Quite coincidently, I heard a similar statement from two different people in two different places over the last week. It went something like this: “Don’t try to be the best, simply do your best.” That’s quite thought-provoking, isn’t it.
We live in a competitive, dog-eat-dog world today. Everyone is trying to out-do the next person. We all want to be number one. Get to the front of the line. The top of the class. It's a call to excellence. After all, winning isn’t everything, it's the only thing. Or so they tell us.
But this can leave us all incredibly tired at the end of the day and very disappointed in ourselves because we never feel like we are getting ahead in the rat race that has our life has degenerated into.
The truth is that in any endeavour or activity that you engage in there will most likely be someone in the world who can do it better than you and others who aren’t quite as good as you. That’s reality. Of course, no one can do what you do exactly as you do it. That's because you bring your uniqueness to every situation.
My mother used to teach me when I was younger to "do my best … and leave the rest”. If I always did the best that I could at the time, that was enough. I then needed to learn from it and move on. If I did really well and dwelt on it too long, I’d start to get puffed up with pride, thinking too highly of myself. If I didn’t do that well and lingered on my performance too long, I would start to get discouraged and even depressed, thinking too lowly of myself.
When life is over you won’t be compared to others … only to what you could have done with what you have been given compared to what you actually did. Now there is a challenging thought.
So, find your voice. Sing your song. God's gift to you is your potential. Your gift back to him is what you do with it. Be the best you you can be. Yes, just do your best.