It’s absolutely time for an upgrade.
Why do we feel the overpowering urge to upgrade our technology? We can’t seem to accept a device that is outdated and obsolete—although until we learned what’s just been added, we were perfectly satisfied. All it takes is one ad to spark the irresistible need to buy the new version. Imagine if we had the same anticipation and love for the next version of ourselves as we did for a gadget.
God designed us to be upgradable. If our intent was not to be upgradable, we would have been born a complete project. Instead, we emerged as the first stroke of a masterpiece. We come equipped with the tools to improve, but have to do the work to become a better version of ourselves. We are thinking, feeling human beings. That leaves plenty of room for growth and improvement. Contrary to the myth that people only use 10% of their brain, we tap into every lobe of the cranium everyday, but we’re still not coming close to maximizing its potential.
Think about where you are in your life. Are you the same person, partner, parent, friend, and professional as you were ten years ago? Five years ago? Circumstances keep changing. You’ve accumulated experiences that continue to shape you, but have you integrated life lessons into the latest version of your personal OS?
For the longest time, I didn’t realize I was operating on an old hard drive, with an outdated mindset. When I realized I was running on systems that couldn’t support the present and future version of Me, I upgraded my hardware—by reading, investing in myself, upgrading my internal hardware through introspection—and everything became easier. My relationships became stronger and more fulfilling. The growth sparked such a positive feeling that I wanted to keep experiencing it.
How do you upgrade your personal operating system?
Start by shifting your mindset. Envision the version of yourself you want to become. Just like Apple goes into a room and decides which features the next version should have, examine your own set of habits, characteristics, and traits. What needs updating?
I’ve asked myself, “What do I want to add?” I want to increase my capacity for patience and to be more present. I want to be more loving and available for my kids, more persuasive and effective as a trainer, more devoted as a Christian. Once I’ve identified my life upgrades, I asked more questions, like “What does a more patient Chad look like? What does a more persuasive trainer look like?” I then envisioned the next version of Me. I developed a targeted strategy to achieve the improvements. In life, you find what you focus on. When I want to be more patient, opportunities appear in front of me to support that goal. Of course, I need to have my mind open in order to allow my vision to see those opportunities.
People should never ask, “What do I want to achieve?” The better question is “What do I want to become?” The “becoming” will give you more achievement.
I believe I am always a work in progress. I welcome any opportunity to learn something new. I have so much gratitude for who I am but can’t wait to see what the next upgrade brings. Stay aware of your endless supply of upgradability. You can’t accommodate your life on Commodore 64 programming when you were born for an iMac world.