A backhoe lifting concrete

Do you want to be better?

That sounds like a silly question, I know. Who doesn’t want to be better in some way? A better person, better at your job, a better spouse, friend, a better listener, a better writer, etc.

Identify what area(s) you want to be better at, then ask yourself that question again: Do I REALLY want to be better?

Here’s the kicker, to really want better, you have to want all of the things that come along with it. This often requires taking a hard look at what our mindset is about what we want, what emotions may be blocking us from getting those things, and if we are willing to do the work to get to where we want to be.

If you want a different lifestyle, but you aren’t willing to put the work into making that lifestyle a reality, then it’s not going to come.

Beach with waves

Think about your ideal life. I’m not asking where you want to be in 5 years or 10 years. Don’t place any specific times on things right now. Just think about what your ideal life would look like right now. Do you want to be hanging out on a beach all day, or living on a mountain where you can hit the slopes anytime you want to? Do you want to work for someone, let them deal with the stresses of being in charge, or do you want to be your own boss and be in charge of the decisions being made? Do you want to have time to write and create?

Trees with snow on them

Think about the specifics of what that life would look like. What would your typical day look like? How much money would you have to have to sustain that lifestyle (roughly)? Where would you live? What type of house would you be living in? What would you want to be doing to make the money to keep yourself in this lifestyle? Would your life look similar to what it does now, but with a few tweaks?

Why am I asking all of these questions? Because people think about the destination that they want to get to, but they rarely think about what it will take to get there. Even more than that, they almost never think about how their mindset about life will affect them in that journey.

Not thinking about these things will leave you stuck in the dreaming phase, you’ll never advance to the doing phase: where you actually get to enjoy that life that you want. This is why a lot of people spin their wheels throughout life and never make any headway towards where they actually want to be.

Everyone seems to think there will be this day that everything changes and they will suddenly have the lifestyle they dream about, but not many people actually think about what it will take to get to that point.

People think, one day I’ll hit the lottery and then I can have whatever I want, I’ll have the lifestyle I’ve always wanted. I have nothing against playing the lottery, or winning by any stretch, don’t get me wrong. But even if you win the lottery, and you have the same mindset, it won’t actually change things for you forever. We’ve all heard stories about those people who win millions and then a few years later they are broke and back to living the same life they were before they won.

Why does this happen? Because their mindset was the same. Even though they had won millions they still saw the world as a place that doesn’t have enough for everyone. Or they thought they could live however they wanted, buy whatever they wanted, without really having a plan.

It’s the same thing for people who want to do better in other ways in life. If you want better then you have to be willing to do better.

If you want to be a better listener, but you always insist on being the center of attention, you’re going to have a hard time. You have to allow others to be the center of attention for awhile if you are going to learn to listen.

If you want to be better at your job, but you don’t want to work more hours, learn anything new, or change how you do things, then you’re not likely to succeed. To be better at your job you may need to learn new skills, work a little different or more hours, and/or change how you are doing your job.

Just like in the movie Hidden Figures: The ladies wanted better, but if they had been unwilling to learn the new IBM system they would have just been phased out. They had to be willing to adapt and learn new things to advance themselves forward.

Really wanting to be better requires us to work at it. Most times it requires us to change how we do things in some way. Sometimes it requires us to change our perspective on the world. It definitely requires us to step outside of our comfort zone. If you aren’t willing to do any of those things, then look back at that thing you want to do better and ask yourself why you want it. Finding the why in what you want will help you identify if it’s actually important enough to you for you to do the work that is necessary to achieve that goal.

To be better requires us to dig deep and figure out what emotions, what feelings, what past events are blocking us.

Then you can find the steps that you need to take to get you to where you want to be in life. You can start to see what the life of your dreams will actually require and you can make progress much more quickly. You will be less likely to be stuck in that routine rut, and more likely to be one of the ones that inspires others to live the life of their dreams.

Read our related post, “Is it Wrong or Greedy to Want Better”.