“Life doesn’t require that we do the best–only that we try our best.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Life’s Little Instruction Book …
Rarely in life can we say that we are the best in something–for when compared to others over the expanse of all time, the best is merely a suggestive measure. Sure, I have won first place at a number of things during my life, but those accomplishments came when I performed just slightly better than others who were also in the same situations I was in, in which my performances were one of my best. I am not trying to dilute the successes and accomplishments inherent in being the best, rather, I am pointing out that by giving it our best, we have already succeeded in life.
So why compare ourselves to others? Why not compare ourselves to something that is measurable–our own performance. This way we can be the best that we possibly can be. I may not be the best application developer in the world, but I can sure be effective by making something that can help others. And I am definitely not the best hockey player on my team, still I can help by giving it my best effort and even by simply being a part of the team. And if I work at improving my skills and adding new abilities to make my stick and puck handling more effective, I will become better than I was before.
The key to Brown’s words is the idea of accepting the reality that we more than likely are not going to be the best at everything we do in life, and yet still being able to accept that our best is within our reach. Therefore, when something deserves the best we can give it, we have an obligation to do our very best. Effort is the main ingredient here–we can measure a man’s character and worth by the amount of effort he puts forth.
Do you have strength of will? Have you given a vigorous and determined attempt? What about that project you are working on? Your parenting? Your job? Your school work? Your relationships? Are you giving them your best? Will it be the best product you can produce when you are done? If it is an important project, then it certainly should be. If it is not that important, then perhaps it does not need to be. But we are only going to improve ourselves, and make sure that our best constantly improves, by pushing ourselves to do our best at all that we do, without making the mistake of comparing it to what others are doing. Our best should be our best today, tomorrow, and the next day. It is always within our realm of choice… and always within our reach.
Do your best at something today.
Questions to consider:
Why do we so often decide not to give our best to things that we do or produce?
What does it take for us to give our best to whatever we do?
How do you feel after you have given your best to something? How does it feel when you know you have slacked off and come up with something that definitely cannot be called your best?
For further thought:
“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” ~ Helen Keller