The words Do Your Best is the 4th agreement in the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This was a life changing book for me! Seriously click the link and purchase it, I do not think you will regret it. It was the very first personal development/self-help book that I read and seriously took to heart. I go back and read it every so often just for a refresher.
When we know we have done our best there is no self judgement, negative self talk and no regret. There is acceptance of ourselves, a feeling of accomplishment for a job well done and a sense of gratitude for being able to do it. But what if my best isn’t good enough you say? Doing our best is always good enough. Let me say it again. Doing our best is ALWAYS good enough.
Case in point.
I fell short of my expectations in my workout the other day ….and guess what, I am perfectly ok with that. Because I know I did my best!
Yes, I had goals that I was hoping to reach and technically I failed. I was aiming for both a certain amount of reps and weight scheme within a certain amount of time in the strength portion of my workout and I missed both the reps and the time. And not by much either, by 1 single rep and less than a minute! Which can be maddening as all get out….until I put it in perspective.
I could have been pissed because I missed that last rep and ran over on the time I was aiming for. I could’ve been ill all day. But nah, I try not to do that very often anymore (I would like to say I never do that anymore, but I am gonna be real here)
Instead I looked at what I actually did accomplish. In a little over 10 minutes I moved over 6000 lbs. 6,105 to be exact. Good shit y’all, that is over 3 tons of weight. How the hell could I be pissed about that? Then after doing that I spent another 20 minutes doing a kickass metcon that is going to have my ass on fire for a few days. For a total of over 10,000 lbs. in approximately 30 minutes. That is 5 mother effin tons!!! Soooo, am I going say that my best was not good enough? Am I going to worry about missing 165lbs for one rep on a back squat? HELL NO! I did my best and did a freaking great job at doing what I was doing. Enough said.
No self recriminations at all. When we fall into the victim mindset (saying “I can’t”, “I’m scared”, “I’m terrible at this”or anything that is negative, then we have already put the idea of failure in our minds. Maybe we can try saying “I wonder if I can do that”, or “oh I am going to try that”, or “wow! this is a great challenge for me to work towards” That puts a sense of wonder and anticipation in our minds. It’s all about that perception thing I keep talking about.
Ok, here is the part where people tell us to now go out there and Do Your Best, EVERY DAMN DAY and everything is going be hunky dory and fabulous. Well, that is not quite how it works. It would be nice though would it not?
Doing our best is a practice. It takes some time to learn how to do our best consistently just like it takes time to do anything consistently including incorporating a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits. It also takes a bit of discernment into whether or not we CAN give our best to something. If we are doing something out of obligation or because we have have been talked into it and it is not something we really wanted to do in the first place, do you really think we can give our best? I personally don’t think so. We need to pick our projects (other than our regular responsibilities) with care so that we are able to do our best. It needs to be something we we feel is important and are passionate about or at least something that we sincerely need in some way.
Doing our best does not mean that we will always achieve the things we set out to achieve, but it will get us a helluva lot closer than we would be if we just kinda half-assed it. Doing our best means we are fully engaged in our project, we are doing it because we love it with no expectations of reward at the end other than the satisfaction that what we did was our best work at that given moment in time. When we do our best there is no regret, no self-judgement and no negative self-talk. We learn to accept ourselves, but only if we are aware and learn from our mistakes and practice mindfulness every day.
When we do our absolute best, it really is always enough. What we have to realize is that our best changes from moment to moment and day to day. There are many factors that influence what our best entails. Maybe we are tired and did not get enough sleep or if maybe we are sick with some type of illness. Our best is going to be completely different than if we are wide awake or alert. If we are worried or stressed our best is going to be different as well. We have to acknowledge these things and accept that every single moment in our life is going to be different and embrace that moment for what it is. Because this moment…right here, yes this one is the ONLY moment that is relevant. There is no promise of the next moment in time so we want to make sure we make this moment right here the best we can.
Writing those words in my journal every day puts them in my mind first thing in the morning and leaves them hovering at the edge all day as a little reminder. To me writing things down over and over helps me to retain them in my mind. I also take a few moments each day to practice a mindfulness meditation in order to help keep me learn to be in the present moment. Rituals and routines are very powerful things. They help to keep us on track and focused on whatever we are doing. They help us bring things to life
Is there one thing you could begin to incorporate in your daily routine that may help you have the mindset of being excited to get our and do your best every day?
Is there anything you have done that you are super proud of and know that you have done your best on? I want to know! Tell me about it in the comments