(by Cathryn Conroy) Who you are as a person isn't frozen in stone. You can change -- for better or worse. if you want to be a better person -- or a better spouse, parent, friend or employee -- it could be a simple matter of adopting the right traits. Based on numerous Internet discussions and lessons learned from life, here are the top 10 best qualities for any person.
1. Be honest
Honesty is a way of life. It means you don't steal, you don't cheat on your taxes and you are faithful to your spouse. Here's a quick test to determine your level of honesty: You give a cashier $10 for a magazine, candy and soft drink. The tab comes to $8.15. Instead of giving you $1.85 in change, she gives you $10.85. That is, instead of a $1 bill, you get a $10 bill. You notice it immediately. What do you do?
2. Be happy
It's not about money, looks or status. Being genuinely grateful for what you have and looking forward to the dawn of each day can make you feel a kind of happiness that is contagious.
3. Be respectful of others
When you treat others as you would like to be treated, you are showing the ultimate kind of respect.
4. Be easygoing and fun
As the old saying goes, "Live, laugh, love." Slow down from life's frantic pace and have fun--whether it's an unscheduled day playing hooky from your responsibilities or just a few minutes respite from the grind.
5. Be confident
Once you accept there is always someone out there who is better than you, you can realize your own abilities. Be confident in what you can--and cannot -- do.
6. Be emotionally open
Be open and honest with those you love. Express your opinions and listen to theirs without criticizing.
7. Be disciplined
No one is watching over your shoulder when you slack off -- except you. Self-discipline means you have a finely tuned sense of ethics, of what is right and what is wrong, and you act accordingly. You are strong enough to say no to life's many temptations, from food to drugs to illicit sex.
8. Take pride in yourself
while too much pride can be seen as sinful, we all need to feel some pride in who we are, where we live and what we do. That kind of pride helps define who you are in your world.
9. Be compassionate
Being empathic to the needs of others and doing good deeds to ease others' suffering is one of the most basic acts of kindness and goodness we accomplish as human beings.
10. Have a sense of humor
You have to be able to laugh, especially at yourself. There is humor in almost every situation. You just have to find it. And laughing is almost always better than crying.