Great people, great teams, great organizations have something in common. They’re always getting better. They’re not perfect by any stretch and make their share of mistakes, but they learn from them and move on.
When I reflect on my own life, I notice I’ve developed habits that nurture a continuous improvement of self. These habits serve to develop my inward being rather than obsess with the external, i.e goals, awards, promotions, possessions and other material things. My mind, heart and spirit are harmoniously aligned to yield the character I want to have. Every day, I get a little more loving, happier, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle, faithful and in control of my emotions and behavior. Like David in the Old Testament, I strive to become a man after God’s own heart.
This is hard work. It requires discipline, focus and forgiveness. If I let the “daily grind” pull me through life, my circumstances dictate my happiness, I get stuck and I’m unable to make progress. I have to be intentional with my time. Accepting that I’ll make mistakes and knowing that people will hurt me, I must have an eye towards learning, letting go and pressing on.
How I spend my time empowers me to do this:
- It’s alone time. No schedule, no other people, no noise, no demands. Just me and God, and I experience His presence.
- It’s behind the scenes time. It’s private, out of the pubic eye. No one sees me, except for God. I don’t do it for anyone’s approval, but His.
- It’s not glamorous time. It’s not exciting, charmingly attractive, magical, or full of adventure. The spotlight is not on me.
I’ve taken to heart what the great John Wooden once said,
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching. … Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”– John Wooden