Why ‘Do your best’ isn’t enough


Dr B: Teaching our children to give their best effort at anything they do is deeply important. How do they learn this?

When we give our all at what we do it shows our children by example what it feels like to measure success by our efforts not the results. But it’s not always as simple as telling your child “do your best.”

Carrie J: The saying, “Do your best,” struck fear into my heart for much of my life. To me, it implied that I was obligated to exert myself, struggle, and try to stretch beyond my capabilities.

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I never had a definition that explained otherwise. One of my favorite quotes on this topic comes from author, Don Miguel Ruiz, in his book,The Four Agreements

“Your best changes from moment to moment; Your best is different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Simply do your best under any circumstance to avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

Doing your best means enjoying the action without expecting a reward. The pleasure comes from doing what you like in life and having fun, not from the reward or compensation. Enjoy the path travelled and the destination will take care of itself.

Living in the moment and releasing the past helps us to do the best we can in the moment. It allows us to be fully alive right now, enjoying what is present, not worrying about the past or the future.

Have patience with yourself.

Be consistent and persistent with meaningful action.

If you do your best always, transformation will happen as a matter of course.”

Carrie J: What I love about Don Miguel Luiz’s fourth agreement is how it dives into what it means to do your best and shows us that giving our all is a personal journey, involves looking within, treating ourselves kindly, and experiencing the world in the most enjoyable way possible.