April 6

Life doesn't require that
we do the best--
only that we try our best.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Today's Meditation:

I can't recall a single thing that I've been the best at in my life.  Sure, I've won a few contests and awards here and there, and I've won a few races that I've been in, but those have come when I've just been slightly better than the people who also were in the same situations that I was in, or in the same races.  But I gave up any illusion of being the best at anything long ago, and now I focus on just being the best that I can be.

I'll never be the best teacher in the world, but I sure can be effective for my students today, tomorrow, and the next day.  I'll never be the best writer, but I do keep working at improving my craft and adding new abilities that might make my work more accessible and more effective.  And with running, I'm only the best that I can be given my current life--I could be faster or run farther, but that would require much more training than I'm willing to give to it.  There are other things in my life that are more important than running, after all.

To me, the most important part of Brown's words is the idea of accepting that the chances are that we aren't going to be doing the best of all at much that we do, if anything.  But we also have to accept that our best is within our reach, and when something deserves the best that we can put into it, then we have an obligation to do our best with it, don't we?

That project that we're working on?  Our parenting?  Our jobs?  Our school work?  Our relationships?  Are we giving them our best?  Will it be the best project we can produce when we're done?  If it's an important project, then it certainly should be.  If it's not that important, then perhaps it doesn't need to be.  But we're 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's always within our realm of choice.

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've given your best to something?  How does it feel when you know you've 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

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