You, as an awesome nerd with superb potential, owe it to yourself to do your best. Why would you do anything less? If something is important to you, then there really shouldn’t be any question of not doing your best.
But before you go putting too much pressure on yourself there are a couple of ideas you should filter through your brain first.
These are: your best is personal, and your best is variable.
What do I mean by this? Let us dive a little deeper.
Your Best is Personal
This is hardly rocket science. Your best is a measure of your own capabilities, not someone else’s.
Unfortunately most people quickly forget this and regularly compare themselves against unreasonable targets or expectations. It’s a 100% certain way of setting yourself up to fail and leaving yourself open to disappointment.
For example, I could train to run marathons, exercising my mind and body every day, but no matter what I do, I’m not going to be as good as Mo Farah. It’s a daft comparison to make, as it’s a standard I cannot achieve. But the value of all that hard work and effort isn’t in a comparison with someone else, it’s in the personal achievement, personal improvement and personal progress. Over years of training I would improve immensely, I would gain a deep sense of achievement, I would see my body change and I would feel the improvements in health. If marathon running was my passion, and indulging in it made me happy, then investing time in it would be wholly worthwhile.
The other aspect of ‘your best is personal’ is to do with how other people view you. They are not impartial. They will measure you from their completely subjective perspective. They will use their own measuring stick based on their values and life experience. They’ll measure your best and they might consider you a success or a failure. And to be honest with you, that is completely fine. They have the right to their own ideas, opinions and thoughts. The trick is not to take it personally. Their measurement of you isn’t a true measure.
Only you can fairly and honestly measure yourself against what you know to be your best.
Your Best Can Vary
Your best is not a constant.
Again, this is a pretty obvious concept but most people treat it like it’s not true. If you’re tired or ill, you’re physically incapable of functioning at the same level as when you’re on form. But it’s not only illness or tiredness that can knock down your best a peg or two. Other factors can play a part.
For me recently, I experienced a change in the amount of social interactions I was used to. This was due to changing where I worked, my work mates were no longer around and I missed hanging out with friends over lunch and straight after work. This reduced daily social interaction really knocked me down. As a result I wasn’t operating at the same level as before. It wasn’t until I figured this out and fixed it that I could get back to my normal self. So you owe it to yourself to ease off the accelerator now and then. When your body, mind or soul tells you that you need it, let yourself have some time.
Do something today that tomorrow’s you will thank you for
The other side of this coin is that you have to be honest with yourself. There will be times when you need a break and you should take it. But there will be times when you know you could do more if you just got up and did it. You need to be able to tell the difference so you can give yourself a kick to get yourself going. Do your best over time and you’ll get where you want to go.
- Your best is personal and you are best placed to understand what it is – It isn’t someone else’s best or someone else’s expectation of what they think your best is
- Your best can vary – There are good days and bad days, energetic days and recovery days; there are all sorts of days – Your best isn’t going to be the same on each one
So that’s about it. Do your best. Just make sure you know what that means for you today.