Give it your Personal Best!

By Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
Author of THE ART OF BEING, 101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your Life
THE FOURTH AGREEMENT: "Always do your best." Your best is going to change from moment to moment. Under any circumstance, always do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret."  ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

One day several years ago as I picked my daughter Merritt up from high school it was obvious to me that she was very stressed out. It seemed that she was encountering some challenges in, not one, but several of the classes she had up until then been getting stellar grades in. It appeared that her GPA might even dip a little. She was not a happy camper about this. It was then that I reminded her of a conversation we have had on many occasions over the years as she grew up. Since she was born I have always told her, "I don't care what you accomplish in school, sports or any other area of your life as long as at the end of the day you can look into the mirror and honestly say you've done the best you knew how to do at that time." With that reminder, she drew a deep breath, sighed and smiled. She just needed a reminder of what she already knew.

Now, I invite you to also take a deep breath and sigh a little. Each day of your life is different than the day before, so it's unrealistic to think that your "performance" will be (or should be) exactly the same every day. For some people, just making it out of bed on certain days may be the best they can do, and that’s okay. Your "best" may change from day to day, moment to moment. If you are "addicted" to excelling every day, you will indeed suffer greatly with self-judgment, guilt, abuse and regret. (As a recovering perfectionist, I am qualified to say this!) Hey, even God took a day off!

Likewise, if you are addicted to "loafing," this may be a call for you to live "UP" to your potential as well. In either case, there is an inner observer within you that knows when you are giving the best you've got in every holy instant and when you are not. Just go look in the mirror--you will see it staring back at you. Do your best each day, and you will like who you see.

. . .there is an inner observer within you that knows when you are giving the best you've got. . .

MINDFULNESS PRACTICE FOR TODAY:

Begin by looking into the mirror right now. What does that Being staring back at you report? Are you giving your best effort to life today? Forget about the past, it is done and over. How about right now…are you doing the best you can in this holy instant? Regardless of how it may look to others, if the answer is yes, then take a deep breath,
sigh and smile. If the answer is no, the good news is it is never too late to start

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