Recently we visited Mount Vernon—the home of George Washington. I was impressed as never before that President Washington was one of the world’s great men and I asked myself, “How did he get that way?” After an hour in the estate’s excellent (and air conditioned!) museum I got at least part of the answer: He made himself into the man he wanted to be. He saw what he wanted to change in himself and made those changes.
We have all heard ourselves say things like, “I wish I could speak to a crowd like him”; “I want to be as gracious as her”; or “Wow, running a marathon would be so cool.” How many times have you seen or read about a characteristic of someone else and wished you had that trait or skill? Are there 10 things you want to improve on? 100? 1000? If the number of ways you want to improve seems impossibly high, I’ve got good news for you: it’s not.