Better Is The Booby Prize Of Life

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I was at a conference recently, talking with a marketing expert. When I told him that I’m a transformation coach, he said, “Oh so you help people have better lives.”

Without hesitation, I said, “No! I don’t help people have better lives!” He looked puzzled as I grinned and continued, “I help people create new lives.”

I don’t want you to have a better life–I want you to have a new life!

In the world of transformation, “better” is the booby prize of life. According Webster’s Dictionary, a booby prize is “a prize that is given as a joke to the person who finishes last in a competition.” From it’s latin roots, booby prize literally means ‘idiot’s prize’.” We are flooded in the self-help world with promises of better, bigger, more, change, etc., but most of it focuses on the domain of doing without ever addressing the domain of being.

So when I say better is a booby prize, I’m saying that doing better is how we fool ourselves into believing we’ve created a new life, when in fact it’s just a dressed up, recycled version of our old life.

Doing better is just a dressed up, recycled version of our old life.

I was working with a client on this, and we really had some fun with it. So imagine you’re in prison. It’s dark, cold and uncomfortable. But you can make it better! You have unlimited resources to do whatever you want to better it up. So you paint the walls, bring in lots of lighting, install a fireplace, bring in a couch, get a high-def TV and Bose sound system, and put curtains on the cell bars. It’s so much better! And it’s so still prison!

We’re so busy getting better, we never notice the context we’re getting better in. The phrase, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” speaks to this. Why not bulldoze the prison down and build a palace instead? Or an amusement park. Whatever suits what you’re up to in life. Jesus said new wine needs new wineskins. I love that. He was talking about context. Trying to improve or better the old context just doesn’t work; there will be a breakdown as a result. What is required is something altogether new, something transformed.

We’re so busy getting better, we never notice the context we’re getting better in.

In Tracy Gross’s book, The Last Word On Power, she makes a great distinction between change and transformation:

“Change is a function of altering what you are doing – to improve something that is already possible in your reality (better, different, or more). Transformation is a function of altering the way you are being – to create something that is currently not possible in your reality.”

I encourage you to really ponder that distinction this week. Where have you resigned yourself with better, different or changed? What kind of life has that kept you from?  What would be amazing for you in your marriage, with your kids, at work, in your health or finances?  The life you really want doesn’t require a better you, it requires a new you.  What would it look like for you to be new?  

Be Great!


Becky Henderson
Becky Henderson
I am a catalyst to uncover the blocks and barriers getting in your way of creating the life you desire. Together we can transform the obstacles into opportunities. I listen to what you say…and what you do not say. Similar to a mirror, I show you what you cannot see on your own right now, and tell you what is necessary to create the results you are looking for. I value who you are and where you want to go in life.
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