Whether it is becoming more courteous, conscientious, or even more assertive, you can always change your relations towards others -- and your immediate environment. A clean desk, room, or car, can reflect a peaceful state of mind, just as a cluttered house or workplace indicates disarray -- or just a work-in-progress. A healthy body, with regular exercise, can improve your mood and thought process.
One of the biggest internal conflicts I've had, and that has stuck with me, is balancing drive and mindfulness. When should we healthily pursue our goals -- with our full focus and intelligence -- and when should we feel content in the moment, and enjoy what is in front of us?
I am not a patient person, I think. I can be very neurotic and temperamental, and quick to judgement and emotion. These are the qualities of myself I have to accept and adapt. But along with these emotions, I am always trying to find what's next -- what is the next big goal, what is the next big thing, et cetera. I end up chasing many avenues; once I become settled with one skill, or goal, or type of work, I tend to become tired of it, questioning its logic. It's not a fun exercise, this cycle of chasing and wanting -- but I think, deep down, I am very afraid of stagnation, of not being able to prove my worth when I am not "achieving" some external goal. I was afraid that, if I am not creating something interesting or exciting, I am not growing as a person.
I think I am more grown-up now, having understood that maintaining relationships and practicing self-care (eating, exercising) are just as important as work and learning. There is a fine line between "following curiosity" and "burn out from chasing." There is only 24 hours in a day, and of that perhaps 10-12 productive working hours. We can be in love with our work, and driven by passion -- but we cannot forget about the everyday world, with its messy beauty and random street people and glorious sunlight through trees. We need to go on that lunch break walk, to reconnect with real life outside the cubicle. We need to take a breather - to understand that while there are big goals, and dreams, every small moments still count. In the larger worldview, the "break" can actually help us reach our goal.