Sunday, February 16, 2014

A better version….

I am beginning to learn something I wished I had learned decades ago. I don’t have to be better than you (no one in particular), don’t have to prove anything to you (again no one in particular, different for everyone). Let me brake it down in this way, I don’t have to be stronger than the guy next to me in the gym, I don’t have to be smarter than the person next to me in the classroom, and I don’t have to be more spiritual than the person next to me in church. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, not my father, my brothers, my friends, my co-workers, or my children.

I only have to be better than I was yesterday.
I only have to prove some things to myself.
I only need to strive to become a better version of myself.

Now to determine what is a better version of me and act upon it, I find myself looking to role models. Tony Robbins (self-help guru of the 80's and 90's) highly suggests finding the top people in the areas of life you want to improve in and emulate them. Not to be them or beat them, but to improve yourself.

Role models can from so many places, friends, congregation members, and even fiction. When I think of the pinnacle father archetype that I wanted to be like I thought of my dad, I thought of Wilford Brimley in Our Family, and the father on the Waltons.
When I want to be the best friend I can be, I think of those great friends I found in literature, Frodo and Samwise, or Silk and Barak, or Rand and Matt and Perrin. When I want to be a better man, I can look to friends that embody those characteristics I want to improve and I can again look to fiction in the form of Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, or Strider (Aragorn) in LOTR, or Belgarion in the Belgariad (seriously you people should read these).

Once we have our role model, whoever it is, then we must act.

One of the things I was lucky enough to learn early in my career was try to objectively to see what is right for this student in this place at this time.
I need to give myself that same consideration, what is right for me, in this place at this time. I cannot begin from anywhere other than where I am. In my physical fitness, I cannot begin Olympic level training I simply must start with what I can do. The same applies to all other areas as well…I must start from where I am at and simply try to improve a little every day.

It sounds so simple.