Will tomorrow be better for you than today? Or will today be as good as your life ever gets?
Let’s pretend for a moment that someone told you: You’ll never be any better than you are right now. Tomorrow won’t be terrible, but you will be a little less happy, a little less healthy, make somewhat less money, have shallower experiences and make less impact. And that will continue each day for the rest of your life.
Would you be happy? I don’t think so. At some level, we all hope and expect our lives to keep getting better… but what do we do each day to ensure that happens?
Ongoing improvement requires desire and discipline, passion, and a plan. That’s why I wrote “The Potential Principle: A Proven System for Narrowing the Gap Between How Good You Are and How Good You Could Be.”
I have been fortunate to work with some of the best companies and highest performers of our time. I noticed that many had succeeded in becoming the best in their field, but once they did, they faced an even bigger challenge: how to become better.
When you’re at the top of your game, improvement is more incremental and harder fought. You have got a few, if any to emulate. You now are the leader, and just maintaining much less makes it difficult to increase that lead.
So Why Get Better?
If you are already among the best, or even really good, why would you even want to get better?
First consider this: we all know how good we have become, but none of us know how good we could be. No person or organization I have ever worked with has ever claimed they were living or doing business at peak potential. Why? We simply don’t know what is possible, so we keep aiming to get better and find out just how good we could be. That makes life and business incredibly interesting. There are also several practical drivers for the need to improve.
The first is change: with so many changes occurring around us, we need to improve our knowledge and skills just to keep up.
The second is competition: If our competitors get better and we don’t, we lose ground.
The third is customers: They have increasing expectations. Ever noticed that the more you do for customers, the more they expect? Most certainly yes. And that’s why you need to continue to increase your value proposition.
Finally, your capabilities are above whatever level you are performing at now. As a client once told me, we don’t benchmark against our competitors, we benchmark against our capabilities.
The Key to Better
Nobody gets better “accidentally.” Only wine improves with age without trying. You don’t accidentally improve significantly, reach the highest summits or make the greatest positive impact without intentionality. How much do you want to get better? Teachers can teach you, coaches can coach you, and motivational speakers can pump you up, but it is what you do with the information that matters.
Ongoing improvement requires a process and is based on principles you correctly and consistently apply. When leaders are intentional and take action, the door to the future swings wide open. Your willingness to work at improving yourself is the secret to realizing your full potential. You supply the commitment to getting better, coupled with the right plan and process, and your effort will start to pay off. It’s well worth it.
Not only will it benefit you, but it will also benefit the people around you. Your customers will be happier. Your boss will be impressed. And your family will see you at your best – the spouse and parent you really want to be. So, you have a choice to make. Are you content with coasting along? Satisfied with the status quo? Or are you ready to make your best even better?
Today can be better than yesterday, and tomorrow can be a little bit better than today. Choose to keep getting better and narrow the gap between how good you are and how good you could be.
What is that one thing you will focus on improving today? Remember: better always beats best!