Why Do Your Best? British Statesman Philip Stanhope once stated, “Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.” Is this the prevailing attitude today? Many exhibit an attitude of “getting by”, in which they do the bare minimum of what is required to progress. Should we maintain such a mentality? If not, what reasons do we have for doing our best? Well, let us discuss three reasons; increased self-esteem, having the reputation of being reliable, and building endurance.
Why do your best? For starters, how can doing your best increase your self-esteem? Imagine the following scenario. If you were to go to a cafe and order a sandwich, would you be tempted to return to the cafe if your order arrived with the two slices of bread on opposite sides of the plate with the meat towards the top and the lettuce and vegetables everywhere with mayonnaise spread over it all? The very thought of such a sandwich is repulsive! Why? All of the ingredients are there, the person who made the sandwich gave you what you ordered, but obviously no care was put into the end product. What can we discern about the person who made the sandwich? They do not take pride in their work, or put simply, they do not care about the quality of the job they do. What if the sandwich arrived and looked delicious? Between two fresh pieces of fresh bread there is a layer of meat topped with lettuce and tomatoes with creamy mayonnaise lightly spread underneath the top slice. We take a bite and can taste all of the fresh ingredients meshing together into an irresistible flavor. We have just found our new favorite place to eat. Now, what can we discern about the person who made the second sandwich? They care about what they do. It is important to them to make a high quality product that other people will enjoy. How does this relate to self-esteem you may be wondering? Well, if we do our best, we are able to enjoy the benefits of our hard work. We are able to see that what we did is filling a need. This will lead to us feeling better about ourselves.
Doing our best also makes us reliable, which can be beneficial in and of itself. Say you are an employer, what type of employee would you want? Someone who was very skilled at what they did but turned in subpar work if they decided to show up at all? Or would you rather employ someone who was perhaps less skilled but always showed up and did their best? Likely, the second option is more attractive. People who do their best are reliable. Therefore, they may enjoy such benefits as: better job security, higher pay, and increased praise from the employer. Though none of these things are guaranteed, the odds of enjoying such prospects are much higher for those who give 100%.
The last benefit we will discuss from doing your best is endurance. Webster’s dictionary defines endurance and the ability to withstand hardship or adversity. Does this not sound like a quality that is needed in everyone’s life? How does doing our best build endurance? Because, not everything that we do will succeed. We will face failure. However, what difference does failure make for someone who does not try anyway? Nothing ventured, nothing gained (or lost). However, if we tried our best and failed, that can be very disheartening. The old adage proves true, though, practice makes perfect. Endurance helps us to continue when we have failed. We can withstand the hardship of not being successful and try again, hopefully with better results next time. The more we try, fail, and try again, the more we will build up our endurance, and the more successful we will be. Endurance can help us to be more skillful in our work so that our best can be even better.
Do Your Best?
So next time any of us face a task, what will we do? Give our bare minimum in hopes that we can just move on to the next thing, or give our best and enjoy the benefits? We have ample reason to give 100% in whatever we do. Our self-esteem benefits, we become more reliable, and we build endurance. Imagine what each of us can accomplish by putting aside a lax attitude and putting forth our every effort. You may just surprise yourself. Yes, always do your best.