Sunday, January 10, 2010

Better People

"It has always seemed to him that after living another twenty-four hours, you ought to be a better person than you were when the day began."

This quote hit me between the eyes when I came across it in a book I was reading. I wrote it down. I underlined it and earmarked the page to be sure the next reader didn't miss such a wonderful sentiment. I don't know how many people start their day with the thought that when they crawl back into bed at night, they should be better. How well we all would sleep if we could turn the lights out knowing we had improved the quality of our selves by some increment each day.
What if we ended each day a better person than we started it?

In order to determine the steps to becoming a better person, one must inevitably examine their own "opportunities for growth", as our workplace evaluations like to refer to them ("flaws" is another term often used.)

I realize I spend a good deal of time musing, analyzing, planning, and far less time actually doing. I think if I were to jump in and start working on things, I might learn a bit in the process and be closer to achieving my goals than my current system of considering all possible options and finally going with one when I just can't think any longer.

I want to be more considerate. Every year, without fail, I resolve to stop cutting people off mid-sentence. It is so rude. I might as well say- "My thought is more important/interesting/relevant than yours." (I would defend myself by explaining my ditsy-self's tendency to forget thoughts not immediately verbalized, but there really is no good excuse for poor manners. My mother raised me better.) I think I will let the Golden Rule be my guide on this one, and simply make a more concentrated effort to do unto others as I would have done to me.

I want to be productive. I want to get out of the habit of making things routine. I make a pointed effort to streamline my days and make my weeks more predictable (read: comfortable), I create little routines for each day, each segment of my life. Working out, packing lunches, staff meetings, groceries. With so many routines, there aren't a lot of fresh experiences to be had. Each day comes with it's own set of experiences and challenges, but in general, I feel I almost fight adopting new things in my job. I want to be the kind of person who embraces change and is open to new things. By learning and trying new things constantly, I can only become a more-educated, well-balanced, open person. Right?

At the end of the day, I feel like my best self when I have done what someone needed me to do and I am spending time with the people I care most about. I can only see people as much as time and geography will allow, I can give my best effort at anything I try. If I can do that in all of my waking hours, I may be able to become a better version of myself.