No matter how much you develop the necessary skills to improve any given aspect of your life, you can always get better. There is no book, no method, no person, nor tool that can bring you to perfection in any area of your life. Getting better, improving yourself, is a never-ending process.
These are a few ideas on what you can do now that can have a significant impact on your life and career now and in the future.
1. If you do anything, do this first one: learn how to work hard and stick with something. Learn how to turn off the distractions of social media and focus on what matters most to you. You’ll instantly be ahead of a majority of your generation.
2. Pick up an athletic hobby that you can do through the years, or your sedentary academic lifestyle will do horrible things to your posture, back, and gut.
3. Learn how to deal with interpersonal conflicts. Read Crucial Conversations and practice – it’s a lifechanger
4. Learn how to talk on the phone with people you don’t know. It still terrifies most people. You could use some of your free time to read about ways to conquer the fear. The best way to conquer your fear though is constant practice.
5. Start some kind of little side venture to learn entrepreneurial principles. Pursue your passion. Even if you fail, you at least tried. Buy and sell stuff on Craigslist, do anything. You might need them if you’re in between jobs. Your spare time could be put to good use.
6. Take a course on your favourite subject and other one on topics that are very new to you. It will force you to expand your world view on different topics that could be of importance in the future.
7. Meditate. Preferably every morning. If you can’t do that at least ensure that you quieten your mind for 10 mins during the day. Don’t think about anything. Just listen to yourself breathe. And BE.
8. Sort out your thoughts, verbalize them, and then write down what comes to mind. Take time to think through ideas, projects or your interests and enjoy the peace that comes with just doing nothing for a short period of time.
9. Subscribe to interesting blogs like Brain Pickings (insightful long form posts on life, art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more) to expand your scope or learning.
If you can’t commit to long form posts, find useful audiobooks instead. Audiobooks are one of the greatest self-improvement and personal transformational technology in the world.
10. Take an interest in psychology. Psychology helps us analyze our thoughts and actions, and helps us understand our own motivations. If you want to improve, you must first be capable of looking at yourself from an objective point of view, from outside yourself.
11. Create good habits. Our ability to improve is largely determined by our habits. Our habits influence the way we respond to any given situation, and ultimately they define how efficient we can become. Work on your habits and on your willpower, constantly.
12. Travel. Explore. Experiment. The more things you will explore more experience you will have. And these experiences will cherish you, in future. So earn them, before it is too late. Do not be afraid to take risks.
13. Keep learning new things. This is one of the most underrated virtues and a prerequisite for mental health. And it doesn’t have to be a new language, or a musical instrument, if you don’t have the time.
New words, games. ideas, philosophies etc. Reading a random wiki page everyday, solving crossword or sudoku can be equally refreshing for the brain.
14. Be prepared for the unexpected. Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans. It may not necessarily be unpleasant or bad but even if it is, try to handle it in the best possible manner.
15. Keep improving in the field you are best at. Focus on fascinates you most. The more you know about the topics that are close to your heart, the more you will be able to benefit from it in the future. Choose yourself and develop that passion today.
16. Balance in life is essential. Don’t overdue, don’t neglect. Like when playing a stringed instrument, the string must not be too loose or you don’t get any music from it. If it’s too tight, it can break. When just right, it can be the source of magnificent music.
Balance is the key: rest and activity; diving deep within and plunging into activity. Swing between silence and dynamism, rest and activity. All should be there, all in proper balance.
Sections of this post were first shared on Quora