Every day and in every way you are getting a little better! But, are you really? Is improvement a part of your life? Can you read a little faster, comprehend a little deeper, think a little clearer, plan a little better, or respond a little quicker? These are all important, but none of them will bring more meaning to your life. They are purely function skills, attributes of humanness, for which we take tests to assess our human progress. Who cares? Well you say, the person administering the test does!
How about turning 180 degrees and rather than looking at functional improvement, look at character and life improvement! For example: Can I care a little more? Can I love at a deeper level and forgive a little faster? Can I surrender a little easier or reflect a little more clearly? Can I share of myself more frequently? Do I understand myself and what I am called to do with my life? The first questions lead to function expertise while the latter questions lead to life fulfillment. The reason so many people end up functionally astute and meaningfully barren, is that they focus on quicker, better, faster, rather than deeper and fuller. Do you feel fullness in your life or just more business in your life? The pivotal difference is how you define what you are doing. The secret is to focus on the "Why?" not the "What?"
Our offices are just down the street from one of the larger fitness organizations in the world. Each day the cars, bumper to bumper, stream into their parking lot. Now they have built a massive parking ramp, a parking ramp to hold the overabundance of people yearning to exercise. Daily they workout, daily they sweat their way to what they believe will be a better life. But is that really the outcome? Well, you cannot have a better anything if you cannot define what that better is. In my years of experience of engaging people in the meaning of life, love, joy, fulfillment and purpose, working out has never been their object, their goal. Now don't retaliate to what I am saying. I am not being critical of exercise or fitness, but like in everything Aristotle purported, the object of the outcome must be bigger than the function to get you there. Why do you exercise? Why do you want to be healthy? Why do you want to live longer? Is the object exercise, better health or to live longer? No! The object is to be of a sound mind, body and spirit so that you can contribute more of what was meant for you to do in making the world a better place. The function is fitness; however, the object is to be able to give more of yourself to focusing on the good in the world. It is the same with your work. Is the object of your work, work? Or is it the higher purpose of what you do focused on improving the lives of others, making the world a better place.
Yesterday, I spoke to ninety high school students about ethics. The title was, "Doing the right thing!" They got it, it was amazing. I came away believing the world has a chance to get better with each good thing these young adults do every day. So what is the object of your work in relation to the object of your life? What is the purpose of all that you commit to? Having a higher purpose and living out the needed actions in all things, even if they seem small, is the only way to become better every day.