The title is the first of three values we expect our academy participants, leaders in training and perhaps most importantly, coaches to uphold. At first glance, it’s a pretty simple sentence; there are no complicated words and it’s not a long sentence either. Read it a couple more times and you may start to ask yourself questions such as: What does it mean to be happy where I am? What does striving to be better tomorrow look like? Isn’t it contradictory to be happy exactly where I am while also striving to be better? These are questions I had that I want to answer not only for you, but for myself as well. The following is solely what I have found to be true in my direct experience.
Be happy where you are today
The beauty of language is that it can be interpreted. In light of this, I suggest thinking about what happiness means and looks like for you. For some, it means serving others to the best of their ability. For others, it means treating themselves with the utmost respect both mentally and physically. Happiness for me is simply being grateful. It’s focusing on what I have, not what I lack. It’s about remembering that millions would kill to have the luxury of feeling pain in the gym or numbness from the cold rain as they’re practicing throwing.
One note that I’d like to point out is that in my experience, a big step was allowing myself to be happy with the luxuries ( I’m talking about a roof over my head and food on the table) I had as opposed to feeling guilty about having them. An exercise I’ve been doing for the past two months that has helped me is starting the day by thinking about, writing down or most commonly saying out loud what I’ve got planned for the day and thanking life for giving me the opportunity to do those things.
Strive to be better tomorrow
Like the definition of happiness, I can only define what the statement above means to me and I encourage you once again to define it for yourself. For me, it starts with setting big yet plausible goals. Representing Team Canada at the World Games in 2021 and the Olympics in 2024. Having UltiPros in three countries and hitting the $500,000 mark in annual revenue by 2026. Setting these big goals helps me remember why I’m staying in on a Friday night writing articles to generate buzz about UltiPros or why I’m waking up at 6:45 in the morning to go run hill-sprints. Having a big vision gives the present moment more purpose and meaning. I not only write what my goals are but also why I’d like to achieve them.
Once I set those goals, identifying the micro-steps or process goals and actually doing them are how I define striving to be better tomorrow. An important note is that tomorrow’s better version will not look that much different than today’s. As you may have already found, as you get better at whatever you do, the rate of improvement compared to the amount of work you put in will steadily decline. This can be discouraging and this is exactly what you need to push through to achieve greatness. My biggest challenge is cultivating patience and always staying hungry for the vision and goals I’ve set for myself.
I’d say they are complimentary; they are the necessary counter-balance for one another. I would not be able to motivate myself to achieve those enormous goals if I were not happy where I am. The way I think about the dynamic between the two statements is that my happiness and gratitude sets a solid foundation that allows me to strive to be better tomorrow.
Oppositely, when I strive to be better tomorrow and actually do the process goals I’ve set for myself, I become grateful and happy that I’ve achieved those goals and gotten that much closer to my vision. It’s a never ending and always rewarding loop that can be applied not only to your Ultimate career but to every aspect of your life.
Happy but never satisfied.