This is part 5 of a 5-part series based on the work of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Voice of Knowledge and The Four Agreements.
Success is the process of striving to achieve excellence, which is living up to our full potential. This journey involves giving it our best shot each day in order to improve in body, mind, and soul.
The final agreement that we need to make in order to write our own story is to always do our best. It is the ultimate action step and when we truly free ourselves up to do our best we will fully express who we are and write a truly amazing and inspiring story.
One of the first principles to remember about doing our best is that our best can change from moment to moment. Physical factors like sickness and injury can play a factor and so can our mental state if we allow it. Masters of their craft train both their body and their mind in an attempt to eliminate as many of these limiting factors as possible. However, everything changes from moment to moment and it is impossible to have complete control over our environment. A poor performance in a particular moment does not always equate to a poor effort or doing less than our best.
A second principle of doing our best is that it is a process, not a singular occurrence. Frosty Westering taught three versions of BEST that people normally subscribe to:
1) Trying to be THE BEST and prove ourselves better than someone else; the problem is we do not control anyone else and playing the comparison game can be harmful.
2) Trying to be OUR BEST shifts the burden to ourselves and takes away any comparisons; this correctly moves the focus on ourselves, but most people see giving our best as isolated to each particular event. Many times we are starting over and not taking the lessons to bridge one experience to another.
3) Giving our BEST SHOT is continuing to reload, aim, and fire at our target no matter what happens; we see our best shot as part of a process where we constantly use feedback to learn and grow and improve what our best looks like each time.
A third principle for doing our best is to take action without the fear of messing up. As J.K. Rowling said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” Doing our best is taking risks, being willing to fail, and knowing that with every action (whether achievement or failure) we are moving one step closer to reaching our dream. A key piece is to take action based on love rather than malice. When our actions are motivated by love there is no right or wrong, it is just a choice. When we make choices, we are creating, and we are living.
A fourth principle for doing our best is to remove any attachments to goals and rewards. We can have a goal or destination if we want to, but it doesn’t really matter if we reach it or not. What matters is creating and fully expressing ourselves by doing our best on the journey to get there. If we have a dream centered on the person we want to become, and the impact we want to have on the world, then there is no finish line. When the motivation for our action is to obtain a reward then we are not truly enjoying the action and it is impossible to do our best. Taking action without the expectation of a reward allows us to truly enjoy everything we do. We may get a reward as the result of our efforts, but we are not attached to those results. And many times, we will find the rewards we receive will be far beyond anything we would have gained by intentionally working to get those results.
A fifth and final principle for doing our best is to live in the moment and be authentic. When are truly doing our best in the very moment we are living in, we live life intensely. We find that we don’t need to worry about the past, we don’t need to compare ourselves to others, and we don’t need to prove anything to anyone. When we make the choice to give in to fears and worry about being accepted by others then we are denying ourselves the opportunity to be our authentic selves and fully express the creation that God created us to be. Living our life by doing our best in the present moment is a way to show gratitude and appreciation. According to Les Brown, “Life is God’s gift to us and how we live our life is our gift to God.” Live in the present, make choices out of love, and never stop giving it our best shot.
At the end of each day this week, rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in the following areas:
Check out the first four articles in this series by clicking on the links below:
Part 1: Write Your Own Story
Part 2: Be Impeccable with Your Word
Part 3: Don’t Take Anything Personally
Part 4: Don’t Make Assumptions
Part 5: Always Do Your Best
The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Strange Secret of the Big Time by Frosty Westering
J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech
Les Brown: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Inspiring leaders to Rise Above and Enjoy the Journey!
Success vs. Achievement
Chop Wood Carry Water
Would You Rather...
First Things First
Do You Have Trouble Sleeping?
What is Your Plan?
One Word: Blessed
The Pursuit of Happyness
You Win in the Locker Room First
What Are You Training For?
Winning Is A Mindset
Always Be Faithful in Small Things
Are You a Leader?
What is Your Why?
I Love Watching You Play
Keep on Failing
The Coach is the Student
The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership
Now They Know
Esse Quam Videri
Powered by Purpose
Are You All In?
The Eyes of Your Heart
Sunrise or Sunset?
We Need Boundaries
What is Right Over Who is Right
Carry Your Bobsled
Do You Have Any Suggestions for Improvement?
Sing Out Loud
Be An Eagle
The Power of One
You Are a Lighthouse
I Hate The Grind
Closing the Gap
The Big Time
What Profit Are You Seeking?
A Better Life
Don't Do It For the Applause
A Harvest of Impact
It's a Wonderful Life
One Word for 2018: INTENTNESS
Write Your Own Story
Be Impeccable with Your Word
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
A Second Chance