The reason why they call something a “personal best” is because it’s personal. The question becomes what has to happen for a person to be at their best? Is the answer as simple as eat well, exercise and sleep right? Or is it more? Is the answer deeper than step challenges, wellness seminars and nutritional programs?
Perhaps, for a person to be at their best, they would have to define what their best truly is. This means defining our skill sets, which means we have to understand the tools we keep in our tool box. We have to understand our resources and how to use them accordingly. To be the best means to be able to maintain and sustain the highest qualities of our life. This has nothing to do with anyone else or the way others rate good, better or best. This cannot be hinged upon anyone or anything. This is not hinged upon outcomes or outside circumstances. To be the best means to hold a personal level of proficiency and maintain this, regardless of the different intervals of achievement and success. And lastly, to brand ourselves as the best has to come from within.
There are those who will wake up today. Their eyes have been open and yet, their alarm has yet to go off. Their bedroom is dim with only a hint of the early sunrise that creeps through the window before it takes the stage. There is so much on their plate. There are so many different factors in their life. There are the known fears and the unknown worries about the day ahead of them. Their confidence is minimal. Their concerns are wasted on the uncontrollable and unforeseen problems that could possibly happen. They think dead-end thoughts and believe they are in a dead-end life with dead-end people. If asked, this person would say, “This is the best I can be.”
Meanwhile, they want to be better. They want to feel better and look better and yet, everyone knows the right way to do things. Everybody knows how to live healthy and look healthy, and yet, there seems to be a complication in putting their plans into action. There is someone waking up on this Wednesday morning and they’ve quit before they began. Their thoughts of hope are lost to the ideas of an impending doom. Their belief system is built upon doubt and disappointment and furthermore, their habitual life-patterns have stemmed from their subconscious beliefs and personal biases. Therefore, their direction is influenced by their vision; and since this is how this person sees themselves, then this is how the person will always be.
There is someone right now who is caught in the web of their own personal construct. Their performance levels match their belief systems and thus, for them, this will be the highlight of their day, contemplating the problems of unforeseen things that haven’t even happened yet. This is life at subpar. This is average seeking to be average and the mediocre being comfortable with mediocrity. There are no high-highs, but only intervals of brief inclines in the constant status of scattered lows. And to someone that lives this way, to them, they’ll believe this wholeheartedly. “This is the best I will ever be.”
The only reason this is true is because this person has decided to accept this truth, which does not mean this is true at all. Instead, this is only true to them. This is only a case of deception of perception. And therefore, this is where the work needs to begin.
Right now, there is someone who leads a business. There are leaders waking up with life in front of them. They have learned to avoid the passion between peaks and valleys. They have learned to remove the emotion of good or bad or pass and fail. Instead, this person has learned to understand their abilities. They have learned how to utilize their resources, which is different from depending upon them, which allows this person to be independent and yet, they remain interactive to remove the unnecessary burdens and shed their workload. This person has learned where to conserve their energy best. They understand how to maintain a good working pace. They understand when to break, when to eat, when to let work take priority and when to have life have its place. Are they so different from you or I? And if so, then how?
Let’s remove privilege. Or wait, no, let’s not.
Is their ability to work at this level only because of a good, strong education? Is it the degrees on the wall? Is this because they have shown their alpha tendencies, which allowed them to move to the top of the food chain? Or, is the answer as simple as this person has learned to incorporate their best levels of mindfulness, awareness and understanding. (Notice how emotion has no place here?)
To be at our best does not mean constant success nor does it mean life is always favorable. This does not come without hardships or disappointments. To find our best means that we are able to work, maneuver, navigate and live without being distracted by our so-called ideas of competition. This is not about win, lose or tie in between.
In fact, the competition becomes so different that we learn more about our best talents and how to use them to our advantage. We learn to understand our abilities to improve. We conserve instead of waste. We can perform comfortably without allowing our previous letdowns become our future mistakes. Otherwise, how could we possibly get our head in the game?
What does it mean to be at my best?
This means like or not, I am up and moving between the hours of 4:00 and 4:30am. I do this on a daily basis. This means I have to keep the course. This means that although there are things beyond my control, I have to allow my attention to focus on my tasks at hand. Otherwise, I run the risk of losing to ideas that do not support my best possible potential. I have to learn how to replace problematic thinking with beneficial behaviors. However, when I find myself not performing at my usual or near my best; I have to take notice of this. I have to understand why I have lost my motivation. Then I have to question my investments and take inventory. I have to face this honestly and learn to recognize the direction of my intentions; and should this not match with my goals, I have to take this into account and learn where my energies are being drained.
Am I not happy with something? Am I thinking about rejection or am I judging myself based on unfair levels? Are my personal needs not met? So therefore, internally, are my emotional systems intercepting and contributing to the self-sabotage, due to a mental challenge, which is cloaked as lack of inspiration.
We all have our reward system. Use this properly and the rewards learn to replenish by themselves. This can happen almost habitually and without any input. This is a constant way of life. This is not to say the beginning phases are easy; however, once the wings take flight, we can soar higher than our own expectations. Don’t look down. Don’t allow for distractions. Keep a true pace and allow this to be realistic. The grass is not greener anywhere else; and if it is, the reason is because the person learned how to take care of their lawn. This took work. And so will you.
Do not be afraid to learn. Remain teachable. Master the art of self; perfect your craft, and find the balance between work life, home life, playtime and sleep time.
The sun is up now. There are people who understand they have to get up and yet, they can’t get themselves out of bed. And then again, there is someone who has already been out of bed and hit the ground running.
Keeping both in mind, which person do you want to be?
As for myself, right or wrong, good or bad, pass, fail, accepted or rejected, I’ve been up and out of bed. I have changes to make and things to do. Today, my best is not whether I win or lose nor is it how I play the game. Me at my best means that I can have an off day and not have this break me. I can make mistakes. Me at my best means I show up. I can sit back and be humble. I can learn and be teachable without shame. I am at my best when I understand the balance of self-care. I can disconnect from the emotional distractions and focus on my goals by tending to my plans and the strategies to achieve them.
I’ll never be the best basketball player in the world. Perhaps I’ll never win an Oscar or a Golden Globe but the one thing I can do, which no one can prevent, is I can be the best me possible.
No one can ever stop this.
(Unless I let them.)