Tim Goodenough is an Executive Coach and Best-Selling Author who specialises in High Performance. He works with Elite Athletes and Teams, Entrepreneurs and Executive Leaders. More recently Tim has launched a new company called Beyond the Gap. BTG was created to bring the world of High Performance to education by closing the gap between what the syllabus offers and what students need to succeed in their studies and beyond.
When I think of being a better man it occurred to me how many different styles and ways we can think about this. How each one of us can have an individual interpretation and something that really works for them.
For me, being a better man is a commitment to being better. Better as a human being, better in the roles we play as a father, as a husband, as a professional, as a friend, as a family member. Better on the inside, in terms of my beliefs, my styles of thinking, my attitudes, my approaches. Being better on the outside in terms of my behaviour, my performance, my commitments and better in terms of how I interact with people.
I think one of the areas that is missing in the world is being real, is being as authentic as possible. I think most of us assume that life is rosy according to people’s Facebook or social media profiles and we think it’s just us. It’s just me with my insecurities, it’s just me with my fear, just me being overwhelmed. It’s just me not knowing what to do, just me feeling like an idiot in this room. It’s just me worrying about what people might think, it’s just me having all these different challenges.
Once I realised that it wasn’t just me, and I’ve been on an interesting journey to get to that point, I started asking other people questions like “It looked really easy from the outside but was it easy on the inside?” and “That was amazing what you did there, how did you do it?”
When you get beyond the politeness and you get beyond the mountain on someone’s journey, you almost always find a hero who’s been grappling with something. Who has been struggling, who’s overcome something whether it’s internal or external, mostly both. And I think part of being a better man is being real and to own that idea that everyone is fighting their own secret battle and we must be aware of that, we must think of that.
Owning the idea that we’re completely fallible humans and we will make mistakes and mess up and if we’re going to own that we can do something about it. If we blame others or things or things outside our control, we don’t move forward, we stay stuck. It’s owning that. Saying sorry is very useful, very powerful and very under-said. In saying that being sincere and trying to do stuff can make a difference even if it’s very small.
My pattern is often to try to do too much at once. I try to eat better, exercise better, change my business model, and focus on 5 different things and end up doing none. And I think this year has all been about trying to slow down.
I think being a better man is finding what is your block, what is your pattern and working on that consistently focused in a supportive way with others to move that forward. I think if we can be real about our struggles and real about our areas that we need help, ask for help and reach out and find those resources. There are some great resources now available to people with all sorts of challenges because it’s part of being human. It’s a real gift in that way. The BetterMan group is even better with the great content and the great people involved.
So if I had to sum up my thinking about being a better man it’s about making that commitment to own your mistakes, to be real. To find the 1 or 2 things that you want to focus on for a sustained period of time to move forward and to own the challenge, to own the struggle and try to find value in the struggle. There’s a great quote by Jerzy Gregorek that says “Tough choices, easy life. Easy choices, tough life”. And I think if there was a quote to sum up the journey that will be it.
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