If it was your best, it was enough.
DON'T LET OUTCOMES DETERMINE YOUR OUTPUTS
There’s a sign tacked to the wall in front of my desk that simply reads,
“I hate 90%.”
Written underneath that phrase are two more words, “Tenacious Resolve.”
I printed and posted that placard there a few months ago as a reminder to not only focus, follow through, and finish, but to always do my best in every moment.
But sometimes my best doesn’t feel good enough. Sometimes it still feels like failure. And it’s in those moments when I berate or beat myself up without much mercy.
I’m not alone. I know many people that suffer the same feelings of self-defeat in their personal and professional life. In their minds, their best is just never good enough.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I review my dreams and desires every morning and every night without fail. I also take time to reflect on four rules I try to follow.
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
And always do your best.
(These come from the book, The Four Agreements. Yes, you need to order a copy.)
Sometimes my best feels like I just knocked the proverbial ball out of the park. Other times, it feels like a bunt, a foul ball, or a strike out. Swing and a miss. Again.
Regardless of the results, each of those outputs might still be the best I had to offer at that moment. So the problem isn’t my effort. It’s my outlook on the outcome.
That’s why the 90% rule is so important. If I give everything I’ve got, why should I be upset? After all, I can’t control the results of every endeavor. And neither can you.
My best is never going to be the same from moment to moment because life is fluid. I’ve been learning this lesson the hard way over the last couple of years.
There have been days, weeks, and months when my best entailed making it to the office and sitting at my desk. Did I accomplish anything? Nope. But I showed up.
From time to time, life creates limitations for each of us. For me, it’s my health. And there’s very little I can do about that some days. But I can try again. Tomorrow.
Recently, I launched a podcast. It’s not only new—it’s new to me. Did you know that being a public speaker and a podcaster are not synonymous? Lots to learn.
Here’s what I know about doing your best. When you do, there can be no judgement about your efforts. And if you don’t judge yourself, you’re free of guilt, shame, regrets.
Maybe you’ve been emphasising the wrong end of the stick. So you didn’t hit a home run your last time at-bat. No big deal. At least you took a swing at the ball, right?
Under any circumstance, all you can do is your best. Sometimes you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. Sometimes not. Maybe today was just more batting practice. Nice.
And no. Practice doesn’t make you perfect. But it can make you better. And that’s the best you can do today regardless of what situation you’re facing right now.
So don’t beat yourself up. I’ve tried it—doesn’t work. What does? When you give 100%. And if you do, that’s enough. Live with tenacious resolve to always do your best.
And smile. You’re fine just the way you are. All is well.
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