By Kristen Manieri

How to Be a Better Person with Kate Hanley

This week my guest is writer Kate Hanley, who shared insights from her book, How to Be a Better Person: 400+ Simple Ways to Make a Difference in Yourself–And the World.

I was speaking to a friend the other day about the different ways we’re seeing various people responding to what’s happening in the world. Some people are doubling down on news, sharing news and talking about news. Some people are turning outward, getting social while social distancing, planning virtual board game nights, etc. Some people are coming up with creative ideas to help or connect. And some people are really sad, lonely and afraid, perhaps turning inward and getting really quiet.

I have all the space in the world for wherever you are on that spectrum. But here’s something I’ve discovered lately: when I am feeling angry, afraid or hopeless, as soon as I get into action to do something for someone else, even if it’s my own two kids, something shifts in me. It’s impossible to think two thoughts at the same time. So, when we focus our thinking on being of service to others or ways to be better to ourselves, we spend less time thinking about our fear or anger.

better person

What’s ahead in this interview with Kate Hanley is not only some inspiration for how to be a better person right now during this global pandemic, but also when it’s over and also to ourselves. Being good to ourselves and to others is really all we’re left with at the moment. And maybe, that’s all living a good life ever came down to… our capacity to be a good person.

I am so grateful that Kate could join me this week for this conversation. You can connect with her at katehanley.com.


I actually created a printable download for you with ideas inspired from Kate’s book, How to be a Better Person. Submit the form below for five ideas for how to start your day more mindfully. Enter your name and email address, press submit and the download will appear.


  1. Start by thinking about how you define what it means to be a better person. This will be very individualized. Once you have it defined, you start to check in on your progress and you have something to aim at. And remember, this isn’t about being the best or being perfect. It’s about always evolving toward the best you can be for you.
  2. A simple way to be a better person, especially right now, is to assume that everyone is just doing their best. When we see our neighbors, our leaders, or even strangers in a store, how can we give everyone a little space and grace and blame and judge less? When we extend some patience, compassionate and the benefit of the doubt, we start to cultivate some gentleness and generosity with those we share this planet with.
  3. Part of being a better person is how we take care of ourselves. This includes rest, solitude, stress-relief and fuel. In order to have stamina, a clear mind and an open hart, we need self-care.
  4. Actively cultivate the ability to focus on the good. It’s important to look at a problem straight in the face and to stay informed. But it’s also important to see a brighter side, to see blessings, silver linings, and things to be grateful for.
  5. Start your day off well. Spend some time in the morning righting your ship and choosing the direction of your day before the winds of life blow your way. This could be a morning walk, time in reflection or perhaps journaling or meditation.


Thank you for being here today. If you benefited from this episode, take a quick screenshot and text it to a friend. Who knows, maybe it’s exactly what he/she needs to hear today.

Until next time,

Stay mindful!

Subscribe to the newsletter