Life is a crazy difficult journey made worse by a deeply held widespread misconception to be the best at any point in time—which puts us under worthless stress and unending pressure.
Strangely, most of us confuse ‘Being the Best’ with ‘Doing Our Best’—with the latter being what life should really be about.
We desire to ‘Be the Best’ in whatever we do, competing with almost every one within our reach: even when we may not have what it takes to be the best, we still think we ought to be the best.
The two phrases: ‘Being the Best’ and ‘Doing Your Best’ may seem as though they have the same meaning or the first may come off as more desirable but it’s not. Perhaps you are asking, don’t you want to be the best if you are going to give out your best?
I have always given out my best in everything—and I have managed to always sit in the room as the Best or with the Best but I have never aspired or set off to become the Best in anything.
Conditioning your mind to be the Best can sometimes turn you into a convenient mediocre individual, especially when you are surrounded by the worst. In such situations, the little you do would put you up there as the Best but in reality, you’ve performed far below your Best.
During my early educational days to college level, my mother cared less about whether I was the Best student in class or the second Best. In fact, I was always the Best or the second Best but she never really cared as other parents did—rather, she made sure I was doing my Best and not just finding ways to be the Best in my class.
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I have watched 20 students take an examination with almost half of them failing and the other half achieving something a little above 50 percent. The top child had 56 percent—and though the student was the Best in that examination, his best was really not much. And knowing the student, he did not actually do his best.
Let me add that, that student was me and that was when I decided that, it’s not about being the best but doing your best—because the latter defines true success and brings deep fulfilment. I couldn’t talk about or show that so called Best result to anyone who really knew me.
Apart from the fact that striving to be the Best would sometimes make you a champion in a fight with the frail, there are several ways people can become the Best without necessary doing their Best. A lot of people cheat to become the Best and attain positions with no true self worth.
There are those times you may not have the talent, energy or even the resource to be the Best and no matter what you do, you wouldn’t ever become the Best. Under such circumstance, if your mindset is about Being the Best, then you are set to invite into your life unneeded stress and crippling pressures.
That’s why you should strive to do your best under every circumstance and I can guarantee that mostly doing your true best would put you up there as being the best—because, a lot of people do not take interest in doing their best. They do whatever!
It’s your life and you have to live it on your own terms—of course, inspired by the lives of others. But you should not turn your life into a constant race with strangers to become the Best when all you need to be at peace and keep achieving is to do your best, no matter what.
I love competition but the only competition I ever engage in is with myself. And this is where doing your best becomes the most important success tool. I regularly evaluate my achievements and standards under the heading: did I do my best? And even if I am the best in something, achieved by having done below my best, I work at it again, striving to improve on it by doing my best—competing with myself.
This is the greatest success tool anyone would ever present to you: strive to do your best—and not to be the best. You can train everyday for 20 hours and still may not become the best in a race. What should matter most to you as a healthy achieving person is whether you did your best or not.
Most times, being the best is really not a the true measure of success or your abilities. Make sure you give your best in whatever you do, and you will safeguard yourself from many of the unnecessary pressures of life while achieving more than you could have imagined.
I am never worried if someone is not the best, it doesn’t really matter provided they did their best.
To be frank, I hold strong reservations and I believe a lot of reasonable people do when someone is the best and did not do his or her best. It’s time to take charge of your life by noting the subtle and yet important nuances in ‘Being the Best’ and ‘Doing Your Best’.