I refuse to accept the status quo. I should improve things in my personal life. I should improve things in my family, community, nation, and world. Fear and pain are powerful motivators of change. I have an insatiable passion to fix things and make them better. On my morning runs, in the car, and as I sleep and wake I find myself thinking about difficult situations, and thinking through ideas to improve or resolve them. A really bad (or good) problem often keeps me awake thinking most of the night.

A truth we have in our family is that ‘knowing that you have a problem is the first step to solving it.’

Here’s another truth. You have a problem. We all do. And we can’t fix everything. And, fixing stuff out of your control is by definition impossible. So, you can’t fix other people either. There are ways to help other people, but that’s different.

But have the courage to consider improvement. Not in a self-damaging way. We need to accept that we’re good enough to be loved and accepted, just the way we are. But at the same time, we should work to be better.

July 24th is a state holiday in Utah to celebrate the pioneer’s arrival to the Salt Lake Valley. Their migration to the west is layered with tons of stories of sacrifice and commitment. In some cases, the pioneers were fleeing threats on their life; like Missouri Governor Boggs Mormon Extermination Order – not officially rescinded until 1976. In other cases, the migration west was driven by a desire to associate with like-minded Christians. And even other pioneers moved west in hopes to claim land and opportunity. In any case, the trek west was riddled with significant danger and risks that claimed the life of many family members along the handcart trail.

Your bold path forward is different than mine. But, dare to step up and step forward and embrace the infinite opportunities for improvement.

Never forget the most important improvements. These contribute to self, family, business, community, nation, and world.

Kindness. Compassion. Service. Perseverance. Forgiveness. Commitment. Fidelity. Integrity.

What’s on your list?