How To Become A Little Better
Instead of seeking massive leaps, strive to become a little better.
We feel that the world wants us to be much more. This pressure leads to frustration as we measure ourselves against a mythical person who should have been.
Instead of this oppressive situation, I offer another approach: seek to become a little better. From working with and studying successful people, I have seen how small improvements build into sustainable success and happiness.
Three concepts that you can use to become a little better include consistency, presence, and clarity. I picked these concepts because they build off of one another; these concepts are interrelated. Improving in one of these areas makes the remaining two principles easier.
Consistency means showing up and doing something every day.
On some days, we show up and push our limits. On some days, we show up and finish five minutes later, wishing we could have done more. But we benefit and improve when we show up. Showing up gives us the key to improving.
Consistency rules because success happens over time. Success builds day after day — no silver bullet takes you from one level to another. Instead of seeking inspiration or divine intervention, we must make our future brick by brick. We must build stone by consistent stone.
Consistency aids in the process of slowly uncovering clarity about our goals. Consistency helps presence because it makes it easier to get into the moment.
Presence means being present in the moment of whatever you are doing. If you are writing, you are writing. If you are eating dinner, you are eating dinner. All of this appears obvious, I am sure.
We quickly understand what presence means, but the world conspires against presence. That makes implementing the concept deceptively tricky.
Some tools to regain presence include meditation and exercise. While other methods can build presence, these two seem to work well for many.
Not obsessing about the past and the future makes us present.
Presence helps to achieve clarity because it allows us to make an honest assessment of what matters. Being present helps with consistency because it maximizes repeated efforts.
Clarity involves discovering the “why?” of what it is that you are doing. Without a compelling why — in other words, a purpose — actions lack meaning, and you won’t be able to find the consistency and presence needed to follow through on your goals.
Getting clarity may not always be easy. It’s a process of slowly uncovering your values. Getting clarity means learning about the things for which you stand. And getting there also involves understanding what items you will not do so that you can spend more of yourself on the things that you have deemed to be important.
Clarity helps with consistency by giving you a reason to show up when you don’t feel like it. Clarity supports presence by reminding you of what’s extraneous.