Do Your Best …

Do your best … that’s all you can do! This is my youngest son’s mantra and it has served him well in his early adult life. However, what if it isn’t enough?

What happens when your best just isn’t good enough?

Throughout our lives we’re encouraged to do our best, try harder, keep pushing, don’t give up, etc. However, most of us already have or will encounter obstacles or challenges seemingly too difficult to overcome, despite our best efforts. So what’s the right course of action when your best is not enough?

If we assume failure is not an acceptable outcome, then we have created an irresistible force paradox. The classic paradox formulated as “What happens when an unstoppable force (you) meets an immovable object (obstacle or challenge)?” This paradox arises because it rests on two premises—there exists such things as irresistible forces and immovable objects—which cannot both be true at once.

“If you lean in the direction of success, you will make progress even when you fall.” – Grant M. Bright

The hardest thing for most of us to accept is failure. We have been conditioned to believe that failure is a catastrophic, ‘end of days’ type event, rather than a life lesson. However, in this world we are a part of, there are no such things as irresistible forces or immovable objects. Something must be changed. How can we strive to do our best against all odds knowing the end result in some situations will not be favorable?

To avoid the irresistible force paradox, a better question might be, “Would you devote your time, resources and best effort to an endeavor if you knew in advance the outcome would be unfavorable?” The simple answer — you wouldn’t or shouldn’t.

As I see it, there are several options to consider in deciding what to do next in a situation when your best isn’t going to be enough.

  1. Determine what is missing. Is the shortfall or gap a result of unrealistic expectations, a lack of resources, too little time, etc.? Unless you determine what’s lacking, it’s hard to chart a new plan of action.
  2. Change the ground rules. This is particularly true in sales. If you are in a loss position, it is imperative that you work toward a more desirable outcome.
  3. Get help from others. Seek advice from a trusted advisor, hire a business or life coach, or reach out to someone who possesses the skills, knowledge or expertise required to fill the void.
  4. Move in a new direction. If the situation you find yourself in is untenable, then it may be time to cut your losses, learn from the experience, and then move on.
  5. Never give up on yourself. Don’t allow your circumstances, a setback or failure, keep you from achieving success or diminish your accomplishments.

While your best may not be enough in every situation, the successful people that I know possess an unwavering belief in themselves and their capacity to make a difference. This holds true in business, sports, relationships or any other aspect of life.

So, in everything you choose to do, doing your best is always the right course of action.

Enjoy the journey!


COPYRIGHT © 2020 John Carroll