I think one everlasting truth about life is how to become better daily. In the insurance industry, the greatest challenge is often how to sell insurance to people, who generally do not need it. No one wakes up one day and thinks he needs an insurance policy. Usually there are trigger events like the death of someone. some sickness etc. In the same way, no one wakes up one day and thinks he needs to push himself to be better.
Then this begets another more important question, how to remind oneself to strive for betterment? Some suggestions are:
(1) think of your own mortality – the samurais of the past do this constantly as they can fall and die at the single stroke of an opponent’s sword.
(2) distort your time – this is the less extreme method of #1. Since man is bound by the limits of time and space, distorting our time would add more fuel to the burning. There is a difference in our approach and energy if we need to complete something in 1 hour vs 10 hours.
(3) learn from others’ mistakes – perhaps the only time we wish others could make more mistakes. The sage of the past once said we cant afford to make all the mistakes in the world as we wont have enough lifetime to experience them all.
In a war zone, any army veteran will always tell you to keep moving to increase your survivability. Versus hiding and staying put in one place hoping to avoid enemy detection. In the same way in life, we have to keep moving forward. By constantly improving, we increase our probability to lead a fulfilling life.
Which type of person are you and remember the pitfall:
(1) The burn outs – remember that life is a marathon, not a 100m sprint. We have to pace ourselves. Biting more than we could chew at any point in time will lead to an irrecoverable burn out situation and we might just give up continuing what we have embarked on. This group does 10 things at one point in time. They know they need to improve but they often never complete what they have set out to do. The solution is so simple for this group – of the 10 things you plan to do, drop eight items and focus on the remaining two.
(2) The procrastinator – this group is like the proverbial deer caught in the headlight. They are paralyzed by inaction. They know that they need to do something but they just could not get it started. They got caught unaware by life’s headlights. The solution to this group is – just do something; a mini goal, a milestone for fuck sake. On a daily basis.
The title that I picked for this post is “what is a better version of yourself”, not “what is the best version of yourself” (which implies a final checkpoint) or “what is the better version of yourself” (which implies one alternative/possible scenario). What is a better version of yourself means a daily upward progress, slow yet steady and more importantly, unrelenting. Yeah, I think the key word here is really unrelenting, i.e. unyielding to life’s natural downward gravitational pull.
Today, are you better than the yesterday you?