Can You Do Better?
One question is the beacon for all my action: Can You Do Better?
This question is the driving force. It keeps me honest, accountable, and dissatisfied. It enhances the depth and breath of every endeavor which I explore. It fuels my creativity, passion, and joy.
The affirmation of this question invokes the wisdom of Jack London: "The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
I am constantly harassed by the question's compelling weight. As a close friend, I find solace in it. Some may confuse this question pertaining to perfection - which is not the case. Ideas and motives fueled by perfection are fragile and must be discarded at all costs. Better is imperfect. Better is solely about improving. There is no apex destination, only more steps on the path. Here, a mindful experience of the journey is the desired outcome.
By asking myself every morning, Can you do better? I have purpose to get out of bed. Reason to pursue my current interests. And access to the reservoir of grit required to shepherd me through the rough patches and difficult times.
When the answer becomes no, then it is time to quit. As it is fruitless to forge on. I'd rather expire than go through the motions. Retirement from action is preferred than engaging in subpar work.
My hope is to be encouraged by this question until my last day. For this question gives meaning to life - it is the answer to many other questions out there.