Practice makes perfect.

I’ve been taught from a young age that practice makes perfect.

I disagree with this notion. I think intentional practice makes improvements. On top of that, a lot of practice makes really, really good improvements.

Claiming perfection is to concede that there is a limit to my creativity and ability to grow.

Even if I’m wrong and you can achieve perfection in a vocation or skill, I wouldn’t want to pursue it. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I achieve perfection. I want to find new ways to grow and creative ways to improve. This is part of what makes life fun for me.

If I figure it all out, life will get boring, like playing a video game that I’ve conquered to perfection. Who wants to keep playing Dragon Quest VI once you beat Mortamor?

There is beauty in practicing to achieve perfect, even if you know you’ll never get there. The closer you get, the harder it gets and the more creativity it takes.

So I’ll keep practicing, at least until my late 90’s. I’ll take my foot off the gas once I hit triple digits.

The capacity to love.

I loved Jess three and a half years ago when I married her.

Today, I love her more. I’m sure three years from now, today’s love will seem cute.

Before I had Elliot, I didn’t know how much I would love him. My love for him is completely new, and I didn’t know I could love this way.

This capacity to love intrigues me. I’m sure my love for Jess, Elliot, and any other kids we have will continue to grow. My capacity to love friends and family, as we go through life, will grow too.

I think there are two components to our capacity to love: width and depth.

Width is the amount of people I can love well. I’m not so great here, because I can easily get exhausted and spread thin. I just don’t have the personality nor the energy to go wide in my capacity to love. There is definitely an opportunity for growth here.

On the other hand, I feel more at home going deeper. It’s easier for me to spend quality time with a smaller number of people and go deep in the relationships.

All this to say — I just want to love well. I want to model the love Jesus exemplified. Whether I go deep, or wide, I want to show sacrificial love. Whether it be Jess, Elliot, or some random guy eating his bugger driving his Lincoln, I want to love, and I want this love to spread.

Lets Set Smart Goals

Let’s set some goals.

To build on the earnest conversation I had with Jess last week, we had a conversation on goal setting yesterday.

We decided to set goals for the next year. We discussed in detail what areas of our lives we want to grow in. We set a giving goal, because we felt convicted in the lack of generosity we’ve shown in the last eighteen months. We both set personal goals and spiritual goals. I am incredibly energized by this exercise.

We also set weekly goals that will hopefully incrementally push us to meet our yearly goals. Our plan is to have a “Goals Meeting” every Sunday to see how we fared over the week and to keep each other accountable. While I am easily energized, I am not oblivious to the fact that this enthusiasm will eventually fade, which makes the piece of accountability key for me.

The concept of setting “SMART” goals was very crucial in keeping us focused as we laid out our goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. It’s easy to get carried away when setting goals for ourselves, so this simple guideline helped us make reasonable yet challenging goals.

Come Sunday, hopefully we both will have met our weekly goals. More importantly, I hope we will meet on a Sunday this time next year for the fifty-second time to see how far we’ve come.