Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting Better

This is a very cool guest blog from one of my high school buddies, Ryan Cook, who happens to be a pastor. I snagged this post from Ryan's blog and wanted to share it with you since it holds lots of value in what I firmly believe in what I call the "1% Improvement" mindset. As you read, you'll understand that our ultimate plan in life is to be successful....but to get there we must be willing to work hard at the concept of "Kaizen" - which is Japanese for "constant never ending improvement"!

I'm obsessed with being better. With doing better. And this extends to every area of my life. From being a husband and father, to being a preacher, to making up competitions with my lead staff.

If I lifted 100 lbs. yesterday, I want to be able to lift 105 lbs. tomorrow.

If I tithed x% this year, I want to tithe x+y% next year.

If I preached a great sermon on Saturday night, it had better be near perfect by our second service on Sunday morning. In my mind, if I’m not getting better, I’m getting worse. If I’m not progressing, I’m regressing. There is no middle ground. There is a holy discontentment inside of me to constantly be improving.

The reason is that “better” now will eventually become outdated and average later. When the first generation iPhone came out, it revolutionized the industry. But it was updated and replaced because it soon was no longer sufficient to meet the needs of those it was serving. Yesterday’s release of the iPhone 4 was just the latest update. A year or so from now, we will have the iPhone 5 because the needs of the consumer will constantly demand a better phone. Your capacity as a leader, a spouse, a parent, or an employee might be adequate right now, but it will be inadequate momentarily.

The needs of those around you will constantly demand you to produce at a higher level. For this reason, we must have a healthy obsession with improving everything we do every time we do it. Not for the sake of pride. But for the sake of those who need us to be at our best and continually improving on our best.

There is a potential danger with this mindset. We can become so busy constantly obsessing over being better that we do not take the time to adequately celebrate and appreciate where we are and how far we’ve come. This danger is real. We must continually be thankful for what God has done in and through us. Yet the bigger danger is standing still and settling for less than the future progress He still has for us.

At every moment, I must be performing at the maximum level of my capacity while at the same time be increasing my capacity for the moment that follows.


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