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Better is the new best

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.  -Henry van Dyke

Nothing prevents us from becoming our best like the pressure of doing our best.

Have any of us ever done the absolute best we can do at ANY point in our lives?

We may say “I did my best” for rhetorical purposes, but in most of those cases, we can conceive, in retrospect, of ways in which we could have done just a bit better.

Is trying our best really the best approach to self-improvement?

The best way to get nothing done

“A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault.”  -John Henry Newman

The failure to do our best can easily become just another means by which we beat up on ourselves as in “I didn’t do by best, therefore I don’t deserve to be, do, or have my heart’s desire.”

Even worse, the belief that we ought to always give it our best shot is powerful fuel for procrastination.

We all know that little changes can accumulate into big results, but we often delay the initiation phase because we lack the time to give things the high level of focus we think they need or deserve.

What if our perceived lack of time and energy is merely an indicator that we’re requiring more output from ourselves than what is necessary?

It’s better to begin

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” -Anna Quindlen

If you wait until you can do your best, you’ll never become your best self. Just focus on doing better.

If you want to get in shape and you don’t exercise at all, try walking for two blocks everyday. It’s better than nothing and it will take you much further than waiting 3 months until you’re able to do your best. Of course, you may run into some people who tell you of ways in which you could be trying harder. When you do, just smile and keep doing better.

If you stay pointed in the direction of better, no matter how bad you’re doing,  you’ll eventually reach best.

And you’ll enjoy the journey a lot more.

At least that’s the way I see it.


T.K. Coleman

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