There is a quote that says, “The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” This quote is a good reminder of not falling into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. However, it is also a good reminder that we should always be in a state of growth and progress, and to never settle for the status quo or become apathetic in our thinking. As individuals, leaders, husbands, wives, bosses, employees, etc., we should always be looking for ways to better ourselves and keep growing.
The world can be a dark place at times, and I believe that is due to a stagnant mindset. When we begin to have the, “This is me, so deal with it” mindset, we alienate our potential and hold ourselves back from becoming more. That statement is apathy at its best. That statement says more about you and your character than it does anything else.
Everybody wants to complain that, “The world is going to Hell in a handbasket.” Whether this is true or not, the reality is if we all learned to focus on our own problems and issues and work at becoming better human beings, the world would be a better place. Instead of pointing fingers and pushing blame, we would take ownership of our own faults and failures and work to be better. I know, this is not easy to do, but the right thing is rarely the easier thing to do. When we put our energy into becoming better, everybody else’s “issues” become less important. In other words, our focus needs to be on our own growth and becoming the best version of ourselves as possible.
We tend to care way too much about things we cannot control. We get irritated at our boss for the decisions they are making. We get frustrated with our spouse for the things he or she said or did. We get angry with a government that seems to be incompetent. We worry about what the media is saying and how the world seems to only be filled with negativity. To be completely honest, not a single one of those examples should matter to us. They are outside of our control. Meaning getting angry, frustrated, and worrisome is going to do nothing but create a negative mindset within us. If we can’t control it, we need to learn to let it go. This is part of the process of growing and becoming better.
Each of us has a three foot radius that is within our control. If something is outside of those three feet, it’s beyond our control, and we need not waste energy, emotions, or thought on it. Becoming better means we are able to detach ourselves from issues and problems that are beyond our locus of control. One of the best ways to start this process is to turn off the TV, limit time and access to social media, and start reading and journaling. By reading, we are able to focus on self-improvement. By journaling, we are able to write out our thoughts and ideas and keep a record of our improvements.
Becoming better should be our goal on a daily basis. Some days we will hit the mark. Other days we will fall short. Either way, our push to become better should never wane. Discipline is key, and it will take intentional effort to disassociate ourselves from issues and problems that are beyond our control. When you find yourself caring more about others’ actions and words, detach yourself from the situation – take a physical step back – and focus only on that which is within your control.
Be confident, but stay humble. Stand with conviction, but be willing to listen and learn. Be angry, but do not let the anger control you. Be passionate, but do not let that passion destroy the relationships around you. Be focused, but not self centered. In all things, be willing to grow and become better. The more we all do this, the better our world will become.
As always, stay humble and serve well!