Tom Brady has always been relentless about trying to get better. Trying to get his passes out quicker. Trying to get his spirals a little tighter. Trying to optimize his diet. Trying to recover from games faster.
While almost none of us are like Tom Brady on the practice field, we’re all like him in the sense that we spend a lot of time and energy focusing on improving ourselves at work, at our chosen craft or profession. But when it comes to personal improvement? We’re a little less intentional there, even though we–and our children–would benefit from a similar intentionality.
After he retired then un-retired, Tom Brady talked about his struggles with trying to be an elite athlete and an elite husband and father. “[During] the off-season, my family’s got a lot of time. I’ve enjoyed that. I can still do a better job of that,” he admitted. “It’s just constantly trying to be a little bit better each day.”
Marcus Aurelius once asked himself why he was trying to get better at wrestling but not get better at being a human being, better at forgiving faults, being someone his family would rely on. It’s the million dollar question: You’re relentless about improving at work, much less so about improving at home.
Where would we be if we could even this out a little bit? If we could try to get a little better each day at being present, at being a little more patient, at forgiving faults, at encouraging, at empathizing, at appreciating, at protecting, at prioritizing?
How much more wonderful could life be? And how might this actually make us better at work too?