If You Want Better Then Be Better

I would hazard a guess that every person on earth wants “better.” They want to do better, have better, speak better, love better or just plain be better. 

It doesn’t matter what race they are, it doesn’t matter what country they are from. Their faith or lack of faith, their age, and their level of education doesn’t matter either. Everyone wants better.

I’d guess a day hardly goes by that the majority of humans don’t think of something or someone that could be better. Sometimes that “thought” turns into a complaint. Sometimes people will give voice to that complaint by saying “why doesn’t somebody do something?” 

Why indeed! 

Can you imagine a world in which that question was never asked? Can you imagine a world in which instead of asking that “why doesn’t” question they just did it?

Can you imagine a world in which YOU never ask that question but instead just do something?

I’m reminded of a poem first shared with me 25 years ago by my great friend and mentor, Mark Norman. I think of this often when I fall into the trap of thinking “somebody” ought to do something. Here is the poem: 

Your task,

To build a better world said God.

I answered: “How?”

The world is such a large vast place

So complicated now,

And I so small and useless am,

There’s nothing I can do.

But God in his great wisdom said: 

“Just build a better you”.

                          Author unknown

There are certainly many things that could be better that you and I have no control over.  Trying to control those things will only add unneeded stress to your life. So instead of trying to control what you can’t why not commit to controlling and bettering what you can.

You!

One of my goals for each day is simple: be a little better today at something than I was yesterday. It’s a worthy goal and some days I achieve it. I achieve it on the days when I intentionally go after it. The key to achieving almost any goal, even simple ones, is intentionality. You won’t get better by accident, you’ll get better by purpose, on purpose, for a purpose.

Decide today that the “somebody” who “ought to do something” is you. Make a plan, set a goal and get after it! 

Always remember, when you make a difference for even one person you have made a difference for the world. Even if that one person is just little ol’ you.

Do You Really Matter?

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Would the world miss you if you were gone tomorrow? Would anyone notice you weren’t around anymore? Would anyone care?

The answer to those questions, all those questions, is a resounding YES! Even if you have days you might not be so sure the answer remains a resounding YES!

You see, you actually have a wonderful life!

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Jimmy Stewart classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

It’s a holiday movie but it’s message is true every day of the year. You matter!

The movie is about a guy named George, he grew up in a small town but he had a big heart. He was constantly doing good for others, often while sacrificing his own wants and needs in the process. George was a good guy.

Well, through no fault of his own George ran into some major trouble one Christmas Eve (while protecting his uncle Billy) and his options dried up faster than an ice cube in the desert. He decided that the world, his family and his friends would be better off without him. His small life insurance policy could do more for his wife and kids than he ever could. In all his troubles he decided that not only didn’t he matter anymore, he decided that he never really mattered at all.

He decided to jump from a bridge into freezing water below and end it all.

What George had forgotten was all the people whose lives he had touched. All those people knew George was struggling and they prayed for him, they prayed hard.

Their prayers were answered when an angle named Clarence showed up. His mission was to help George “see” that he actually had a wonderful life. If Clarence accomplished his mission he would earn his wings, George would be just fine and everyone would live happily ever after.

Clarence earned his wings by showing George how different (and worse) so many people’s lives would be if he hadn’t been there. As it turned out, simple small town George mattered and he mattered a lot.

You and me, sometimes we need a Clarence. We need a Clarence to help us keep things in perspective. We need a Clarence to help us “see” what our struggles keep us from seeing. We need a Clarence to remind us of all the good things in our lives (even when most everything might not look so good ) and we need a Clarence to help us be certain that we matter.
Your “Clarence” might be a spouse or a parent. Maybe a close friend or a mentor. Your “Clarence” might even be you.

This much is certain, from time to time you are going to need some positive affirmation. You’re going to need to be reminded just what a difference you make in this world and in the lives of the people around you.

You need to know that you would be missed, you need to know that YOU MATTER because you most certainly do.

On Purpose or For a Purpose?

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When asked the question what is your purpose in life, the majority of people simply do not have an answer.

Successful people know that there is a world of difference between doing something on purpose and doing something for a purpose. The people that do things for a purpose do them better, with more passion, with more intensity, with more focus and with more success.

Determining our purpose in life begins with a thorough and complete goal-setting process. The goal setting process begins by determining our core values in life. Our core values are those things that we believe in with every fiber of who we are. These are beliefs that are not negotiable, they are the rock solid principles on which we build our life.

Those core values guide every decision and judgment we make, when we know our core values, tough decisions are made much easier. The decision either fits into one of our core values or not. In essence once we determine our core values our decisions are already made, we only need to apply those values to any question that comes up.

Once our core values are determined we can begin to set goals in our life, short range goals of perhaps only a day two up to as much as 30 days, midrange goals of 30 days to a year and long-range goals of up to 5 to 10 years.

Each of those goals should lead us to our purpose in life, once everything we do, or perhaps nearly everything we do, leads us towards our purpose in life our stress levels go down, our enthusiasm levels go up our excitement and enjoyment levels go way up.

It’s only when we’re working towards our goals and purpose in life that we are truly productive, anything else is just busy. It’s almost impossible to be happy when we’re busy but when we’ll working towards our goals for a purpose we can be happy no matter how much we have to do.

So here’s your question for the week: Do you know your purpose in life? If not, don’t just make one up, we don’t decide our purpose in life, we discover it. Discover yours and absolutely everything you do, you’ll do better!

An aside: I should write an entire blog on goal setting but here’s a couple of points: if it’s not written down it’s not a goal. If you don’t have a specific plan to achieve the goal, you won’t. Less than 5% of people have a formalized goal setting process in place! (that’s why I need to write about it)