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“The more we do, the more we can do.” – William Hazlitt

This quote speaks to me about our ability to continually improve or continually deteriorate. There are some days where everything I do builds on previous successes. At other times, I feel less than motivated to do anything. Interestingly, it is easy to fall into a pattern pursuing improvement or deterioration.

Have you ever witnessed someone who is happy and motivated? Everything they do is out of joy. Everything they do adds to them. Conversely, we probably all know that one friend or acquaintance who is avoiding life. They drink too much, do drugs, engage in overindulgences of all kinds, never realizing how they are wasting away their own life.

Positive lives filled with continual improvement are driven by goals and achievement; negative lives are those that are whimsical, procrastinating, and lack focus. One life is increasing, while the other is decreasing. I think all of us have experienced a traumatic situation that has put us in a tailspin. We lose all motivation. We lose that spark within that encourages us to pursue higher achievement. We stop living.

I’ve experienced these dark periods of life. Divorce, bankruptcy, losing my way, and feeling that I am some sort of victim that life will never give anything to. Have you experienced this? It is a tough place to be and sometimes the hole we’ve dug for ourselves is so deep and dark, we don’t even remember what a good life is. What did I discover during these dark times?

I discovered that much of our misery is caused by focus on the self. When you focus only on your feelings, your comforts, your wants, the selfishness begins to isolate you. It creates an emptiness that has no end. When I began to realize this, I sought to look outward. I sought to give of myself to others. How could I make someone else’s day just a little better?

When you focus outward and serve others, even if it’s a smile or wave at a stranger, a light begins to show itself. Our suffering begins to taper as we focus more and more on others. I can’t explain this but do know it’s true. The more we focus on others, the less we think about ourselves. The more we give, the more we get back.

Imagine a world where there was a peak of achievement. Once that achievement was accomplished there is no “better”, no improvement, no more hills to climb. Can you imagine how boring that existence would be?

I believe that we will never be perfect but the road to perfection is infinite. There is always one more thing we can do, one more step to take, one more place to go. This plus factor is what makes being human a wonderful experience. We can always achieve more, learn more, listen more, love more, and so on. This is what this quote means to me. “The more we do, the more we can do.” What a great life this is.

Until next time…

Dave

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