DINK #173 Doing Your Best And Knowing That’s Not Enough!

Posted on : 09-09-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


What does that even mean, “to do your best”?  To a perfectionist it can be a reign of terror that we unleash on ourselves because our best isn’t good enough and our idea of perfection is always just out of reach for us to ever make it.  I appreciate what Don Miguel Ruiz has to say about doing your best in his book, “The Four Agreements”.  The Fourth Agreement is “Always Do Your Best”. Don Miguel says, “But keep in mind that your best never going to be the same from one moment to the next.  Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.” …  ” In your everyday moods your best can change from one moment to another, from one hour to the next, from one day to another.”

For me, to think about always doing my best means that I have to categorize all kinds of behaviors and thoughts in my head so that I am able to let go, accept, and take action.  I know in my past that not being able to do what I thought was my best kept me paralyzed so that I could not take any action.  For instance, today I had intended to stay home and get some work and chores done around the house, play with the dogs and get ready for the new week, but instead we took some good friends up on a spur of the moment invitation to hang out at their lake house all day.  We had a great time with our friends, relaxing and laughing and sharing stories. We even watched the movie, “Rain Man” again.  Even though I really enjoyed our time with our friends, I felt a little guilty coming home to chores that I hadn’t gotten done and dogs that needed to be walked.  Even so, my loyal Paul-Paul is laying right behind the wheels of my chair as I type up this blog.

So what was my best today?  Was my best to be able to be spontaneous and hang out with friends (and my husband) who I love?  I can’t think of the last time David and I hung out with friends like that unless we were on vacation.  When I think about it from the calm place in my heart, I feel like we made an investment today in our friendships.  There are so many friends that we dearly love and care about that we spend so little time with because of all of our busy schedules.  Perhaps choosing to forgo vacuuming up the dog hair from our shedding dogs was a better decision.  After all, tomorrow is another day.

I began thinking about how important it is for us to do our best and to know when it is enough after talking with someone I mentor this morning.  She was really having a hard time writing a paper that was due today (Sunday) for one of her graduate classes.  She’s not a writer and recognizes that she needs to ask for help in this arena but I know that she certainly has the intelligence, experience and snap to pull together a pretty durn good paper even if the subject matter she chose to write about is broad and dense.  I could see where the academic light shining down upon her head was taking her “knowing” of what doing her best looked and felt like and expanding it exponentially to fit some unrealistic margin of perfection that no one could meet.  I just know that if she could just do her best, it would be a really good best and it would be enough.  I wanted to be able to lift the veil of illusion off of her expectations of herself so that she could then just be who she was and be perfectly imperfect and at peace with herself and the world.

What I want to leave you with today is the idea of being able to look at yourself through loving eyes and even if you have to pretend that there is something or someone that cherishes every single morsel about you—then do that so that when you do your next right thing, doing your best will become like a second nature for you and you will know that when you are doing your best, that is enough.

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