Do Your Best and Have a Banana

Do Your Best and Have a Banana

“Always do your best.”

It’s one of the Four Agreements, the seemingly simple yet profound book on Toltec wisdom by Don Miguel Ruiz. The idea is that, no matter what you’re doing, do it to the best of your ability. No half-assing it, no sweeping the dirt under the rug, that sort of thing.

But there’s a critical part to understanding this. We are human, and some days our best is not quite what it is on another day. When we are tired, or stressed, or anxious, or sick, or in the middle of chaos, our “best” might just look like survival.

That doesn’t mean we get a free pass; bliss comes at the other end of doing what you’re doing with presence and intention, immersing yourself in the moment. And sometimes, that means we have to care for ourselves, with the same commitment and passion we put into taking care of others, taking care of business.

Some days I’m a tornado of productivity. Other days, like today, it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open at the keyboard. So I must intentionally decide — is my “best” right now pushing this next piece, even if my creative energies are waning? Or would doing my best look like taking a little time off, maybe a nap, or a long walk, or a hot shower?

There’s a trap in this. It’s too easy to take the easy route, putting off what truly needs doing for the sake of “self-care” or even indulgence. The solution for me lies in listening to that still, quiet voice. It knows if I’m phoning it in, or not engaging as well as I should. It calls me back to the task to bang out the blog post or finish that client proposal, no excuses. And then, job well done, it knows when I should back off, rest and recharge.

It all comes back to listening. Be attentive to what your instincts are saying. And learn to separate those gut feelings from the tapes in your head that might say you’re not being successful enough, or working hard enough, generally in comparison to others. Doing your best compared to what? Your best days? Or somebody’s else’s idea of what your best should look like?

Today i’m not sure. Nap? Keep going on work? Something else? Maybe I’ll take hubby’s lead who says, quite simply, “I’m having a banana.”

Maybe for today’s that the best I got. <3

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