There’s no argument that always doing your best is a good way to operate. But, of course, we humans have a way of using valuable pieces of wisdom against ourselves in times of weakness.
So, I’d like to elaborate a bit on what it means to always do your best.
First off, you don’t establish an immovable standard of doing your best based on how you operate when you’ve had the perfect amount of sleep, a great workout, and you’re feeling super positive and motivated for an exciting new project.
You certainly want to maximize the opportunity to ace your day when the stars are aligned for you in such a way.
The sticky part of doing your best (and where we may sometimes use it “against ourselves”) is when we hold ourselves to such a standard on days when we aren’t feeling so pumped and prepared for success.
If you’ve been up all night arguing with your significant other and you are starting to feel like you might be catching a cold, your best may simply be making an important phone call before you crawl into bed with a cup of tea.
The point is… “your best” is a subjective and fluctuating standard.
And understanding this is an indispensable self-management tool.
When we decide that we are only doing our best if we accomplish the volume and quality of work we would accomplish on our most ideal day, we sell ourselves short on days when we have fewer resources to draw from.
If you are feeling physically, mentally, or emotionally depleted, it’s more important to recharge than it is to force yourself to achieve some unreasonable standard you’ve previously set.
So, yes, always do your best. Just don’t fall into the trap of assuming there is only one high standard for what that is.
Do the best you can with the energy, stamina and tools you have in the moment… And don’t forget to congratulate yourself for doing your best in each given circumstance!
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