Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Decide To Do Better

I have a confession to make. I screw up. I screw up a lot!

I have a mean temper...had it for years.

I don't always do the right thing....sometimes logic and I don't mix.

I could be a better husband.
I could be a better dad.
I could be a better friend.
I could be a better man.

Yes there are a lot of things I could do better. There are things that I am determined to do better.

One of the important steps to change is understanding that a change needs to happen in the first place. Finding your internal moral and ethical compass is important for us all. It's a continual learning process and our internal compass is something that requires constant attention, calibration and recalibration.

Years ago I used to drink too much. I think it was mostly out of habit and my way to combat stress. I remember sitting at a bar after a hard day at work and finding myself watching an old drunk man that looked like he and the bar stool were a permanent fixture to the place. His mouth never stopped moving as he bitched and complained about how life had treated him unfairly and how the company he worked for screwed him over after years of loyalty. He rattled on until the people sitting next to him got up and moved and started again when someone new sat down. His age and his sadness seemed to emanate from his aura and the depressed existence he called his life was palatable. I thought to myself what a waste. Then I looked up from my beer and into the mirror behind the bar and saw my own face. The only difference between me and the old man was age.

Was this man a preview to my future? Maybe. Maybe not.

But through the beer buzz and anger that had sent me to the bar that night, I awoke to something that even at that moment was somewhat profound for me. My life is my own. My destiny is truly in my hands. I get to decide if I want to do better.

And at that moment I did.

We all have a choice when it comes to choosing our path. The decision to do better in whatever area of your life is yours. Guaranteed there is no one taking credit right now for your screw-ups and there likely won't be anyone there to pick you up when you fall. You have to and must always depend upon yourself to make things right. You and only you can make sure your compass is guiding you in the right direction.

Decide what you need to do better at in life and take the steps that are necessary.

I got up from that bar stool that night determined not to become that old man. I decided I could and would do better and I have.

Three years later I sold my company for more money than I could have possibly ever imagined. I am quite certain it would never have happened had I not made a conscious decision to do better. There was a lot of work along the way but to this day I still remember that reflection staring back at me and the pain that settled into m heart. I would either make the change myself or perhaps befall a destiny that wasn't so pretty.

I still have lots of work to do but with the grace of God, I will have a lot more time to keep at it.

How about you?

Ripple On!!!


Jo said...

Wow! What an amazingly personal revelation to share with your readers. Your writing inspires me so much Steve.

Thanks for all that you do.

Go Pats!!!

Terri said...

Wow! That used to be you? What an amazing transformation you made and you are truly generous to share what you've learned!

Anonymous said...

Steve so many people learn from what you say and by the example you set with your life. This post is by far one of the most revealing and like Jo said personal but it just brings me closer to you and your work. Thank you for sharing this.

Michelle Davis

P.S. Are you traveling to the Seattle areas anytime soon? I would love to hear you speak or attend a Ripple in my area.

phx said...

I too admire your self-revelation with the continuing struggle. Most of us start out from that "once upon a time I was a selfish little *#@&." People who want to change in a big way then work towards and arrive at "I decided to change. I decided to take the FULL responsibility for my life." In our church we call ourselves warriors. The war isn't with the world, it's with our ceaseless selfishness.
Good luck! It's the good fight.

Steve Harper said...

Again my readers humble me with their great comments!

Thanks JoAnna I appreciate your comment. My Cowboys will see your Pats in the Super Bowl.

Terri....you simply rock!

Michelle...thank you. No plans to be in your areas of yet but if you know of any companies or organizations that need to hear about the Ripple....would love to chat!

Pax...You are an amazing friend and what an appropriate title for yourself. I like the warrior imagery very much especially as we all battle our personal baggage.

Thank you all for sharing. I have the best BLOG readers in the world!!!