Just Do It

Jonathan Clements

WANT TO TAKE SOME simple steps to improve your life, as well as that of those around you? Here are 11 things to do today:

  1. Look somebody in the eye and say, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”
  2. Stop talking about yourself and, instead, ask folks about their life.
  3. Throw out something you’ve been meaning to get rid of.
  4. Read an article by somebody you disagree with—and think hard about whether he or she might be at least partially right.
  5. Stop pretending to family and friends that everything is great. Tell someone about a weakness you struggle with or a problem in your life.
  6. Think about somebody rich or famous. Now ask yourself: Is his or her life as great as you imagine—or is it a mixture of good and bad, just like yours? Arguably, the rich and famous have it worse than the rest of us: They have far more than others and yet they’re almost certainly dissatisfied. But at the same time, they can’t complain, because people will think they’re a bunch of whiners.
  7. Spend five extra minutes exercising.
  8. Donate to a charity.
  9. Get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  10. Ponder the things you’re looking forward to most in the year ahead.
  11. Take a moment to think about your favorite people and possessions—and be grateful for your good fortune.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @ClementsMoney and on Facebook. His most recent articles include Eyes ForwardLow Blows and Saving MyselfJonathan’s latest books: From Here to Financial Happiness and How to Think About Money.

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3 years ago

“Read an article by somebody you disagree with—and think hard about whether he or she might be at least partially right.”

This is exactly what is so wrong with America now. The dogmatic stances and the righteous anger – everyone is yelling so loudly and tweeting so madly, that no one is heard. The skill of listening and the art of civil discourse is mocked and disrespected by those who never learned these skills – and society is increasingly supporting it.

If only more people could open their mind just a crack, explore an opinion different than their own, look at something with a new perspective and consider that just maybe, it could lead to a change of heart – or a bit more empathy and understanding. It certainly would help us solve some of our most dangerous problems right now.

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