Stop telling people that you are doing your best. You’re not. And deep down inside you know that you’re not. In fact, we all know it. Even the people that don’t know you can smell it from the other room.
You are merely pretending as though you are doing your best in order to feel better about yourself once you decide to give up. Doing your best is an excuse. An excuse that allows you to succeed at failing.
“Oh well, I did my best!”
No. You failed. And you are looking to society for a pat on the back in order to validate your lack of effort as a sincere attempt at doing something legendary. Well, congratulations! You sure did do your best! There…ya happy?
“I did my best” is the evil cousin of “at least I tried” and the ugly step child of “I did everything I could”. None one of these are worth being proud of, so wipe that false sense of accomplishment off your face and let’s stop pretending, shall we?
There is No Such Thing As Doing Your Best
Doing your best doesn’t exist. It is a concept that is non-existent in reality. It’s merely something we created in order to try and gauge what we think we are capable of.
This creates a problem. Not only are you not doing your best, you never will do your best. Ever. Welcome to the human race.
Have you ever seen this story on the news? Some ordinary guy finds his kid trapped under a car. Maybe after an accident. And in a fit of desperation, he picks the car up himself and gets his kid out. Now, had you asked that same guy the day before to do his best to lift the car, there’s no chance he would have been able to. Yet, 24 hours later he does. What happened to his best? Sure, you can call it leverage. Or perhaps a massive increase in adrenaline.
The fact is that he tapped into something much bigger than he ever thought he was capable of. And all it took was not trying to do his best.
Here is Something to Think About
Perhaps the one thing that is keeping you from achieving all of your goals and living out all of your dreams is your attempt to do your best. You don’t really know what you are truly capable of. None of us do.
Your best is really just a limitation. A glass ceiling that you have created for yourself. It quietly sets the standard of what you believe you are capable of at your absolute best. Which you will inevitably live into.
I don’t know you, but I can bet that what you perceive is your best is a mere fraction of what you are really capable of if you were willing to let go of doing your best.
You’re Not Alone
It’s all of us. This blog post is not my best. In fact, I checked Twitter 3 times and snuck some ice cream since I started writing it. I’ll probably write and edit for another hour and it still won’t be my best. I’ll wake up in the morning when it is live and reread it and no doubt find something to change. Still not my best. I could dedicate my life to this one post and it will never be my best. Ever.
And I am perfectly at peace with that. Because I am not trying to do my best.
I am just doing.
That’s Right. Doing.
You can’t fail at doing. There is no good enough. There is no giving up. There are no expectations. No limitations. No glass ceilings. There is no feeling bad. There are no grades. You can’t quit. There is no disappointment. And there is no unnecessary stress.
You are doing.
Doing is exciting. It creates. It breeds accomplishment. Fulfillment. Peace. It has unlimited possibilities. It comes naturally.
You are doing.
There is a reason the Nike slogan is not “Just Do Your Best!” It sounds mediocre. It doesn’t make your eyes open wide. Or get your heart pounding. Michael Jordan wasn’t doing his best. He was doing.
What Could You Do With No Self Limitations?
I know it’s a different way to look at things. It’s a difficult concept to grasp. That’s normal. You’ve been rewarded your entire life for doing your best. And now I come along and tell you that there is no such thing?
Poke holes in it. Challenge me on it. Question it.
But just try it.
I’m not asking you to join a cult. Or to make some lifelong commitment. Or have a religious experience. I’m just suggesting that you try it on. See if it fits. Swim around in it for a week or two.
Live your life with no self-inflicted limitations. Just for a little while.
If you don’t like it, you can go back to doing your best and you will fit right in with everyone else.