"It's not always ok that we do our best, sometimes we need to do what's required."
~ Winston Churchill
I have always been intrigued by people who use the words ‘well, at least I’ve done my best’. That fascination has been around the question, ‘how do you know you have done your best, what does your best look like’?
If you don’t know the answer to that question, then you have no real basis for evaluating whether you have done your best or not. It can simply be left to a feeling or belief which is not grounded in substance.
Measuring Your Best
In athletics terminology, people use the term ‘PB’ to mean personal best and that’s a measurable milestone. For example, if your previous best on running four laps of the local football oval was ten minutes and now you’ve got it consistently down to nine minutes, that becomes your new personal best. Physical improvement is easy to measure.
On the other hand, when it comes to measuring effort in other fields of endeavour, it becomes more problematic.
For example, how do you know when you have used up all your mental capacities in trying to solve a complex problem? At what point do you give up and seek third party help because its genuinely beyond your field of comprehension and/or knowledge?
Too Often We Surrender to Challenges
My view is that far too often we surrender to these problems of challenges simply because they push us out of our routine comfort zone of thinking and action. There is a certain point when stretched that we move difficult challenges to our ‘too hard basket’ which often becomes their permanent home.
If we simply do this each time we are faced with a new or challenge, that leaves no room for growth or improvement. Our PB bar will simply remain where its, tottering on the edge of normality if I’m being kind, or mediocrity if I’m being honest.
I’ll leave readers to reflect on this quote from American Inventor Thomas A Edison which echoes my thoughts.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success before they gave up.”
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