I’ve been blessed over the last week or two to hear (or rather, immerse myself in–) the richness of several dozen talks, or speeches. It seems to me that the richness was themed under the umbrella of “becoming…” Life is not what we know or what we do or or what we pretend when we “fake it til we make it.” All of those things are good, but not great. The greatness in life is in building character, in adding on excellent habits and acquiring character traits that bring us to a point of authentically liking ourselves.
Society isn’t set up for this. The world out there wants us to feel a void unless we’ve purchased their products. Or for that matter, sold their products! We’re also uncomfortable, as a rule, to let anyone know, “life is good.” I’m guilty of this myself, for while I find satisfaction in teaching first graders how to read, I moan and groan at the ridiculous twists and turns the Education Industry has taken. I could better emphasize the contentment I feel at truly connecting with these little guys. They’re cute!!
“What a wonderful gift! Repentance is not a punishment; it is a privilege. It is a privilege that leads and guides us.” –Joseph Brough
“There will be no disparity between the kindness we show our enemies and the kindness we bestow upon our friends.” –Robert D. Hales
“Those who accomplish the most in this world are those who have a vision for their lives, with goals to keep focused on their vision and with tactical plans on how to achieve them.” –M. Russell Ballard
These statements remind me of the wonderful character-building principles I read about in Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” I found myself envisioning a doughnut. The real kind: ring-shaped, hole-in-the-middle, icing on the top kind of doughnut.
It’s about “Becoming.”
The inside circle of a doughnut represents Who We Are Now. Facing ourselves, with our foibles and flaws, our genuine strengths. Our vulnerabilities. Then there’s that outer circumference of a doughnut. It represents the person we imagine we can become. Our example, our vision. The Who I Want to Be. The trick is to get the middle circle as close to the outer circle as possible. Covey points out that the smaller the distance between the “Now” (inner circle) and the “Ideal,” (outer circle), the greater inner peace we will experience.
The key piece: Reducing the space between the two circles directly increases our inner peace.
The irony–and the beauty–of “becoming” is that, with all of our progress, with our self-reflection and repentance, our determination, our changed habits, our failures and pick-myself-ups and better choices…we will never have “arrived.” There remains our very own outstretched arms forever bringing into ourselves the sense that we are progressing. Onward and upward! Lessons learned! More growing, more reaching. Eternal progression. Is there a better way to live?