“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.” –Anthony J. D’Angelo
I named this blog site “Happy Better You.” You may be wondering what inspired this name. My desire in life is to become a happy better individual after each day and help others achieve the same. As it implies, happy better you is centered on personal growth or development. Happy Better You is a personal development and capacity building platform with the aim of helping people especially youths and teenagers become happy and better and live the happy better life they were born to fulfill.
Now, the question is: Why become a happy better you? In this article, I share the need for becoming a happy better person, the different areas where growing into a better person is required and finally, the way you can engage in continuous personal growth.
In my secondary school days, I remember an acronym we learned in Biology classes under the characteristics of living things. It read thus: MR. NIGER D. My focus here is the letter ‘G’ which stands for growth. Growth is one of the characteristics of living things. It’s one of the unique things that separate living things from non-living materials. What is growth? As we were taught, growth is simply an increase in size and height of a living thing.
Why become a happy better you?
- It shows you are living.
Having said the above, one reason why you need to become a happy better you which is made possible through the process of personal growth is that it is a proof of life.
As a living human being (not one who is just existing), it is this quality of growth that separates you from the masses. However, when it comes to personal growth, it is far more than an increase in physical size, weight or height. Beyond physical increase, growth is increasing in your value delivery capacity. It is growing in your ability to meet the needs of others. It is improving your ability to solve problems. If you realize that you are still the same person that you were one year ago; that is, you have learned nothing new that makes you solve problems, it means you are not living anymore but dead.
Imagine giving birth to a child. After a period of time, it is expected that he/she starts sitting down, creeping, standing and then walking. Isn’t it? Now, what would you say if this child can’t still sit on his own let alone walk after one year of birth? Would you be happy with such a baby? Not at all. Although the child is breathing, he is not truly living. He can be said to be dead-alive because, in that state, he can never be useful in life no matter the years.
So it is with anyone who is not getting better through personal growth.
- It makes you contribute to lives
Another reason why you need to become a happy better you is the fact that it makes you add more value to the lives of others. It is difficult to offer what you don’t have. Now, how can you solve a problem you don’t have the ability or skill to solve? How can you teach someone what you’ve not learned? How possible is it to help others with what you have not acquired in the first place? It is not possible. So personal growth – becoming a happy better you is necessary so that you can make a difference in the lives of others. It’s has been said that change begins with self. This is a cemented fact. If we must positively change others, we’ve got to be the first person to experience a change. Until we change – become happy and better people, we cannot serve as change agents in our world.
Like the child example I gave above, as long as the child refuses to increase inability to do things, he cannot contribute to the welfare of the family. He can’t do any domestic work in the house. He cannot run errands for the parents or help in other awaiting tasks in the house. As Paulo Coelho put it, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
The airplane example:
Here is another example of why you need to first become a happy better you before you can help others in their own life. It was given by Cyril Olomukoro, in his book ‘The more successful you.’ It perfectly explains the essence of self-improvement. And it will resonate with you more if you have traveled by air before. In the plane, there is an oxygen compartment with an oxygen mask. Just before the plane takes off, an air-hostess comes to demonstrate how it is used should the need arises. In addition, at the back of the seat in front of you, there are clear instructions on how to use this oxygen mask. It reads thus: In case of any emergency, first secure your own oxygen mask and then if you have children with you, secure theirs.
At first reading without thinking deep, you would expect the instruction to direct the parents to secure the oxygen mask for their children first before getting theirs.
But when you think properly, you would realize that it is better to first secure for yourself before others. Now, let’s imagine it together; why do you think it is necessary to first secure your own before others?
The simple reason is that you could only help others if you’re in a safe position to do so. How can you help others become happy and better version of themselves when you are not happy and better yourself?
To add value to others, first, add value to yourself. The more value you add to yourself, the more value you are able to add to the lives of others. This, therefore, means that:
- To produce happy better students, you must be a happy better teacher
- To make your patients happy and better in health, you must be a happy better doctor
- To raise happy better children, you have to be a happy better parent
- To build a better relationship with your partner or spouse, there is need that you first become a happy better partner.
- To build happy better team members, you need to first become a happy better team leader
- To raise a happy better congregation, you cannot be escaped being a happy better minister or pastor
The above list is not exhaustive. To make a difference in any area of life, being a practical example is a prerequisite or a necessity.
- It helps you attract the better things of life.
According to Jim Rohn, “Those who seek a better life must first become a better person.” It may shock you but it is the truth. People are not enjoying true happiness or living a meaningful life not because life is unfair to them. It’s simply because they have not become the kind of person that can attract the happy better life they desire. I have come to realize this truth, especially from personal experiences that until one becomes a happy better version of him or herself, he/she cannot live a happy better life.
This is what I mean: to attract wealth, you must become better at proper money management skills. The person who cannot spend his money wisely, save and invest for the future cannot retain wealth no matter how high the income he/she earns. To have good health, it is necessary that you become a person who practices healthy habits such as eating healthy food, maintaining personal hygiene, having good sleep, etc. To attract academic excellence, you must learn to grow in the habit of studying. To build a happy relationship or home with a partner, you must learn to grow in your ability to relate with yourself and your partners. That is it.
Let’s keep going.
In what areas do I need to work on daily to be a better person?
Some areas where you need growth in order to become a happy better you include the following:
- Self-mastery. An anonymous once said, “Improvement begins with I.” To grow as a person, the first thing to do is to know yourself. In the words of Baltasar Gracian, “Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.” This is where you are to start from – knowing who you are – weaknesses and strengths, passions, values, etc.
- Character development. How is your character? How do people see you? Are you honest, (trustworthy, truthful or sincere), patient, self-disciplined, humble, respectful, caring, or you showcase the opposite? No matter your position in life, you cannot be truly happy when your character is negative. When your attitude is not what is morally acceptable, it becomes difficult to add lasting value to others as you’re viewed as one who is not mature in character. And no matter the selfish interest you gain from the wrong character disposition, you cannot be truly happy in your spirit.
- Talent development. Talent is raw and as such until it is developed into an applicable skill, it cannot be useful. To be better and happier as a person, make daily effort to improve on your natural gifting – which could be public speaking, writing, singing, counseling, etc. As a personal example, I realized that one of my dominant talent is writing. And knowing that until I improve on this gifting, it will be of no use to me and others, I decided to develop it by writing constantly. And that is one of the reasons I founded this blog. What is your talent? Start developing it.
- Communication skill (writing and speaking ability). Irrespective of your level of knowledge and experience, if you cannot express yourself to others both in writing and/or speaking, you cannot use your wealth of knowledge to help others. The more you improve your communication skill, the better person you become.
- Leadership skill. Leadership is the ability to influence other people. Learning leadership skills makes you a better person. You’re better able to lead others and achieve your desired goals.
- Relational (intra-personal and interpersonal) skill. Do you find it difficult to relate well with yourself and others? If yes, then you’re not yet the person that can positively change others. First love and value yourself and then others. You become better as you learn to get along with yourself and other people.
- Dressing sense. How you appear before others shows how happy and better you’re. As it’s popularly quoted, “You are addressed the way you dress.” This is a gospel truth. Improve your dressing sense. Appear neat and smart at all times especially in public. With this, you gradually turn a happy better person.
- Personal grooming/hygiene. How is your personal grooming level? How well do you maintain your body and surrounding? Do you bath regularly? How often do you brush and floss your mouth? Do you keep clean and well-cut hair? Are your toes and fingernails neat and well-trimmed? What about your ears? Beyond maintaining neat body, how is your surrounding? Is it tidy or looking untidy? The more you practice personal hygiene, the better person you become.
- Learning and improving skills. What skill do you currently have? If you have one or even more, how well are you getting better at it? Can you use the computer efficiently? The more skill you learn, the better person you become, and the more value you’re able to give to others.
- Professional/educational, etc. As a career person, what level in your career or profession are you? What effort are you making to climb from your current professional or educational level to a higher level? Your ability to solve your field or career-related problems depends on where you are.
- Body/physical fitness. You become a happy better you when you improve your body or physical fitness level. How many times do you get involved in physical exercises?
- Eating habit. Building good and healthy eating habits makes you a happy better person who is able to help others solve their problems. What comprises your bulk of daily food intake? Junks or natural food?
- Relationship with God. Most importantly, you need to grow in fellowship with God, the source of life. How is your relationship with the Creator? The more you grow in fellowship with the Lord in the place of prayers, Word study, meditation, etc. the happier and better person you become.
How do you grow as a person and become a happy better you?
“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for,” said Socrates. You grow into a happy better person by continuous learning and study. This could be through the reading of self-help materials like this article and other relevant materials, listening to experts’ teachings, taking a training course, enrolling in a skill acquisition programme, etc. and applying the learned knowledge in solving everyday problems.
It is a daily gradual process
Physical growth takes place daily as long as the right conditions are provided. Similarly, personal growth – becoming the best version of yourself does not occur overnight. It is a gradual process. In that, the changes may not be observed in one day. But as long as you keep at it – adding value to yourself each day, (improving your character, talent, learning to communicate, developing new skills, building a better relationship with God, etc.) with time which is not-too-long a period, the difference will be seen.
Wrapping it up
Recall the opening quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo, “Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.” This is indispensable if you must enjoy the good life and help others enjoy the same. According to Cyril Olomukoro, the best gift you can give to others is the gift of your ever-improving self through continuous personal development. The better you become, the better things and values you can offer to others in your role as a spouse, parent, sibling, friend, neighbour, colleague, etc.”
And to help you achieve the dream of becoming a happy better version of yourself every day, I have decided to build this platform from where this article has been made available to you. As you read this piece and others which will be subsequently published here and apply the knowledge and tips they teach, you will certainly become a happy better you and live the meaningful life you were created to fulfill.
Thanks for reading. I hope to hear from you how this article has been a helpful resource material for you. I will appreciate it if you share it on Facebook and other social media platforms. Kindly pass it on to someone who needs it.
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Be a happy better you; live a happy better life
Author: Oghovemu Okpu
I’m a writer and founder of Happy Better You (HBY); a personal development platform where I help you with the tips, resources and inspiration you need to become a happy better version of yourself so that you can live the happy better life you were created to fulfill.
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