My daughter came up to me the other day and gave me some profound advice: “Do your best.”
Cliché? She’s a toddler, but yes.
You may roll your eyes at this overused phrase, but honestly, it is a legitimate path to success. And sometimes, we all need to take a step back and focus on the basics of doing the best we can: at work, in our relationships, and in every aspect of daily life.
Cliché ≠ Incorrect
My daughter’s advice isn’t original, but it’s well-known (even by toddlers) for a reason. Mentors, leaders, and motivational speakers have all given their own spin on the concept for decades, and maybe even centuries:
- Seek progress over perfection
- Be your best self
- Never give up
- Wherever you are, be all there
The idea of giving your best no matter what you’re doing is just as vital in your career it is as in every other aspect of your life.
Best ≠ Perfection
It’s essential to understand that giving your best doesn’t mean being perfect. Sometimes you’ll give your best and fail. You’ll experience a “learning opportunity.” Some days your “best” will be far better (or worse) than it is on other days because you’re human. But the key is deciding each day to give what you can and commit to showing up well.
Doing your best vs. Giving that extra 10%
You might think this idea runs counter to the idea of giving that extra 10% to advance your career. But really, I think these two concepts align very well.
The idea of giving that extra 10% doesn’t mean that each day and project will end up as a perfect 100. It means that each day and project receives the most you have to offer at the time. Or, in other words, you give it your best.
Set yourself up for a satisfying career
Changing your perspective to focus on doing your best is really important for long-term motivation and success. There will be projects that you bomb and clients that you lose and days when nothing seems to go right. But if you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and know what you gave your best, you can feel at peace.
What are your thoughts? How do you give your best every day at work? What basic pieces of advice do you fall back on? Add your comments below!
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