What Does “Always Do Your Best” Mean to You?

Posted on : 19-03-2007 | By : Lynn | In : Career Stuff, Communication, Uncategorized


(Recently posted at www.lifebeforebusiness.com)

In Don Miguel Ruiz’ “The Four Agreements”, the fourth agreement is “Always Do Your Best”.  If you’re like me, when I first heard that I should always do my best my definition of what that meant skated mighty closely to the edge of what I understood “being perfect” meant.More...

Mr. Ruiz says, “under any circumstance always do your best, no more and no less”. What really sticks in my mind is this, “when you always do your best, you take action and you take action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward.”  What this means to me when I think of always doing my best is that I must be as mindful and aware as I can of my actions and also be willing to look at my mistakes and learn from them.  That “m” word in the last sentence, the “mistake” word—makes me hiccup when I realize that I’ve carried around inside of me the rule that when I do my best that means I cannot make any mistakes. Wow. What a head trip to lay on oneself!   Instead, what if I was to consider that doing my best meant for me to pay attention to what I was saying, doing and thinking and accept that I’m going to make mistakes and to be willing to acknowledge and learn from them when I do.

A friend of mine just sent me an article from the Boston Herald about the CEO of Jet Blue, David Neeleman and the mostly unheard of humility he exhibited as a CEO in admitting his mistakes out loud not only to his company and employees but also to his customers.  When I consider what it must have taken for Mr. Neeleman to admit his mistakes publicly, I see strength in his acceptance of those mistakes and believe that he will do the best that he can do to remedy the situation.  Let me put it another way, I’d feel safer in the planes of a company that is doing the best they can, seeing their mistakes and admitting them and taking action rather than other companies that tell us “everything is fantastically fine” but you and I both can see evidence to the contrary.

Think about what “always doing your best” means to you.  We may not walk on water, but I’d sure like to wade in alongside with you and others who are willing to do the best they can at being who they are today.


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