When Matt asked me to write a post here on Journey to a Better Man, I was excited because I thought to myself that I’m already a good man. I have a great job, I married a great woman, and I’ve raised three wonderful kids. This will be easy! The more I thought about it, however, more topics and anecdotes than I thought possible came to mind. What made me who I am today? Who do I want to be tomorrow? What parcel of my 43 years of knowledge can I lay down that would be of value to other men in their journeys? This was not going to be easy. I needed a plan.
The self betterment quest never ends, nor should it. One thing I think we’ve all heard at one time in our lives is, “Never stop learning, there will always be things within your power that you can improve upon.” So I decided this post would be just that, a plan, a short list of areas that I’ve identified as my own continuing battlefronts.
- Listening – I was taught long ago that there is a difference between hearing and listening, yet I still need to work on this. Too many times, my wife will be telling me something important and I only hear it, thus it is not retained. What I need to do is listen, consciously focus on what she is saying, comprehend, and then act on it. After all, she was important enough for me to commit the rest of my life to, so she should be important enough to drop what I am doing for a second and listen to what she has to say to me.
- Patience – My kids are 14, 18, and 21, and though I think I’ve done a pretty good job at being Superdad, I still frequently come completely unglued when they’ve done something wrong. What makes me do that? After all, I was a kid once and I made many mistakes and bad choices of my own. If I could just master this skill called patience, it will greatly enhance my relationships with my kids.
- Follow through – Best intentions just aren’t good enough. When I promise something to someone, I really need to get right on top of it and get it done. Too many times things fall off my radar and I let someone down. For example, I’ve had house projects that get 99% done then sat for years to get that last 1% finishing touch.
I think for now, I will stick with just this short list. Even though I gave only one a few examples of how I can better myself, there is much work to do within each of these areas. Thank you Matt, for what became a self evaluation challenge. Identifying some of my shortcomings in writing has already been of great value to me. Who knows, if I can stick to this plan, I just may have some future progress to share here on Journey to a Better Man.