Ten steps to being better

November 11, 2011

in Be a grownup, Seeing Clearly, Series

Numbered stepping stones © Peregrine | Dreamstime.com

The last few days I have shown you a common path my bride and I take on our never-ending goal of being better; better spouses, better parents, better people, and better witnesses for the Lord we serve. Here are the steps minus any particular situation.

  1. See something in another that I dislike.
  2. Ask myself, honestly, if I am guilty of the same thing, or something similar.
  3. Give some thought to what I do, and to what I feel that causes me to do it. Also, look at how I feel when I do what I do.
  4. Try to find the root causes of what I do. The vast majority of the time these roots come from childhood or adolescence.
  5. If the roots are issues I have not fully dealt with, work on those.
  6. Whether or not I have found or dealt with the root issues, I choose to change.
  7. Decide how I want to change, how I want to react when I am faced with the situation.
  8. Enlist the help of someone I trust. Tell them what I have learned, and what change I want to enact. Ask them to hold me accountable.
  9. Look for the situation that has caused the wrong behaviour, and be ready to do what I have chosen to do instead.
  10. Keep at it, even (especially) when busy, tried, stressed, or not feeling good. Keep focusing on and working on it until the desired reaction is my first reaction.

A few notes

  • Occasionally steps #1 and #2 are replaced by seeing something in myself I don’t like. I’d like to tell you that is the most common way I find things to change, but my blind spots continue to hide my problems from me.
  • Occasionally steps #1 and #2 are replaced by someone pointing out in me something in myself I don’t like. I have a few people in my life I can hear such things from, and I try to take constructive criticism from anyone. Try is the operative word there – still working on that.
  • In looking for roots, don’t stop at the first thing you think, look for the earliest events.
  • Yes, #4 is very similar to Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM). Lori and I have been doing this since before TPM, and the similarity is no doubt part of why we like what TPM does.
  • #6 needs to happen even if you don’t know why, or know why but are still dealing with that. Don’t let those limitations be an excuse for not choosing to change.
  • On #7 – if you don’t decide how you want to change, you have no goal and no way to measure progress. Be specific
  • #8 is risky if you choose the wrong person, but it’s an important step. You may succeed on your own, but we all need people in our life that will help us in this way. Besides, being willing to tell someone else shows you really want to change. 

Be honest with yourself about how it’s going. Don’t beat yourself up when you blow it, but don’t play it off either

In this series

Inconvenience 
I see I’m not the only one being inconvenienced! 
If I felt better about me … 
I choose to be better 
Ten steps to being better – This page

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4 comments
Ira @ chicago remodeling
Ira @ chicago remodeling

It is said that it is human nature to be selfish but if we want to be better each day we have to learn on how to be open minded in every situation possible. And this one is indeed true "If the roots are issues I have not fully dealt with, work on those."

Matthew
Matthew

Congrats Mike! It can certainly be very hard to notice things about ourselves that we don't like. I have recently started to pay attention to how I drive, wondering if I drive like the people that annoy me on the road. Still haven't quite figured out what all I need to change, specifically, but am trying to note my tension level and keep myself calm.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Mike Stoops - Congratulations for figuring that out so early in life! I know some folks in their 30's and 40's who still don't get that!

Mike Stoops
Mike Stoops

11 November post "Ten Steps to Being Better" First two steps were: #1 See something in another that I dislike. #2 Ask myself, honestly, if I am guilty of the same thing, or something similar. As a preteen I made a wondrous discovery. Somehow, someway I stopped and looked at and investigated why I didn't like some people. When I really delved into the matter I discovered that generally the reason I disliked a person was because they exhibited a trait or action that I did not like in myself. I saw a mirror of a part of myself in them that I did not like in myself - and quite often was unaware that I had that trait in myself. It was quite an eye opener. And since then, I have been a lot more tolerant of others and more accepting. Mike

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