Often it is quite easy to understand, when we have become better. We feel that we are successful in doing something. Problems are solved or procedures make sense to us. But looking at the results does not really describe how we got there. Would we be able to reproduce the process and become better in other areas doing the same again?
Can we plan to become better?
Reading many books, practicing things we have learned, literally taking any arbitrary action will take us time, but does not automatically have the desired effect of becoming better. Obviously it would be great if we would know upfront what it takes exactly to become better, as we could plan for it much more efficiently. But we know that it is not that easy. Even though, there are ways, which can give us confidence in doing the right things to become better.
Why do we want to become better?
Finding ways to become better is really important to us, because we want to overcome situations or statuses, from where we know it can be better. Becoming better gives to us a lot of satisfaction and confidence, which is the fuel for intrinsic motivation. It helps us to work towards visions, which seem to be out of reach otherwise. In the end it is also a way to cope with uncertainties we are facing. As so many facets seem to be addressed, it could be interesting to have a framework or structure, which is putting the motivation into a wider context.
What does it mean to become better?
When we have become better, we have learned something. We have had some relevant experience. There has been some feedback, on which we can reflect and realize the change we experience from it. There are mechanisms, which make us feel that we have improved. But what does it really do to us and the people around us to become better?
Can we become better as a whole group, organization, or community?
When individuals become better, they can contribute the improvements to a group, which will make the group better as well. Anyhow, the process of getting better starts earlier already. Even trying to become better might have an impact on a group already, as long as the group is aware of it or even pushes for it. To some extend we seem to be able to create efficiency in becoming better from groups and organizations or some structure. The fact, that humans have organized in tribes, settled down in villages, established services, started to work in plants and factories, and thereby evolved towards the foundation of todays forms of communities, is based on the need to scale in becoming better.
Are there downsides of becoming better?
As becoming better can be relevant not only for oneself, but also for a community, it often gets exposed to the public. We know that this exposure can create a lot of pressure for people, who are exposed to some expectations from a group or community. This pressure can even be worse, if expectations are set, that we are becoming better in doing something, but do not know how to achieve it. As there is no guarantee, it can make us sick – a phenomenon we can today more often than ever.
Can we learn to become better in becoming better?
While becoming better itself is almost impossible to plan, we know that the process of becoming better can be supported by several means. Otherwise books, training courses, or blog posts like this would not exist. Considering this, we at least can tell about some framing we should consider:
- Which resources help us to become better? – offer resources to make people work better (e.g. trainings, literature, people to talk to, …)
- What is the influence of the environment to become better? – create conditions to support people in becoming better (e.g. topics, profession, organization, culture…)
- How much time does it need to become better? – work towards small steps and accept that it takes individual time to become better (e.g. time for ideation, understanding, learning, experience, …)
- How much does our attitude affect the ability to become better? foster an intrinsic motivation from enabling autonomy and mastery and providing orientation from purpose (e.g. values, motivation, open-minded, experimentation, …)
Are you able to tell in few sentences when you become better?
“You don’t know when you fail, when you search for your fate, until you got there.
You don’t know what makes you feel bad, what you’re looking for or miss out, until you succeed.”
– from the song “Baumkrone” by Clueso (free translation from German)