Becoming a Bit Better Each Day
Lessons learned from 52 ideas and 156 prompts.
When I had the idea to create Prompted at the end of 2021, I started with a simple idea: I wanted an excuse to journal about meaningful ideas. I had been journaling for years, but never as consistently as I wanted to.
I subscribed to tons of newsletters that were full of interesting ideas, but as I read them, the ideas would go in one ear and out the other. Eventually, I searched for a newsletter that delivered interesting ideas and journal prompts to help me think deeper, but I couldn’t find anything.
So I decided to create Prompted for myself.
From the time I had the idea to the time I sent out the first edition was only a few hours. Had I not taken action immediately, this newsletter wouldn’t exist. With such an abrupt start, I didn’t have much time to think about Prompted or what it would become, but 52 newsletters and 156 prompts later, I’ve had time to reflect on what’s become the mantra of the publication: Becoming a bit better each day.
I’ve come to realize that in the pursuit of becoming a bit better each day, “success” is different for everyone, there is no linear path to self-improvement, and the only thing we can rely on is doing the work.
Success is different for everyone
Humans are unbelievably complex and diverse. Trying to make generalizations or assumptions about large groups of people is futile because everyone's ideas about success are different.
For some, success means money; to others, it means time; and to some, it means freedom. Based on our experiences and surroundings, we create our own version of what success looks likes, but there are two common threads between us all.
The first is that we’re all pursuing something. Even though everyone is chasing something totally different, we’re all trying to push ourselves forward in one way or the other. The tendency to try and improve ourselves is part of being human.
Even though we have unique ideas of what success looks like for ourselves, we’re all pursuing something, and seeing people who are world-class at what they do creates new benchmarks of success for ourselves and inspires us to push past artificial boundaries our minds create.
The other common thread amongst us all is the way we achieve our version of success. Despite the end states varying so drastically, when we zoom out, we can see that durable success comes from years of consistent efforts toward worthwhile pursuits.
Any meaningful level of success, regardless of the arena, has a trail of intentional hard work and focus behind it. Even though we’re all climbing up our own mountains, the path to the top requires the same consistent effort, one foot after the other, day after day, to continue moving forward.
There is no linear path to self-improvement
Another common thread among us all is to search for the path of least resistance. We do it both consciously and unconsciously because it’s been in our best interest for hundreds of thousands of years to expend as little energy as possible.
As modern technology has evolved, we’re now able to move through life expending almost no energy. In fact, if we want to, we can live our entire lives without ever leaving our house. We can work from home, and everything we could possibly need, from groceries and take-out to prescriptions and doctors, can show up on our doorstep after a few clicks.
Now more than ever, the path of least resistance tempts us in everything we do, but if we’re pursuing something worthwhile, any path that moves us closer to our goal will be riddled with resistance.
There is no easy way to create art, build a meaningful business, deepen relationships with others, or make significant progress on difficult problems without expending a tremendous amount of effort.
We can pay someone to deliver beet chips and ice cream, but we can’t circumvent the work that comes with trying to become a bit better each day.