Adulting 101: How To Be A Better Human In 4 (Not So) Simple steps
The Steps To Leveling Up As A Human, Or Just Adulting In General, Are Actually Quite Similar!
The cool thing about these steps for how to be a better human is that they’re pretty much steps for leveling up at life in general! It doesn’t matter whether it’s something mental, emotional, physical, or in between. It’s honestly a lot like anything else when you break it down; planning then execution mixed with consistency and support. As someone mildly addicted to the idea of self-improvement, I’m always trying to dissect how to be a better human, or simply to level up my adulting skills! I hope you get some motivation out of this short deep dive!
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How To Be A Better Human—Step 1: Do Your Homework
Look. Only you can define what “better” is for you. We’re all on different levels of life and in different places with adulting, so being a bit ambiguous here is unavoidable. You’ll have to define “better” yourself! So first, and ongoing, you need to do your homework. Start reading or absorbing from people that inspire you to improve. Looks like you’re already well on your way—or you wouldn’t be reading articles like this!
Read, watch, study, and learn from self-help gurus, philanthropists, or simply those that you view as inspirational. Only when enlightened on how you want to be better can you start to act! Once you’ve got a firm grasp on the area of life you’re looking to make gains in, then drill down into the nuggets of knowledge and keep absorbing.
To continue to improve and stay motivated you have to continue to absorb. If you read biographies about some of the most influential people in our history you will find a common thread—they were voracious readers! It’s a time-tested, proven way of leveling up! Luckily for us, the ways to absorb knowledge have expanded.
Homework Has Adapted…How To Absorb Knowledge The Unconventional Way
- Books – The old standby, so it cannot be overlooked. Good old, analog, snail’s pace reading. Slowing down is sometimes necessary in this fast-paced world. Here are some of my favorites.
- Audiobooks – I listen when I drive, which is a lot these days. On Kindle or freesources like Hoopla or Libby.
- Podcasts – A bit of a different animal than an audiobook, with endless possibilities. Yes, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, and so many more drop knowledge on the regular for your feasting ears.
- Streaming Services – Instead of binge-watching Stranger Things (or in addition to…let’s be realistic here…) feast on documentaries or more educational content.
- Youtube and the Interwebs – YouTube is a great place to absorb. Subscribe to a few appropriate channels (I suggest this one for sure…) and your suggestions list will remain full of good homework. You can also start streaming from documentary/self-help-styled resources like Great Big Story or Ted Talks.
How To Be A Better Human—Step 2: Practice, Practice, Practice!
You don’t see major league baseball players getting better at hitting or fielding by just studying and hoping for the best! Beyond the practical knowledge and book learning or techniques, they put it into practice every…single…day! They actually have coaches (see step 1 above…), specifically tuned regimens, and daily schedules that they stick to. If you want to be a better human or level up your adulting skills, the same applies to you!
Want to be a better human by volunteering more? Create a plan and stick to it! Start with finding opportunities, narrow down your options based on what fits, then make a plan and do it! Want to be more helpful or positive to others in your daily life, write down actionable ways in which you can do that in your daily life. Then follow through daily until it becomes second nature.
If you want to have better emotional connections, find ways to expand on those opportunities in your daily life. If you simply want to be in better shape, make a plan and follow through! Learn, practice, evaluate your progress, and keep moving and adjusting as you reach milestones of impact in your life! Now rinse and repeat my friend.
How To Be A Better Human—Step 3: Surround Yourself With Like-Minded Individuals And Create Boundaries For The “Others”
This extremely important factor in your ability to achieve is often ignored. It can get a bit messy. But the reality is that the people around you are going to be the biggest factor or detractor in whether you’re propelled towards or held back from your goals. So if you’re fairly passive about who you allow yourself to be surrounded by, you likely need to put in some time here.
Yes, this is complicated, especially when the family is involved. But the bottom line is that you have to actively align yourself, with people that understand and believe in the same intentions, to accelerate your motion. This also means actively distancing yourself or creating boundaries from the naysayers. Yes, even if they’re family. Do the work, my friend. You have to take care of Number 1 (that’s you) first before you can take care of anyone else.
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But They’re Family!? Or…Wait, I’ve Been Best Friends With This Person Forever!
Creating boundaries doesn’t mean dropping friends and family cold turkey, it just means taking a stand for your personal growth. And it can be simpler than you think. If those individuals are so pivotal or implanted in your life, let them know what you’re doing and allow them to be on the journey with you. But be firm in your resolve and make sure that they understand that this is important to you. If need be, when the time comes, move on if it’s still not working.
Join a mastermind, create one, or just find local or virtual groups that are on the same track you want to pursue. Trust me, I’ve been there! 3-4 years ago I wanted to be a nomadic, location-independent writer (…and now vlogger) but there was nobody around me doing that. Nobody understood what living “location-independently” or being a “digital nomad” was! Facing that daunting goal without people around me of like mind was just not cutting it!
So I joined a massive virtual mastermind with a few hundred like-minded folks trying to level up on life the way I was. (Huge shout out to all of my ride or die crew!) Granted, it was virtual, but I immediately had a tribe of people backing me and helping me when I needed it. They understood what I was going through. Now I have dozens of friends around the world that I interact with regularly while we’re helping each other slay our goals together!
How To Be A Better Human—Step 4: Be Patient With Yourself
This is a marathon not a sprint my friend. It’s important that while you’re pushing yourself to be a better person and to broaden your mind, soul, or body, that you have compassion for yourself along the way.
This is about being better today than you were yesterday and better tomorrow than you were today. Just keep pushing that needle and give yourself the flexibility to be human. Humans make mistakes. Humans take two steps forward and one step back. There will be lows to go with the highs; I promise.
Also, a word of warning. A tricky thing can happen when you start concentrating on these more “woo-woo” parts of your interaction with the world we’re living in. You might become much more aware of how screwed up the world is. You get a heightened awareness and sensitivity to the struggles outside of you.
But that’s just you building empathy and getting more in tune with the world my friend. That’s a good thing! Have patience young Padawan. Luke didn’t master the force overnight, and you can’t expect yourself to make massive strides at the blink of an eye. But simply knowing what you desire, and putting the work in on the regular, is more than most are willing to do.
Enjoy the ride, the big and the small victories, and just keep pushing my friend!
About Jason Robinson
Jason is the author of “The Beginner Traveler’s Guide To Going Nomad,” as well as the voice behind the words and the eye behind the lens for The Nomad Experiment. “Planning to travel at some point” wasn’t actually getting the job done, so nearing 40 he decided to make it a priority, nomatter how scary that was. A few years later—through the pandemic and a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis at age 42—now living a life of nomadic travel, he’s speaking out to encourage others of any age, or with any serious medical diagnosis, to live an unconventional life.
Travel Planning Tips
Figure out where you are going & how are you getting there…
I suggest using at least 2 to 3 different travel search sites. Start with Skyscanner or Orbitz or Booking …or whatever aggregator site you prefer. Then when you see what airlines to use, check their respective sites for better deals or rewards flights.
Figure out where you’re going to stay…
If you’re interested in hostels, search Hostelworld or Hostelling International. For longer-term or more private digs, look at Airbnb, VRBO, or you can look for hotel rooms in the links from the search engines listed above.
Get comprehensive travel insurance, or in the least, travel medical insurance if internationally…
Especially with Covid not going anywhere, get covered. Start with an insurance aggregator like Insure My Trip, or with SafetyWing, World Nomads, or another. Then decide what is important to you; trip cancellation, baggage coverage, medical, or all of the above. And get a yearly evacuation plan, since you’ll have to get home after your emergency!
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