How to be a simple person

Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack. Read full profile

How to be a simple person

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Being a good person is not hard, but it doesn’t just happen. As much as anything else, you have to want to be a good person and make choices that correspond with your beliefs. No matter where you are in your life, you can make the choice to change. Here are 15 simple traits of a truly good person.

1. They are honest in relationships.

Relationships can put an amazing amount of stress and stain on a person, especially when things are going wrong. A nice person may try to stay in a relationship for too long, attempting to force something that isn’t there. But a truly good person will be honest in their relationship and move it forward when things are going well and end it when the time comes. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to live up to your lofty potential when your relationship is dragging you down. Be honest about how you feel and stay loyal when you’ve committed.

2. They compliment others when deserved.

Good people understand that others need praise. Complimenting is not only a good thing to do, but a sign that you can be excited for other people’s triumphs. A truly good person will compliment when deserved and offer constructive criticism when warranted.

3. They call their parents regularly.

It’s simple, but being respectful and grateful for your parents is a truly great thing. It’s easy to get to busy and let life get in your way, but truly good people find time to make sure they check in with mom and dad regularly.

4. They are polite.

Good people are polite. They show respect and mind their manners. It’s not to be a showoff or to seem better; they just truly respect individuals and want to treat them how they want to be treated. You don’t have to be formal or walk on eggshells to be polite. It’s more a function of ensuring you act in a way that is fitting for your present location.

5. They are kind to everyone.

A good person doesn’t have to like everyone, but they are at least kind. They look at people for the person they can be and can look past the present to see the person’s positives.

6. They are generous with their belongings.

While you don’t physically have to give the shirt off your back, a truly good person is be willing to be generous. A good person understands that the things we collect and the money we accumulate are not worth anything without people to share it with. You don’t have to be a bleeding heart, giving away your life fortune; rather, be open and generous to those less fortunate in a time of need.

7. They remember their manners.

Whether it’s waiting until everyone has their food to eat or opening the door when others walk through, proper manners are definitely not out of style. Truly good people understand the importance of their actions and always remember their manners.

8. They think of others.

It’s easy to be selfish and do what’s best for yourself. Yet, truly good people consider others in their decisions. They understand that what’s good for them may not always be the best for others. They don’t have to cater exclusively to others; rather, they understand and take into consideration how their actions will affect others and are comfortable with the decision to move forward.

9. They go the extra mile.

A truly good person makes sure the task gets done and always goes the extra mile. Whether it’s staying to help clean up after an event or spending their own time ensuring things get done properly, a good person understands the importance of finishing what they start.

10. They are kind to loved ones.

Sometimes you can be great to others but treat the ones who love you the most the worst. A truly good person doesn’t take out their problems on their loved ones and is as pleasant at home as in the public eye.

11. They smile.

A smile can light up a room, and truly good people smile often—not just when things are going well.

12. They make the best out of every situation.

In every situation, there are positives and negatives. A truly good person will find and focus the positives. That’s not to say they don’t take the negatives; rather, they find ways to improve and become better because of the bad things.

13. They make friends easily.

A truly good person is one who people want to be around. People are drawn to them. By being positive and finding the best in others, they can make and keep friends easily.

14. They don’t take things for granted.

Being a truly good person is an ongoing pursuit. They understand that what they’ve done in the past doesn’t ensure results in the future.

15. They are consistent.

A first impression is a lasting impression. By being consistent in what they do, a truly good person will ensure they always put their best foot forward and treat every person and situation the same.

Being a good person isn’t hard, but it does take a consistent approach. By using the traits above, you too can be a truly good person.

My favorite scene from When Harry Meets Sally isn’t the famous orgasm “I’ll have what she’s having” scene or when Harry declares his love for Sally at the end on New Year’s Eve. Instead it’s the scene where Harry explains that there are two types of women in the world: high maintenance and low maintenance. Sally asks which type she is and Harry replies that she is the worst kind – the kind that thinks they’re low maintenance, but really is high maintenance.

This quote kicked off a long conversation with probably the one person in the world who knows me best in some twisted way – a friend I’ve been close with since middle school that became my first boyfriend and the first person to break my heart, but now is one of my best friends. You know that guy? Everybody has some version of that guy. It’s the guy where if our lives were a romantic comedy, we would end up together after both dating other people for ten years and meeting at our high school reunion or over Christmas when we’re both back home and running into each other’s arms in the perfectly drifting snow. Except this is the real world and life doesn’t happen that way. Thank goodness.

Anyways, instead of high or low maintenance, we discussed if we were simple or complicated people. When we were both still in college and just hanging out in his car one night over bobba tea (we’re from Cupertino, California – this is what people do!), he told me that he knew his future wife would be a complicated girl. Fast forward to med school for him and business school for me, our most recent conversation led to him laughing, “No, I was an idiot. Complicated people are so. difficult. I’m glad my current girlfriend and I are easy and simple. We’re just. good.”

I am a complicated girl or as Sex and the City coined it, a “Katie girl” after Barbra Streisand’s character in The Way We Were. And I don’t say that with particular pride as if being complicated is better. Sometimes I wish I could shut off my brain from over analyzing things and can only imagine how much easier my life would be if I were more simple. I’ve seen my male friends date girls I always called “sweet” girls (and somehow always named Sarah) and they seem perfectly lovely, if only a little bit dull. In the most self-centered text I have ever sent and only possible to someone you’re that good of friends with, I texted him today and asked, “Okay, if I’m a complicated girl, then should I date a simple guy or a complicated guy?” He responded by explaining his philosophy that life is like Gossip Girl. Do you want to be in a Blair/Chuck relationship or a Serena/Nate relationship? Like I said, we were never ever going to work out.

But in some way, I think he’s right. As I see more and more people getting engaged and married, the theme I’ve noticed is that the ones who are getting married now have simple relationships. I’m not saying their love is easy or less passionate, it’s just that their relationships don’t have a lot of clutter and no one has a lot of baggage. They’ve been together for so long that they are each other’s past and no one has to deal with the ramifications of the hurt caused by someone else before them. And not just the distrust and insecurities from past relationships, but from anything in their past. Ask anybody who has dated someone with something as basic as physical insecurities or family drama and you will know how much it can affect a relationship because it’s just such a large part of who they are. Very few people out there are just that wholesome.

My friend’s point at the end was that if you date a complicated guy, things will be more difficult, but he might understand you better, while things might be easy with a simple guy, but you’ll be frustrated when he doesn’t seem to get you. At the end of the day, I’ve always believed that everyone is crazy. You just need to find someone whose crazy matches your crazy and whose baggage matches your baggage. And even if you don’t find this crazy person, it’s okay, there are a lot of other crazy people out there that make pretty good friends.

Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker Read full profile

How to be a simple person

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The desire for happiness is a universal human emotion. To some extent, you want to learn how to be happy with yourself in some shape or form. However, not everyone knows how to achieve this state.

Unfortunately, society hasn’t helped with this confusion. We have been conditioned to associate happiness with materialistic possessions.

The line of thinking is that, if we have more things, we will be more fulfilled. As a result, a lot of people spend their entire lives chasing happiness, only to be left feeling defeated when they don’t find their version of utopia.

Happiness is not something that you find external to yourself. You won’t buy a new dress or purchase a new car and feel like you’re living on a cloud for eternity.

Sure, you may feel short-term gratification from a purchase, but this feel-good vibe won’t last. Shortly thereafter, you will be looking for the next best thing to fill a void.

There’s no magic pill for happiness. Happiness is an inside job, a choice that you have to make. Try the following to learn how to be happy with yourself every day.

1. Practice Mindfulness

How you start your day matters. If you begrudgingly roll out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, and rush out the door to work, how do you think your day will unfold?

I don’t know about you, but my emotions end up getting the best of me. If you don’t master your mind, your mind will master you. This is why I’m such a big believer in creating an empowering morning ritual.

When you take the time every morning to nourish your mental and emotional state, you set yourself up for success. Meditate, journal, exercise, recite affirmations, juice, dance. Do whatever it takes to get yourself into a high vibe state.

Yes, meditating is great, but it’s bigger than that. You want to strive to live more mindfully all around. Think of mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience, without judgment [1] .

Strive to be more present in every given moment of your life. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, take time to pause and enjoy the little things.

2. Be Grateful

Gratitude is a way of living that focuses on seeing the good, no matter how dire one’s circumstances are. Of course, it can be hard to be grateful when you’re going through difficult times in life.

However, there is always a silver lining in every struggle. You just have to be willing to look for it. When you adopt an attitude of gratitude, you shift into a state of appreciation. All of sudden, there is no room for sadness because you are choosing love.

Research shows that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, and deal with adversity [2] .

If you don’t already, I encourage you to start a gratitude journal. A simple practice like this one only takes a few minutes every day. It has the power to change your life. What are you grateful for?

3. Find Your Tribe

By nature, we are social creatures. Connecting with one another helps us thrive, especially when we are faced with difficult times.

Research shows that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, and greater empathy for others [3] .

I wouldn’t be who I am today without the solid tribe of people that I call family. These are my people. Although my circle is small, I know that these people will always have my back, no matter what.

You become the five people whom you surround yourself with. If you want to be a happy and successful person, you need to make sure that your friends have the same vision as you.

Strive to find people who empower you to become a better version of yourself. They will naturally enhance your happiness and make you feel good about yourself.

4. Connect to Your Body Intelligence

Where people get stuck is that they live too much of their lives in their heads and fail to connect with their body intelligence. Your body is a vessel that is constantly speaking to you.

When you don’t listen to it, you end up getting into trouble. The body is intimately connected to the gut. The more that you go inward and bring attention to your body, the more you are able to connect with your intuition.

It is the place of inner wisdom that brings you back home to yourself. In actual fact, every cell in the body is intelligent, with the heart acting like a conductor for the cellular processes taking place within us in each and every moment [4] .

There are a variety of different modalities that allow you to connect to your body intelligence, whether it’s dance, yoga, or chi gong. When you allow yourself to drop out of your head and into your heart, you come to realize that everything you’ve ever needed is already inside of you.

5. Don’t Take Life So Seriously

Life is so short. If you spend the entire ride worrying and agonizing about everything, you will miss so many beautiful moments. Not only that, but it will create dis-ease in the body.

An overemphasis on seriousness in life lends itself to a narrow way of understanding what’s worth your time and attention [5] .

In childhood, we are encouraged to play and be free. However, a lot of people lose this desire once they become adults. If you can relate to this, let me ask your something… what would happen if you slowed down and took the time to enjoy life more?

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and wish that you had laughed and smiled more often. Nobody wants to live with regrets.

The next time that you’re taking yourself too seriously, step back and ask yourself: “Is this situation worth getting so frustrated over?” If not, move on and get back to enjoying life.

Final Thoughts

You can’t always control the external world. However, you can always control your internal world. Finding simple ways to be happy with yourself every day is a commitment. However, it’s worth the effort because you deserve to live a happy life.

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Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

We all want to be our best, but many people wonder if it’s actually possible to become a better person once you’re an adult. The answer is a resounding yes. There are always ways to improve yourself. This answer leads to more questions, however.

What is the best way to become a better person? What is the easiest approach? And what are the most important aspects of self to work on? Taking into account your own wellbeing as well as the best interests of others, here are some of the most important ways to become a better person.

Let Go of Anger

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KOLOstock / Getty Images

We all experience anger in our lives. Uncontrolled anger, however, can create problems in our relationships and even with our health.   All of this can lead to more stress and additional problems, complicating life and keeping us from being our best selves. That’s why learning to manage and eventually let go of anger is so important to becoming a better person.

Letting go of anger isn’t always easy. But the first step is learning more about recognizing anger and knowing what to do when you feel angry in your life.  

Recognizing anger is often simple if you make an effort to notice when you feel upset and decide to manage this feeling rather than denying it or lashing out at others as a way of coping. Focus on noticing when you feel angry and why, and know that there is a difference between feeling angry and acting on that anger. Then, know your options.

You can change your beliefs about what is making you angry. This can work by learning more about the situation, or even reminding yourself there may be things you don’t know yet.

Remind yourself that maybe that person who cut you off in traffic was distracted by something challenging in their own life. If a friend seems to be rude to you, inquire about how their day is going and find out if there’s more that you don’t know.

You can also focus on what your “anger triggers” are, and eliminate them as possible. For example, if you find yourself becoming frustrated and angry when you have to rush, work on making more space in your schedule (even if it means saying “no” a little more), and try to eliminate that trigger. If a certain person makes you angry, try to limit their role in your life, if it doesn’t work to talk things out with them first.

It’s also important to learn to let go of grudges and residual anger from each day. Don’t wake up holding a grudge from the night before if you can help it. Focus on forgiveness, even if it means you don’t let someone who wronged you continue to have an important role in your life. When you stay in the present moment as much as possible, this becomes easier.

Practicing stress relievers like meditation can also help you to let go of anger.   Focus on releasing the hold that the past may have on you. Put your attention to the current moment and it becomes easier to avoid rumination and stay in a good place.

How to be a simple person

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

How to be a simple person

It doesn’t matter how great you are at your job. If you don’t relate well with people, you’re not going anywhere.

Relationships make the world go round. Without other people’s feedback, it’s easy to become limited in your own mental silo of information or constrained by your own experiences.

To say that managing emotions is important is an understatement. After all, when was the last time you were motivated to be in a conversation with somebody who was angry, abrasive and just downright mean? Didn’t think so.

If you want to extend your circle of influence you must learn how to work with and through people. Here are five ways to build your inner social butterfly to be a more effective people person:

1. Start with “you.”

Many people confuse the difference between sympathy and empathy. To sympathize is to feel for the other person. To empathize is to view the other person’s perspective from his or her own shoes while not passing judgment. Sympathetic statements originate from you, such as, “I’m sorry to hear about it,” or “My sincerest apologies.” Alternatively, empathic statements are aimed toward the other person, such as, “You must feel so proud!” If you want to turn the tide of relationships, try empathy.

2. Avoid the robot response.

Rather than following the robotic question-answer sequence of, “How are you?” “Good. How are you?” try to actually answer how you feel. Make it personal. After somebody asks you how you are, you could say, “Actually, I’ve had better days. I spent entirely too much money last night and have nothing to show for it but a hangover and an empty wallet — and I put my shoe on backwards this morning.”

Think there would be some follow-up conversation here? Probably.

3. Ask, don’t tell.

What’s the one topic people like talking about the most? Themselves. So the more interest you show in the other person the more he or she finds you interesting. After all, when somebody demonstrates a genuine attentiveness toward you, you don’t turn your back and walk away (or maybe you do and that’s why your co-worker sent you this article).

4. Be quiet and just listen.

One major pet peeve of mine is being in a conversation only to notice the wheels inside the other person’s head begin turning before I (or whomever) finish speaking. What this indicates is that the person isn’t listening but rather thinking of how to respond. When this happens, I like to slow down my rate of speech to see if the other person will chime in.

The point here is to just be present, in the moment, and responsive in your next discussion.

5. Beware your tone.

If you don’t think tone or voice modulation matters, see if you can tell the difference between these two statements: “I can’t believe you did that!” and “I can’t believe you did that!” Notice the difference? They both express surprise, but the former is more praiseworthy whereas the latter conveys more condescension. It’s not all about what you say, but how you say it that matters.

Apply these five tips to your next encounter and watch that social butterfly soar.

How to be a simple person

As a health editor, I spend the majority of my day poring over content related to, well, health. At HuffPost, we’re lucky to talk to experts on a daily basis about how to live our best lives, both mentally and physically. Over time, you start to pick up on some things. Themes begin to emerge loudly and clearly. It becomes obvious what is considered a universal “good.” These things are often relatively straightforward, and it’s clear that life would be happier and healthier if we would just do them. Sure, some of these are easier said than done, but their premises are often simple. I wanted to share a few of my favorites:

1. Have a bedtime. Sleep is considered the third pillar of health, and for good reason. Research is only making it increasingly clear that not getting enough of the stuff can have serious health effects. Meanwhile, getting enough sleep is good for everything ranging from weight, to mood, to even the immune system. One of the simplest things you can do to ensure you get enough sleep each night is to set a bedtime. Forgive yourself if you can’t meet it every night (I tell myself I need to be in bed by midnight, but life gets in the way, and all of a sudden it’s 1:30 a.m.), but make a point to try to stick to it.

2. Understand what emotional intelligence is — and make a point to cultivate it. To have emotional intelligence means to be “confident, good at working towards your goals, adaptable and flexible. You recover quickly from stress and you’re resilient,” psychologist Daniel Goleman previously told HuffPost. It’s made up of five parts: social skills, empathy, motivation, self-awareness and self-regulation. And fortunately, these are all traits you can cultivate. Be curious about things beyond yourself. Know what you’re good at and where you can stand to improve. Try to improve your ability to pay attention.

3. Take a minute. This is something I’m admittedly still working on. I’m an objectively fast person — fast at walking, fast at eating, fast at talking, you get the gist. This also makes me very impatient, and also sometimes very unobservant — stopping to smell the roses has never been my strong suit. But slowing down to appreciate life and all its little moments builds gratitude — and that’s a very healthy thing.

4. Cut out sugar where you can. I used to be a dessert fiend. Cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, if you put it in front of me, I would most definitely eat it. And growing up, I drank some sort of juice at every single meal (being mildly lactose intolerant meant instead of milk, it was OJ at breakfast, OJ at lunch, and OJ at dinner). But the more I learned about how too much sugar affects the body — and how it manages to sneak into all the non-dessert-like foods I also eat — the more I realized I had to wean myself off the sweet stuff. So I started small. Instead of dumping sugar into coffee, I slowly trained myself to go milk-only. (Now, coffee with sugar just seems too sweet.) Instead of drinking juice and soda with meals, I opt for water (and on that note, I don’t keep any beverages besides water in my fridge at home). I don’t buy cakes or cookies from the store, so I’m not tempted to eat them at 10 p.m. when I’m in my apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still indulge in a slice of birthday cake or some ice cream. But those are treats, and I’ve realized that treats are not meant to be eaten all day every day.

5. Find an exercise you actually enjoy. It’s not exactly a secret how much I opposite-of-like running. I’ll still do it, because #health, but there are certainly other ways I’d rather get my fitness in. And that’s completely OK. Research has even shown that whether we think of fitness as “fun” or “exercise” affects how much we end up eating. For me, exercise is a pill best swallowed as volleyball. For you, it may be dancing, or swimming, or riding your bike. Don’t think that just because you don’t like “conventional” exercise — running, going to the gym, etc. — you’re “bad at exercise.” No such thing!

6. Know when to stay off your phone. This is another one of those things I’m still trying to be better at. There are times for Instagramming and texting, and there are times where it’s truly obvious you’re not present because your eyes are glued to your screen. I had one of those moments a few days ago, when I was out to dinner — I was so focused on answering some work emails, that when I finally looked up, I realized my dinner companions were silent, and had been waiting for me to get off my phone. It was a disruption and a distraction, and frankly, quite rude. Let’s all make a point to end the madness.

7. Drink more water. Here at Healthy Living, we’ve dubbed Health and Fitness Senior Editor Sarah Klein the “hydration expert” — she is always seen with a water bottle in hand, and if there’s ever a hydration question, she either knows the answer, or knows the expert to ask. In my years of working with her, I’ve tried to follow her lead. Not only does drinking water keep you feeling full — so you’re not ravenously hungry (and overeating as a result) — it is also a way to not drink sugary beverages. When you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking soda or sugary juice.

8. Cook food yourself. Sure, on the surface, a salad is healthy. But when a restaurant loads it down with sugary salad dressing and croutons, it can be anything but. The same goes for any other food, whether it’s ordered at a restaurant or found in the freezer aisle at the grocery store. What’s become abundantly clear to me, is that the best way to truly know what you’re eating is to just make it yourself. Your eyes may be widened at how much salt you’re eating, for instance, when you’re the one measuring the teaspoons into your dish.

9. Stop worrying so much. Writing this piece about worrying was an eye-opener for me. As a Type A person, I also tend to be a worrier — always wanting to be prepared for the worst, with a Plan A, B and C for action. But here’s a revelation: Worrying isn’t actually action. Worrying is just getting in your own head, creating a spiral of worst-case scenarios (that often don’t even end up happening) that is very rarely productive. Instead, focus on the present. Maintain perspective in a worrying situation, considering what’s actually likely to happen. Have confidence that you will be able to make it through.

How to be a simple person

Jun 12, 2018 · 3 min read

How to be a simple person

Why merely acknowledge your mistakes and accept responsibility when there is an easy and repeatable recipe to sidestep all accountability and recourse against your bad self.

First, let’s get in the right mindset. Repeat after me:

I am never wrong. I am never at fault. No one will hold me accountable.

You are always wrong. You’re bad at what you do. Everyone thinks you suck.

You’re wrong. I did not do that. That is fake. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

This get’s opponents to try and use facts against you to force the reality of what you did. Fortunately, you no longer operate in reality, and their facts are powerless.

How to be a simple person

Deflect

Some other perso n did something worse than what you say I did. How about you prosecute/interview/trash talk that person?

You can use this to extend and destroy your opponent’s logic in two effective ways:

  1. Find a similar topic that your opponent never approached. Put them on the defensive for being biased hypocrites.
  2. Find a topic that is so irrelevant to their argument that it is impossible for them to connect any meaningful thoughts. Attack their credibility when they try to make things logical.

How to be a simple person

Distance

I was not aware. That was not part of my area of work. I was not there. That was just kids being kids. Locker-room talk.

Nothing is more satisfyingly horrible than staring your opponent right in the eyes and telling them you have no idea what they’re talking about. Also works when you separate your current self from past actions so entirely that you may as well be talking about a completely different person.

How to be a simple person

Deride

You are a jerk. Everyone knows you’re a jerk. I’ll call you Mr. Jerk. Let’s all call you Mr. Jerk.

Don’t hold back. It’s their fault anyway. Let ’em have it. Be sure to get everyone else saying it too.

How to be a simple person

Dissonance — Reasonable people can’t talk down a horrible person off their horrible ledge. Stick to your atrociously effective approach of Deny, Deflect, Distance, Deride and logical people will have no tools to use against you. Facts and reason are powerless against your plan.

Attrition — There’s only so many times a reasonable person can argue with someone who repeatedly insists the sky is green and that the wise person is Mr. Bigot for not going after that blue grass. Horrible is tiring to deal with.

Humiliation — If the clerk at your favorite coffee shop shouted childish taunts and insults every-time you went to get a latte, you’d probably find another place for you’re morning Joe.

How to be a simple person

While this approach works frighteningly well, please consider being a decent and reasonable human being instead of a horrible person.

It’s much harder but worth the effort.

About the Author

My name is Richard Kitchen. I work diligently to be a reasonable and compassionate human being. To learn more about me, please visit my LinkedIn page.

How to be a simple person

We all want to be better. Better at our jobs, better lovers,happier overall. but it’s easier said than done thanks to how easily our emotions and willpower get swayed by everyday life. But if you learn how to avoid those pitfalls, your life will suddenly get a whole lot better.

And so, with a little help from Entrepreneur, Psychology Today, and a good bit of research by yours truly, here are 10 expert ways to be a mentally stronger person.

1. Deal with your emotions

Take a minute to think about what you do when you’re feeling some unsavory emotions. Do you bury yourself in your bed and sleep for hours when you’re sad? Do you binge eat when you’re stressed? Grab a bottle and start drinking when you’re angry?

While we’re all guilty of doing at least one of those things, none of them are really good for actually dealing with our emotions and working through them in a healthy way. That’s why, to be a mentally stronger person, you need to learn better coping skills. Instead of self-medicating or engaging in other self-destructive behaviors, try some of these:

  • Write in a journal. Putting those intense thoughts on paper actually helps you process them.
  • Go for a walk or run. Physical activity (without over-exerting yourself) will help you calm down, and the boost of endorphins will help you feel so much better.
  • Meditate! Empty your mind and push all those bad thoughts aside. You’ll reduce negative emotions, feel more patient, and will be able to cope better.

How to be a simple person

Even Mad Men’s Don Draper dabbled in meditation. (Photo: AMC)

2. Delay gratification

Instant gratification is something we all love. However, science tells us that delaying it is so, so important for success, and only those who have the willpower to keep from indulging in a moment’s enjoyment reap the successes later on.

Here’s some research to support this: In one of the most famous psychological studies of all time, called the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, researchers at Stanford University tested the willpower of children by giving them a marshmallow before leaving the room for 15 minutes. The children were told that they could eat the marshmallow immediately, but if they waited until the researcher returned, they’d get a second one.

The children who patiently waited those agonizing 15 minutes and got a second marshmallow went on to be more successful in life than those who couldn’t resist, and had higher SAT scores, more successful careers, and even lower BMIs.

3. Learn to say “no”

For many of us, saying no is pretty damn hard. But research from the University of California in San Francisco revealed that the harder it is for you to say no to people, the more likely you are to be stressed, get burnt out, and even depressed. And that’s not good.

That said, mentally strong people don’t have a problem saying no, which keeps them from overcommitting themselves. If you say yes to things you don’t want to do, or every time someone asks you for help or invites you somewhere, you won’t have any time for yourself, nor will you be happy.

Long story short, try to incorporate the word “no” more into your vernacular. Your mind and body will thank you.

How to be a simple person

4. Give up bad habits

In order to be a mentally strong person, you need to ditch your bad habits ASAP, because you can’t move forward with them weighing you down. Some of the absolute worst habits to kick include:

  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Surrounding yourself with negative people or people you don’t like
  • Ruminating on the past
  • Being afraid of change
  • Not learning from your mistakes
  • Worrying about things you can’t control or change

Once you get rid of those toxic habits, your life will get exponentially better. Trust.

5. Don’t blame others

If you fuck up or something goes wrong, do you play the blame game? Or do you take responsibility for what happened?

Even though it’s often easiest to throw blame on others, it’s never a good thing. For example, if your girlfriend gets upset with you often about a certain thing you do – for instance, not being thoughtful — and you find yourself blaming her for starting a fight and making you feel bad, try thinking about it from her perspective. What did or didn’t you do that made her upset?

Taking responsibility for your problems is incredibly empowering and so, so important to building mental strength, because only then will you be able to learn from your mistakes and avoid them in the future, solve problems, and be more successful.

6. Overcome your inner critic

Thanks to a little something called the self-fulfilling prophecy, being your own worst critic is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Those negative thoughts only set you up for failure, so instead of judging and criticizing yourself and expecting the worst outcome of a situation, try to force yourself to believe that you’re going to succeed in anything you do.

However, if those pesky negative thoughts persist, take a minute to really think about them, and odds are you’ll realize that some of them are completely irrational.

7. Be grateful

Life, my friend, is a giant bitch. As you already know, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, this beautiful thing called life flings some serious horse shit our way, and we simply need to roll up our sleeves and deal with it.

But here’s the difference between people who possess great mental strength versus those who don’t: Mentally strong people deal with their sorrows and problems gracefully and focus on what they’re grateful for, whereas those who aren’t wallow in self-pity…which is never, ever productive.

So, to be a mentally stronger person, work on training yourself to practice gratitude for all of the wonderful things in your life, and you can do it by something as simple as keeping a little notepad next to your bed and writing down three things you’re thankful for before going to sleep. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s one of the most effective ways to be a stronger, happier person.