Always Doing Your Best is Important

By Jim Stovall

Like me, you were probably told from the time you were a young child to “Always do your best.” As an adult, I have had time to reflect upon the things I was told as a child. Virtually all of those things have a great deal of merit, but when I examined whether or not it was important to always do your best, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that it may seem like it is not important to always do your best. There are many times in your personal or professional life you can do a mediocre or even substandard job, and it may seem that it simply doesn’t matter.

You can look back on many situations when you have given a maximum effort to prepare for something, and all of your hard work simply didn’t matter. Unfortunately, deciding when your best is needed can only be determined in hindsight. It’s like a game of basketball. Every shot counts, but somehow when you get down to the last few seconds, it seems that a player is taking a shot that will result in either winning or losing the game. In reality, any basket during the entire contest could win or lose the game just as easily, but you don’t know when it’s going to come down to the wire; so in order to be safe, you’ve got to play your best during the entire game.

Many people get discouraged when they prepare for a test or a project, and all of their preparations do not seem to be utilized. Often people use experiences like this as an excuse to do less than their best in the future. Many times, when you do less than your best, it will be the very instance when a little more preparation or effort on your part could have made all the difference. There’s nothing more sad than an individual who has failed to achieve their desires while realizing that the goal was within their reach had they done their best.

If you can look at doing your best as who you are instead of what you do, it can change your outlook. Defining yourself as the kind of person who always gives a best effort will keep you from that substandard performance when you will later find out that it really mattered.

As you go through your day today, do your best. It may or may not matter today, but being the kind of person who always does their best will matter for the rest of your life.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author, columnist, and motivational speaker.

Updated 11-12-2004

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