We will continue to hear a great deal about comparisons throughout this election year in the United States. Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago? Is your job more secure now than it was 4 years ago? Are your opportunities to reach your hopes and dreams more plentiful?
The political season brings out a great number of comparisons. Most, if not all, are not too helpful as they point the finger of blame at someone else or some other political party and do not account for our own individual responsibility.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, a more productive set of comparisons are the ones we can do on ourselves. As we take an honest personal assessment of ourselves, we can begin taking responsibility for the progress (or lack of progress) and working towards improvement and reaching our full potential.
If we asked ourselves the questions below, what would we say?
- Am I a better listener now than I was 4 years ago or am I still more concerned about getting across my point of view?
- Am I more negative than I was 4 years ago or am I more hopeful?
- Am I more set in my ways or have I become more open and curious?
- Am I better at keeping my commitments now than I was 4 years ago?
- Am I quicker to forgive or am I still struggling with some bitterness?
- Am I learning and growing more now than I was 4 years ago or am I still just stumbling along?
- Are some close relationships that went cold 4 years ago getting any better?
Or am I still as perfect as I was 4 years ago?
We can either keep losing ground or we can keep making progress towards reaching our full potential.
The choice is ours.
Or as Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) said in the film Shawshank Redemption, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
When it comes to building and strengthening our character and reaching our full potential, when we look back over 4 years, 8 years or 36 years, we will not be able to blame a government program, school initiative, company training program, or a difficult close relationship…it will just be us looking in the mirror.
One nice thing about another election season is that we have one more chance for a fresh and hopeful start…for us personally, we have the blessing of a fresh and hopeful start every day. Let’s not waste it.
As we become more intentional about reaching our full potential by taking small steps to make small improvements that will add up over time, we build and strengthen our character and our Character Creates Opportunity® for us to reach our full potential and set an example for others to follow.