"My best" is an empty statement

14 replies
"My best" is an empty statement

I was reading an article where this was said: "We're all in this game of life. We're all doing the best that we can."

I agree that we're in this game of life. However, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to know if everyone is doing "the best they can." "Our best" is too subjective and self-serving. The only thing others can objectively judge are the preparation and the actual results.


An Example To Illustrate

Here's an example: You and I decide to climb Mt. Everest next year. We talk about it all the time. However, I don't train, I don't buy any mountain climbing equipment, and I sit on the couch everyday watching TV. When the day comes to climb Mt. Everest, I show up with a smile. As I begin, I can truthfully say that "I'm doing the best I can." I collapse twenty minutes later, pass out from exhaustion, and roll off into an icy abyss. It becomes immediately obvious that the words "my best" are an empty statement. The only thing you can really judge are my preparation (none) and my results (horrible).


"My best" is a soft science.

"My best" is like the soft sciences of psychology, sociology, and anthropology where subjective opinions can sway results. "Preparation" and "results" are like the hard sciences of chemistry, biology, and physics where subjective opinions mean nothing next to hard facts.


"My best" may be rationalization

I'm finding that saying "my best" fills us with warm, fuzzy feelings of accomplishment. We may use "our best" as rationalization to convince others of our efforts even though there's no way to back this up without actually looking at the preparation and results.


An Alternate Plan

I'm attempting to consistently answer the question "So, how did you do?" or "How do you think you'll do?" not with "I did my best" or "I'll do my best" but with details of how I prepared and what the actual results were. Thank goodness for ongoing improvement.


Your thoughts are welcome
#empty #my best #statement
  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    I know that l am doing my best, since if l push any harder, l will probably end up sick more often than not.

    Sure that l am putting in about 7 hours a day, all up, but if l put in ten, then l would burn out.

    I will slack off in a year or two, when l have the cash to splash.

    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131670].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Why should I care about being subjected to your objective judgment in the first place? I give my best to something out of personal integrity, not for your edification. My best is just that, it's about me, and I can't do everything in life, nobody can, so I give what I have to give and learn where I stack up. My best may then improve over time, stay the same, or I may decide that something isn't for me. That's why it's mine.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131765].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    "My best" is only relevant for the person expending the effort. It's not an 'empty statement' - it's a private experience. It's also become a much used excuse to explain less than stellar results of one sort or another.

    Your example doesn't work for me. You can't give your "best" if you don't show up in the first place. If you don't do the basic training, use the right equipment, etc - "best" doesn't get a foothold.

    At some point, your 'best' won't be good enough. What you do after you learn that may define you.
    Signature

    Saving one dog will not change the world - but forever changes the world of one dog.
    ***

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131792].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    I think it depends how a person "interprets" it. For some
    people it's an empowering phrase (and that's a good thing).

    Personally I like:

    "I'm doing everything I possibly can."
    Signature
    "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131864].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    I would add to "My best"...
    My best with this amount of ambition"....or "My best in this situation"

    You can always do more.
    You can always learn how to do it better.
    You can always become more efficient.

    And you can always change what you are doing.

    Personally, I've never done my best.....in fact, I'm not even sure what that means. I know I've never said it.

    I've heard "I'm doing the best I can". But I always hear it as a sort of explanation as to why they are doing so poorly. I've never head someone say...after winning a victory... "I'm doing the best I can".
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131892].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I've heard "I'm doing the best I can". But I always hear it as a sort of explanation as to why they are doing so poorly. I've never head someone say...after winning a victory... "I'm doing the best I can".
      Interesting point. Thanks Claude.

      I could be wrong however I think it's a phrase
      that many Parents say to their Children.
      "Just do your best."

      During School (when I was being bullied) I focused
      on my Sport. (Doing everything from running to
      football to cricket) and, although I don't remember
      saying it, I was kind of doing "My best."

      Personally I didn't think I was doing all that great
      however at the end of the School year I was
      awarded (joint) "Sportsman Of The Year" with a
      Guy I really respected.

      : )

      P.S.
      I could see someone--who believes they are capable
      of much more (regardless of what they're going
      through at the time)--saying "I'm doing the best I can"
      after a victory.
      Signature
      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131908].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    maybe they are doing the best they know how ..but lack the know how to make their best better
    Signature

    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11131961].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Years ago I picked up something from Brian Tracy, an old school sales trainer. It worked for me, and may work for others who are trying to improve their performance.

    "Brian Tracy's strategy of increasing Your Income 1000% is based on the law of incremental improvement, the principal of continuous betterment. There is a a thing in success called the "momentum principal." This means once you get going, it becomes easier and easier to keep going and and to go faster and faster. You become more efficient, get more things done, become more productive and set better priorities. If you work 26% more efficiently every year for 10 years you will be 1004% better."

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11132021].message }}
  • Thing is, we all got aptitood, desire & circumstance ever fluxin' out at fingertips' edgea Time's romp.

    An we got trooly idiosyncratic thoughts 'bout what alla that is worth -- both to/for us (& also to wider hoomanity if we are kinda benevolently hoobristic also).

    Thing to figure always is why would anyone ever wanna do less than what they perceiveta be their best?

    Drop down lowestya can now.

    Lame ******. Evil person. Indiscriminate zealot.

    These people this way cos they are wilfully doin' their worst?

    Gotta figure evryone got to where they at cozza sum direction on their part -- sum shudder forward, sumhow.

    An' key to that is information -- touchpoint actual 'twixt mood an' evidence ... far as we can figure now in our FAKE NOOZ despoilmenta consciousness.

    Prolly I would always wanna figure on BESTISHNESS as a desire for speculation 'bout potential grows rather than diminishes alongside time's mortal ravages.

    What slack plays out from this familiar lasso?

    What next for this rope kissed my hip since whenevah?

    Wonder Woman is prolly trademark to DC Comics since the frickin' Vikin' age -- but a gal gotta have dreams. Personally, I would ditch the nouveau hipster chic an' make with sumthin' features my legs, like mebbe loominous yoga pants, but I got no desireta reinvent Hollywood, 'specially as how I can't act for spazzo, Point is, I kinda swing out on lasso imagry. Like there is sum star out afar whose twinkleya can rope in, all sweet an' all close. Best I can do on figurin' how any kinda entreprenoorial optimism might work. Best start I got.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11132074].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    The surgeon comes out of the operating room, shakes his head and grimly tells you, "I did my best."

    It's just not good enough.
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11132136].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    my better is best
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11132174].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cynthiaSEL
    Originally Posted by Able Kinetic View Post

    I'm attempting to consistently answer the question "So, how did you do?" or "How do you think you'll do?" not with "I did my best" or "I'll do my best" but with details of how I prepared and what the actual results were. Thank goodness for ongoing improvement.


    Your thoughts are welcome
    You're right! Tracking details helps you gain wisdom. Wisdom leads to better approaches in the here and now.
    Signature

    By the way, do you want to learn how to get over your fears so that you can accomplish your dreams? If so, do this exercise How to Get Over Your Fears so that You Can Accomplish Your Dreams

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11132974].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RichardThessen
    "My best" is like the soft sciences of psychology, sociology, and anthropology where subjective opinions can sway results


    I totally agree
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11141670].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rbates
    Why even think in terms of "Best"?

    No matter what you do, isn't it a matter of doing it RIGHT?
    Do it right and the outcome is usually something on
    the positive side of things.

    Lots of variables in life, and there are probably a lot of
    "Right" ways and methods to do things, but the goal
    is to do as many things correctly (right) to help insure
    that you get the outcome from what you do, and that it
    is the outcome that you intended to have.

    That said, even one's intent toward an outcome can vary
    from situation to situation, and person to person.

    Then again, what is the difference in these two words (Right/Best)- really?
    What is "Right"? What is "Best"?

    Turning Right is the Best way to get there.

    What's Right about someone getting the Best of us?

    I think that I had Best end this post Right now.

    Well, I did my best trying to explain "Best" v.s. "Right",
    but the explanation fell drastically on its backside. If anyone has any clue
    as to what I said, or meant, please let me know.

    Thanks.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11152382].message }}

Trending Topics