Skip to Content

25 Ways Be a Better Person

Ideas to start being a better person today.

Some people might come close to what we might describe as “perfection,” but the truth is there is no such thing as a perfect person.

We are all learning and growing. I hope that when my time comes, I can look back on my life and feel confident that I did my best to leave a positive impact, be kind to others, and reach my full potential. That said, here are 25 ways to grow into a better person starting today.

Here are 25 ways to be a better person:

1. Let the little things go.

In the grand scheme of the world, the little things that you allow to permeate your mind and emotions and only affecting you. Chances are this little thing won’t matter five years from now, so adjust your mindset and let it go.

2. Control your emotions, don’t let them control you.

It’s important to remember that it’s your actions that define your character. We all experience emotions from elation to rage to extreme sadness and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s healthy to acknowledge these feelings.

We will be better off if we don’t act out of anger, sadness or hurt feelings. Take your emotions and spend time with them, but don’t act on them immediately. It only leads to regret.

3. Move your body.

Bodies aren’t made for a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies are made to move our souls around, to take us out into the world to see and do things and to provide for ourselves. 

4. Eat better.

You probably already knew this was going to be on this list. But instead of just eating better and killing yourself by trying to give up sugar completely, just make room on your plate for more of the good stuff. Eat more fruits and veggies and your body will thank you for it.

5. Read more.

Books of all genres help us to learn more about the world and improve our emotional intelligence. Reading makes us better writers and better communicators.

Even if you aren’t in to reading books, read something.

6. Learn about cultures different from your own.

No matter where I go in the world, one thing I’ve learned from people all over is how important it is to expose yourself to other cultures and other ways of living. Learning from different cultures will not only make you more knowledgeable but more compassionate as well.

7. Carve out time for yourself every day.

You cannot pour from an empty cup. Try as you might, but nothing will come out. It is imperative that we take time to ourselves every single day to honor and support our emotional wellbeing.

8. Give to others.

Giving is a humbling experience. Whether you can give your time, your money or your skills, giving to others builds and supports the communities that sustain our world and each other.

9. Embrace discomfort.

Nothing revelatory ever came from someone’s comfort zone. I know being uncomfortable is scary and challenging, but it is 100 percent worth it. Growth comes from discomfort, and you will only ever know what you are capable of by leaving your comfort zone.

10. Know your limits.

Saying “yes” to every opportunity and request that comes your way only drains your metaphorical cup. There is a value to saying no and not pushing yourself too far. If you are over your limit you are serving no one, least of all yourself.

This applies to drinking, too.

11. Never assume anything.

There’s a saying: when you assume you make and “ass” out of “u” and “me.” In many cases this hold true. Making assumptions about other people, about situations, about anything really, is never a good idea because it introduces bias and creates misunderstandings. You’re better off just asking for clarification.

12. Spend time with your friends.

In the digital age, we neglect our friendships more than we should. We trade meaningful conversations for likes and comments on social media. Spending true quality time with your friends will make you a better person.

13. Make an effort to understand someone else’s perspective.

Assuming that you are always right is a mistake. You might feel strongly that you are right from you perspective, just as the person on the other side of the coin feels the same way. Make an effort to see the situation from their side, too.

14. Take responsibility for your actions.

Good or bad, you are responsible for the outcome and consequences of your actions. We all make mistakes, we’re only human. Apologize when you’re in the wrong, own up to your mistakes — you’ll be better for it.

15. Honor your word.

When you say you are going to do something, do it. Don’t allow yourself to be flaky or irresponsible. If no one can depend on you, what does that say about you?

16. Avoid gossiping.

Gossiping about others only creates a toxic environment. It’s unnecessary to discuss the behavior, choices, and traits of others. If you’re genuinely concerned for someone, bring it up with them.

17. Educate yourself on your impact on the world.

Everything we do affects other people. Everything we do affects our planet. Each action has a consequence, for better or worse. The goal is to leave the place better than we found it.

18. Allow yourself to fail.

The only way you will every truly succeed is by failing. Anyone who has succeeded has failed hundreds of times over before getting to where they are. You must be a beginner before you are an expert. You can give yourself permission to suck, if you need to.

19. Work hard.

The best people to be around are the people who don’t shy away from hard work. They are the people who put the extra hours in, who do the work without praise, take every opportunity they can, and are often the first to volunteer when needed.

20. Don’t take shortcuts.

You become an expert on something by putting the work in. There are certainly lessons to be learned in others’ experiences, but you will often find that the most value in going the long way around.

21. Always be kind.

Kindness is a form of compassion that touches everyone. It costs nothing to be polite or to share a compliment. In the very least, you will set a good example for others to follow.

22. Practice gratitude.

Those who practice gratitude either by writing daily lists of things they are thankful for or simply thinking it each day generally find that they have less to complain about.

Gratitude makes negative situations easier to cope with and makes you more receptive to positive opportunities.

23. Encourage others.

When people encourage others, it makes the world a better place. It inspires confidence in the unconfident. It encourages people to reach outside of their comfort zones and reach their full potential. It inspires others to be their best selves.

24. Lead by example.

If you act as if others are watching you and are going to learn from your actions, you’re going to want to do the right thing. Words are powerful, but actions speak louder than words.

25. Don’t compare yourself to others.

So many of us suffer from comparison-itis where we compare our failures to others’ successes and vice versa. When you begin to adapt to an abundance mentality, you realize there is not a finite amount of success in the world and that there is enough to go around. Comparing yourself to someone else only pushes you off of your own unique path.

 To be a better person, we need to focus on how our thoughts and actions are impacting not only ourselves, but the world around us.

It’s not always easy, but it’s absolutely worth the effort.

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.


Read previous post:
Functional Illiteracy: The Hidden Crisis Facing America

It is estimated that 32 million American adults are functionally illiterate.