REFLECTIONS ON “THE BEST YOU CAN DO.”
My reflections on the statement “the best you can do” have changed over the years. What is the best you can do? What is the best I can do? It is important to note that these are my reflections personally and many may not agree and that is okay!
Doing “your best” is a term we hear often and at face value, doing the best you can, individualizes “best.” My best, may not be your best etc. However, I find it necessary to narrow it down further at times. Sometimes, the best I can do today, is not the best I can do tomorrow. Often the best I can do NOW, is not the best I can do several hours from NOW. Now is my One Word 365 (What Is Your One Word 365?) and it is really helping me to isolate curiosities and be specific, in regard to time.
As NOW is the only true time, I strive to do my best NOW and only now! This has been a very hard adjustment, many years in the making.
Maya Angelou says “Do the best you can, until you know better.” I say, do the best you can and eventually you will feel better!
In my twenties, I was in retail management. I excelled and I expected everyone around me to excel. I had a manager once who reminded me “everyone’s best is different, and all you can expect is for your staff to do THEIR BEST!”
When I was 30, I went to nursing college. I was a single Mom. Being a single Mom and going to school was harder than being a single Mom and working. Still, I expected myself to excel and I worked myself to exhaustion, making it happen. I could not have accepted any less.
By this time, I had incorporated Fat and Fit. I was teaching 18 classes a week AND managing a neuropsychiatrist’s office full time. My daughter was in her upper teens, pretty self-sufficient and I was driven. Even after my husband’s suicide, I worked and worked and excelled!
AT 44-years-old, I crashed!
In my late 40s, life changed drastically and when I look back, it is not surprising. Something had to change. I abruptly abandoned my business, anxiety was so high I could barely leave my home and a new career was needed, as no one else was going to pay my bills or take care of me. It was at this point, I became a medical transcriptionist, at first self-employed and working from home. Then, I landed the job of jobs, a transcription job at a hospital, the creme dela creme of jobs for a medical transcriptionist. This AMAZING job led me right back into illness (long story).
The point is … pushing and pushing and excelling is no longer important to me. It took me 40+ years to realize the strain I was putting on myself and the damage I was doing. MY BEST HAD CHANGED!!!!!
A MOVING TARGET
Doing “the best you can do,” is a moving target. It is a highly personal thing and it changes over time, as you mature and learn. I am certain, not every 58-year-old has come to the same conclusion I have. I am certain there are people in their 50s, 60s, etc., who are still driven and THAT IS OKAY. Everyone gets to be who they are, as long as they are not hurting anyone else.
THE BEST YOU CAN DO
The best you can do, is all you can do. Do things “as best you can.” As best you can now! It is OKAY TO STRUGGLE, to be less than perfect, we are all Imperfectly Perfect – One and All. We all have things we do not know. It is also okay NOT TO EXCEL. Anxiety and stress can result from the pressures of “the best you can do,” not for everyone, BUT that is exactly the point!
We are all UNIQUE. Our best is OURS, no one else can do our best. Today, I can excel and tomorrow I can rest, cry, worry, dream, sleep, work or whatever, because time changes everything. Today, becomes tomorrow and tomorrow’s best will not be today’s. My best may be different seconds from now.
My reflections – I find that sometimes hidden among positive affirmations, is pressure. Do you find that too? Read Do Affirmations Work at Healthline. Positive thought is useful, but does not always work! Today, I saw this quote “Never Give Up. Your only limit is you. Do it for you.” I understand the point being made here, BUT I heard and FELT pressure, the pressure to push forward, the pressure to excel, the pressure to DO! IS THIS JUST ME? Am I over thinking things? Have I done this to myself? Is there a limit to “choose your words carefully?”
These are my reflections, please share yours. I am infinitely curious in regard to how we all develop, learn and live – differently! Share your reflections at email@example.com and I will add them to this post!