true feeling I the process.

      Be true to yourself – it will pay off in the long run.

  72. ..I feel stuck..i feel like there is nothing thats gonna make me feel like i’m being a better person ..People already know you for who you are..people that have known you for years . There is one particular person an ex we are going through a custody battle and i can see myself acting like a fool . I keep telling myself i want to be a better person take the high road and not make things difficult..but its easier said than done. I want to be a better person for my baby..its just so hard

    1. Trisha – I feel for you – it can’t be easy. Just focus more on loving your baby than you do on fighting with your ex. That’s what will bring out the best in you. Good luck!

  73. I am only 17 years and i have messed my life up since i was 4.. everything i do i just quit and im always positive with others but when it comes to myself i feel negative and i feel like im alone and no one can help me..i feel no one out there has done this i can only trust 3 people and i disappoint my parents constantly..my parents said friday “we cant go a single week without you fucking up a good time, so why dont you change for us because your decisions are the worst.” nothing i do is right but it is how i feel the only thing i can do is keep my current girlfriend happy and make sure my friends get home safely while they are drunk… nothing in my life is right i am in the middle of school right now and i am on the verge of tears because i cant open up to anyone i just need help to change the way i act and to change the decisions i choose. because right now everyone is always upset with me and keeps me lonely and i only can get 1-2 hours of sleep…i need some huge psychological help in everything about my life.
    James

    1. Hey James – Is there a counselor at your school that you could talk with? It would probably really help to have someone impartial to talk to about all of this. I remember that 17 can be a tough age. I know it feels like you’ve messed up your entire life, but you need to trust me when I say that it gets better. (I really HATED when adults would tell me that when I was a teenager, but now I know that they were right.) Hang in there!

      1. thanks i did that and now i keep myself occupied by working out doing my dads projects around the house..i eat healthy and i have gotten better outside of school my only problem is that im not doing well in school but i think i can change that soon..Thank you for the advice..my school counselor really hellped and told me to read a book that i need to get and that is: what color is you parachute. again thanks for the advice

      2. thanks i did that and now i keep myself occupied by working out doing my dads projects around the house..i eat healthy and i have gotten better outside of school my only problem is that im not doing well in school but i think i can change that soon..Thank you for the advice..my school counselor really helped and told me to read a book that i need to get and that is: what color is you parachute. again thanks for the advice

  74. Hi
    I am going to try this tomorow I feel as if I need to. But I also feel as if I need to explain how I came upon this in the first place.
    I recently cheated on my boyfriend (not proud of this). I was going to stay in a hotel with a guy I had been seeing for a couple of months because we were going snow boarding the next day up in the mountains. The night before we were gonna go snow boarding we decided to have dinner in this bar which was also a restaurant. After dinner we stayed and started drinking we were having a lot of fun dancing and doing karaoke. We ended up getting really drunk and leaving sometime on our drive to the hotel we started fighting and it became a fist fight to where I got a black eye and everything. Well we never made it to the hotel, at a red light I was trying to run away from this man and 2 other men heard me screaming and came to help me so I left with them. Even though I was afraid of leaving with two strangers I was more afraid of the guy I was seeing. By now its like three in the morning and it turned out that these 2 men were out doing drug runs. They kept me with them for a few hours then told me they were gonna buy me some food and take me home which was really far away. we went to a donut shop and they bought me a donut. By this time it was only one man, he said he had to get something from his car. I finished my donut and went outside and he had left me there and taken all of my things, my luggage and purse with all my money and credit cards and id, I literally had nothing. I walked to a laundro mat where a man let me borrow his phone and I called the only number I knew by memory, my boyfriends. so I sat in this cold laundro mat for 3 hours untill my boyfriend finally arrived I was so happy to see him. by the time I get home its 9 in the morning and i had not gotten any sleep. He drops me off at our apartment and when I enter it is complely empty he had taken everything while I was gone over the weekend exept for the 2 cats. I had to sleep on the bedroom floor in dirty blankets. I also happen to get my period that day and had a terrible flu the rest of the week from being out in the cold. I feel a little depressed and have not been attending to school or work as I should. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me because I feel that I brought this upon myself but I just want to make things better and Im not exactly sure how.

    1. Wow NF, you’ve been through a lot.

      My suggestion is to be sure not to get down on yourself about all of this. Tomorrow is an excellent time to start fresh. If you sincerely offer your life the best you have to give, things will surely get better. Give your life the best you have to offer and you’ll make better choices, surround yourself with better people and be happier with yourself.

      You can do it.

  75. I honestly believe that people can change, but mostly through no effort of their own and extremely rarely when they try. This is mostly due to the fact that we feel, after a certain amount of work put into something, we can give up and the universe will magically reward us by sustaining the results we have. Unfortunately this is all hollywood bull because the universe doesn’t give a damn about anything we do and will constantly throw us curve balls because it’s changing as well. Hence people change without trying because circumstance do. Your job is to use your “god given gift” as a human and adapt.

    I agree with what you say in this article but people sometimes don’t know where to start. My advice: realize you’re an animal and apply it to everything. The first thing animals do when they wake up is stretch; next they try to eat and all throughout the day they are working out because if they don’t they die. So if you want to be a better you, your very very very first priority is your health, because that’s your only reason for doing anything. Stretch, eat and run (or swim if you’re a fish). Stop the self pitty because EVERYONE has something shitty to talk about.

    1. Changing DOES require effort – that is the “free will” if you like to decide to act in new ways, break out of old habits, go against the voice of fear (whilst accepting that fear as part of you). NOONE achieves change without conscious choice. Courage doesn’t happen passively. All my fundamental shifts have required circumstance to be responded to actively. I agree that good physical health is important but illness can be a huge motor for waking up to the ability to change. Many people only change destructive habits when their body screams at them to give it the attention it needs. Health means mental and physical. I know a woman with cancer who is mentally more healthy than some of the fittest sportspeople out there. That is number one. When we grow old and die, it doesn’t mean we give up trying to develop ourselves because our bodies are weak. That would be like losing to life.

      1. Matt, I love your post. You sound so intelligent about life. Change does require a willing body to change. Free will can be a good thing and it is the catalyst for change, if a person decides to change themselves. Ah, just love your post. Love it.

        Nicole

      2. I agree that when people do put in effort to change its very hard work and requires effort. But, it’s only hard because it goes against an established lifestyle and way of thinking. It’s easier to be apathetic about something than active so many of the changes people make aren’t sustained and they relapse.

        Also, I don’t believe in much of a free will outside of what “our” minds allow. I don’t think any of us fundamentally chose anything in our lives. I didn’t choose to be human, or to be a male or want a job or think the way I think or to be me, I just want or am those things. And, even if I want to change and push against my limitations, its instinct not free will. Free will implies a separation from nature and we’re not. Letting go of identity is the ability to make extreme changes easy because the mind isn’t blocked by what you or I or whoever considers absolutely must be right. When in reality nothing is black and white. Anything becomes possible after detaching from who you think you are.

        I believe that the mind is drastically more powerful than the body and can only fully be put to use when you let go of things that aren’t yours to begin with; like someone faced with death by cancer for instance. We are all energy and when I say that, I mean it in the most literal form. Energy belongs to the universe and when it wants it back it will take it. To be a better person or a better you is not your choice, it is a requirement as part of existence.

        1. Yes, I see what you are getting at. The term free will goes only so far as the dictates of the universe, and in physical form especially, we are constrained, but the potential to expand is huge when those universal laws of consciousness are understood . This letting go you mention is essential to recognise if we are to become as free as possible. I tend to use the term free will because I often feel it awakens a sense of achieving the “impossible” if backed up by example, and we desperately need hope in this world. Most people still think small, therefore settle for destructive elements to progress unchallenged. The choice of stepping outside of the comfort zone will always be there whether one is conscious of it or not. The choice of inspiring oneself and others and being kind or not is also there. Thanks for your elaboration!

    2. Hi Kyle – I agree with your point that our job is to adapt, but I think we need to adapt in a conscious fashion. By that, I mean that we need to choose what sort of adaptations we are willing to make and what changes we want to work to avoid. Also, thanks for the reminder that our health is were we should start.

  76. Just recently i started changing little things in my life. I started one day by changing the way i eat. than two days later by doing things like chores around the house. I than started to commit myself more to school and do a little bit more homework.I know I’m a potty mouth and at times can be really rude or childish; so started to watch what i say and act to a more appropriate level. tomorrow I want to start by showing the ones i love more appreciation by saying thank you and smiling more often. All i can say is changing to a better person i possible but you truly have to be committed. the last couple of days I’ve been really happy and i cant ask for anything more. Each and every one of us has the potential to change :)

  77. I jus recently started blogging… infact Yestaday was jus my first blog day of my life… but i went through couple of blog and this is one of the most inspiring blog I have been through these couple of years.. really inspiring…

  78. This is my first time to post a comment in your blog and your very impressive. I wish more great posts to come. Thanks by the way..

  79. Thanks Patrick

    this is inspiring.
    I am going to pamper my health starting tommorow. Health first.
    I am going to hit the gym , change my food habits ….

    Thanks
    Raja

  80. The last few years I have been kiding myself doing horrible things that no man/ or woman should do, but this post has inspired me to do the very best I can at everything, and become a better person. So I would like to thank Patrick Mathieu very much for his inspirational words.

  81. I love your inspiration but I really feel the need to write this: How can you be the best wife, mother, teacher, mentor, daughter, sister, worker, friend, chef, housecleaner, billpayer, taxicab driver, socialogist, psycologist, seamstress, driver, listener, walker, bather, President, CFO and CEO all at the same time. Too many burdens right now to be a better person.

    Sometimes you have to suck at being the above just to get your point accross – LOL

    1. It’s bot a competition, and we don’t have to excel in all fields! it’s more about giving the best YOU can in any one moment. Sometimes we are tired or stressed . under par – but we still have the choice to do the most we can to bring out our qualities. It doesn’t mean spending more energy than we have, rather making the most, and learning from any situation. We shouldn’t expect to be perfect, however, and letting go of imperfection and “mistakes” is just as fundamental to our well-being. I generally find that there is more capacity for being a noble and happy person than – I think when times are hard.

      We can’t expect things to always go our way. Obstacles are solutions.

      Look at figures in history who never gave in to pressures that could have resulted in loss of humanity