A short post about doing your best

“I’m always doing my best. It’s just that sometimes, my best isn’t very good.”

This is a phrase that I have come to live by over the past few months.

My friend Aneta and I came up with it during some conversation about school and work and life, while probably talking about how overwhelming it can all feel sometimes. Both of us are in the process of completing a host of prerequisites for nursing school and I gotta say, this phrase really has helped me keep things in perspective and remember to forgive myself when I feel I haven’t “lived up to my potential” on a given day.

Because as much as we hate to admit it, no matter how hard we try, none of us can be 100% perfect all the time. Some days, our capacity for greatness just isn’t as high as it was the day before. Some days we feel like we could accomplish anything in the world, and other days it feels hard just to get out of bed.

And that’s ok. You’re not going to be a rockstar every single day. But if you are consistently putting in effort and working hard more often than not, your average will come out in the positive.

I try to remember this on days when I feel like I’m just not at the top of my game. I remind myself that in general, I am giving this world everything I’ve got and that as long as I am doing my best on any given day, it will work out in the end.

Let me be clear that this whole “doing my best” thing is not designed to be a cop-out and it’s not an excuse to not try. Just because you aren’t “feeling it” today doesn’t mean that you simply give up on what you are working towards or are allowed to be a jerk to everyone around you. You still have to do your best and you have to do it on a regular basis.

For example, today, I didn’t really feel like writing a blog post. I just finished a big exam and all I really want to do is zonk out and watch Netflix all day.

But I know that in the end, I would be disappointed with myself if that was how I spent the rest of my day. I also know that I love writing and even though I’m not always in the mood for it, once I start tapping on the keyboard, I usually end up having more to say than I originally thought. So, I forced myself to sit down at my computer, open up a fresh document, and write something, anything. (Hence, this blog post – you’re welcome!)

It’s not much, but for today, it’s my best.

So if one day your best happens to just not be very good, remind yourself that tomorrow, it might be better. I mean, it might also be worse…I’m not a fortune teller, after all, and neither are you. (well, actually, you might be, I don’t know who reads this blog…)

But regardless of your chosen line of work, the point is that tomorrow will be different, so hang in there, kid. And when you’re feeling like you suck and everything you touch seems to turn to mud, my advice is to still show up, still work hard, and still do your best, whatever that might be.