There’s a place in my head that I try to go to every day. I want to be better. Every day.
Better is like that badminton stroke you fix, the minute your coach tells you to. And then you remember that every time you play for the next few weeks until suddenly it becomes muscle memory and you don’t have to remember it anymore. The idea of doing better is the process of learning to perform the act of doing better over and over again.
Better is like that thing you do with the eggs when you pour the stirred mix into the pan. You learn a new technique and it changes how you make eggs forever. It doesn’t work perfectly at the beginning but you keep doing it and then suddenly you don’t even notice how you’ve aced that particular form of folding the eggs repeatedly till you make a fun little burrito wrapper of an omelet soaked in the butter around it and making breakfasts so much more awesome. The idea of doing better is the process of learning new techniques that allow you to do better, differently.
Better is like that Guy Ritchie movie — Lock, Stock & 2 smoking barrels. Things just keep escalating until the end and you cannot explain how amazing the movie is in any form other than the feeling you’re left with. The idea of better is how you feel when you’ve made a habit of performing better over and over again that you don’t even think of it anymore, it just happens. You’ve made a habit of being better.
It’s frustrating when none of the above three are visible to you. It’s maddening when you haven’t taken the time to articulate how you’ve gotten better and engineer how you’re going to get even better. But it’s devastating when you keep moving your goalposts and cheat yourself out of acknowledging how much better you’ve gotten.
Be better. But be better about giving yourself credit for the milestone you achieved by being better.