Best is a Way of Life



“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” — Og Mandino

“Give it your best shot.” …   Growing up, I heard those words of encouragement time and again, whenever I was venturing into something new, or competing in something where the competition was fierce.

I learned to treat BEST as a chance, not a chore.

I never regretted giving my best shot.   Even when my best wasn’t good enough.  I only ever regretted the times when I didn’t.

Giving YOUR Best is a Habit That’s Contagious

The funny thing about BEST is that it’s all relative, yet everybody roots for you when you give YOUR best.  In a way it levels the playing field where each of us has the chance to rise to our own level.

When was the last time you gave something your best shot?  BEST is contagious.  It’s habit forming.  It spills over into everything you do.  That is, unless you reserve your best for special occasions.

Like anything, BEST gets better with practice.  It takes work to hit your high notes, but the more you make BEST a habit, the more high notes you’ll hit.

In the book, Little Book of Leadership: The 12.5 Strengths of Responsible, Reliable, Remarkable Leaders that Create Results, Rewards, and Resilience, Jeffrey Gitomer writes about BEST as a way of life.

Do Everything Full Force

No holding back.  Go with gusto.  Show the world what you’re made of.

Via Little Book of Leadership:

“One of the most interesting aspects and one of the most unspoken parts of action and/or doing is the desire, your desire, to do everything full force.  Better stated, to do everything at the level of ‘best.’”

The Result Will Speak for Itself

BEST has a way with words.  Actually, it’s the strong silent type.  Jeffrey writes:

“It is better never to SAY, ‘I am doing the best I can.’  Rather, just DO the best you can, and you will never have to say it, the result will speak for itself.”

It’s Easy to Feel

You know how it feels.  You recognize it when you see it.  It’s the difference that makes the difference.

Via Little Book of Leadership:

“The word BEST is very difficult to define in writing, but it’s easy to react to and easy to feel when you are doing it.  It’s a personal dedication, and a work ethic, not a word.”

Example of Best

To illustrate what BEST looks like, Jeffrey shares an example using Pete Rose.  Pete Rose was “walked” 1,566 times.  He could have walked to first base, but he ran every time. He was the only player ever to do so. He was also known for stretching singles into doubles with his head first slide.  He holds the all-time record for doubles.

That’s BEST in action.

When are you at YOUR best and who gets to experience it?  Best just might be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Photo by tibchris.


  1. I’m pleased to realize that I’ve recently embodied this myself. I’m currently transitioning to a new role. Some might not blame me for acting like a short-timer–but that’s not my style. I have things to do before moving on! These last couple of weeks have been extremely effective in terms of outcomes. I’m giving it my best shot! And it feels extremely gratifying.

  2. @ Jimmy — It sounds like you are on a roll.

    It reminds me of a simple idea from John Wooden. Rather than focusing his players on winning, he had them focus on playing their best. After all, if they won the game, but didn’t play their best, did they really win. If they played their best, but lost, did they really lose.

    I really like the philosophy of focusing on your best. It makes it personal, and the reward flows from the inside out.

  3. Hi JD .. I like to do best – and feel I fall short quite often, yet friends say you’re doing more than most would. My best for now is carrying on as I am, then I can up the tempo at some stage in the future – laying the solid strong foundations for what’s ahead.

    The best is a way of life .. we should be doing it all the time, I don’t quite match up – I can only improve .. cheers Hilary

  4. @ Hilary — I think you teased out a key point … BEST is a journey, not a destination. And it’s something we can fully enjoy and fully embrace along the way.

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