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Daily Verse 11.17.20—Always Do Your Best Is Bullshit

I caught myself in a whopper of a lie to my kids not too long ago, and it resulted in me taking a good dose of my own medicine.

In our house, we talk a lot about not “mailing it in” when it comes to showing up to our responsibilities in life, be it commitments to school, work, or community. We believe in that, we do—show up fully, give what you’ve got, and contribute something. I talk a lot about Mrs. Rumphius to our boys, the character in that children’s book known as the “Lupine Lady” who was taught to travel, see the world, and leave it better than she found it.

Recently when I sensed one of my kids had just done the bare minimum on something to get it done and over, I said this in a sarcastic tone, eyebrow raised: “Well…did you do your best?” No, he hadn’t. He knew it. I knew it. Busted.

Later that night, when I was walking the dog I thought about what complete bullshit that question was…did you do your best?

One thing I know for sure—and talk to my clients about on a regular basis—is the benefit of lowering the bar on your own expectations, letting something be “good enough” and yes, even mailing it in from time to time. The reality is that we can’t—we just can’t—always do our best. We’d break ourselves trying, and many of us have. There is a time and a place for good enough, and if you ask me that strategy is not deployed with enough frequency (although COVID has certainly increased that capacity in us, am I right?)

So fuck it. I’ve put that question (Did you do your best?) in cold storage until further notice. I’m all about enough right now—maybe forever.

Want to know what these daily verses are all about? Read here to learn what inspired this practice on my birthday post, November 1st.