In life, there are certain things that people will say to you that you will never forget. I wrote about one such quote in a previous post, Practice Makes Permanent. Today, I go down a different path to remember a conversation that wasn’t so positive.
Here’s the scene: It’s 10 years ago and I had just started my sophomore year of college. Two of my friends from high school were getting married and I had come back home for their wedding. Many people from my high school were in attendance, including a few of my former teachers. As I was talking and discussing with one of my former teachers what I had done for the last 2 years, she smiled and told me, “That’s so great. I’m glad you finally got your life together.”
Wait, what? Finally got my life together? Did I not have a good life in the first place? I may not have been a straight A student, but I got pretty good grades; never caused trouble; never disturbed class; got accepted to a great college. Was my life not together in high school?
To be honest, that conversation disturbed me for many years (come on, who remembers most normal conversations after 10 years?). I had a lot of respect for this teacher (and still do!), but I was disappointed to think that my self-image may not have matched up with what I truly had been.
I’ve been fortunate over the last few months to meet a lot of inspiring people in the CC and blog community, and what I have come to realize is that life is a journey where many people strive to improve on a daily basis. Upon setting my weight loss goal, I told myself that not only was I going to get down to my goal weight by the end of December, but I was going to spend all of 2014 trying to get in the best shape that I have ever been in. I want to improve and get better every day. A better husband, a better runner, a better son, a better weightlifter, a better brother, a better worker… a better person. Every year, every month, every week, and every day, I want to see progress.
I challenge my readers to go out and do the same. Wake up in the morning and challenge yourself to improve. Pick something that you want to get better at and do it. Whether you try to improve at your job or improve a workout routine, making the effort to better yourself will be absolutely worthwhile. The results of your improvement may come quickly or may come slowly over time, but if you are making the effort, you should go to sleep every night knowing that you will achieve your goals.
And now I look back on that teacher and say thank you. The words that I have mistaken as a criticism for so long were actually just words of wisdom, and have driven me to realize how I need to start living my life.