A Man With A Plan

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.

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Article by tekee

Ted is a research laboratory technician who has lived and worked in the Boulder/Denver area his whole life. He married his high school sweetheart, with whom he's spent over 21 years raising three children. Read 1 articles by
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Matt Bernier says:

    Ted –

    This is a great article! The thing that I like is that you picked a small subset of things to think about and to work on, and all of them that go towards your general happiness.

    To be a better man, it helps to be generally happy, because you have the opportunity to share that happiness. When we humans are angry, we tend to act through that and share it with others, propagating the anger. It is definitely much harder to share happiness.

    Every married man, who is worth his salt, realizes that he needs to listen more. Many of us have a tendency to take the conversation with our spouses for granted and assume what they are going to say. This causes frustration and pushed people apart rather than keeping them together. I definitely need to do this, it usually takes an effort for me to slow down, pay attention and think about what was said. (This goes to patience as well) Then respond. Its really hard!

    Ted – Thank you so much for writing this article. It made me think about myself, and I hope that it causes other men out there to think as well.

  2. tekee says:

    The crazy thing is, these behaviors ebb and flow for me. Comparing what I’ve said in this post to the things I had rocking my mind and heart just back in February, (http://tekee.posterous.com/full-circle-moments) it’s even more clear to me that we never stop learning.
    It doesn’t necessarily just go for my relationship with my wife and children, it goes for every interaction that I have with every person, everyday; a colleague, a buddy, my in-laws, my neighbors, or just a person across the counter. As soon as I sent this post in to JTABM, the three categorical words I identified seem to have really caught my attention and affected many of my human interactions.
    That being said, I challenge anyone else; what are three life skills that you would like to improve upon? Do yourselves a favor. Even if you don’t want to share them here, write them down and contemplate them. You will be doing yourselves a total solid!

  3. Matt says:

    Isn’t it amazing how things happen once you write them down? I have found that many of the things I have written on this site have not only been on my brain at the time, but immediately effected me as a result of writing them down.

    I agree with people thinking and writing about themselves. It used to be (and for some still is) that people would keep journals. Most people don’t keep journals any more, although some keep blogs, most blogs are for business purposes or for pimping something about “me”. I think that the more you look in the mirror the better, and when you talk with people about it, you find that you are not alone in your quest for information and betterment.

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