Do you remember being a child and hearing your parents say “as long as you try your best….?” It wasn’t solely trying that was enough, it was trying your best.
We’re on day 4 of reviewing one of my favorite books about life, “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jose Ruiz, and Janet Mills. The fourth agreement and rule of life is Always Do Your Best. When you do your best, you will never harbor feelings of self doubt or hatred because of lack of effort, and you will find out that really your best is limitless. As you do your best every day, you grow into a stronger human with each action.
So many people say “I’ll try.” They say this as if it is enough. Yet the attempts are so halfhearted or lacking effort that I can’t really call it trying. Call it check boxing, don’t call it trying. Try is defined as:
I used to say try all the time. A great friend called me out on it. He pointed out rule number one to me – Be impeccable with your word. His words might have been kinder, something along the lines of “there is no try – either you will or you won’t,” but the tone was more like “what the F*** does that mean?” Because really, what does “I’ll try” mean? When it’s convenient, when I’ve nothing else to do, and I don’t intend on putting myself out there, so if I say I’ll try and it doesn’t happen, then at least I didn’t commit.
Saying you’ll try really means you aren’t committing to something. It’s a TOUGH habit of speech to break. Believe me. I’m still breaking it. Every time the word TRY crosses my lips, I imagine hot coals in my mouth. It’s a word I don’t want to use.
The Fourth Agreement teaches us to always commit to what we are doing at the moment. Not to try, but to do. Granted, at times our best will be better than others, but at least our actions and our attempts will be impeccable, just as our words should be. And our friends and family and coworkers will always trust us to complete a task, and to do it well, or know that when we encounter an obstacle that we will communicate that with them. I would one hundred times rather hear a reliable person commit to me then call and say, hey I’ve hit a snag, than to hear an unreliable person tell me they will try to do something.
Another thing that happens when you start to rid your personal vocabulary of this word, is that you commit more fully to yourself, and your efforts and your results grow. Soon you have more confidence in your word and in your actions, and you also stop OVERCOMMITTING by saying you’ll try to do 11 million things when we all know there is only so much time in a day and you can’t get it all done. Then you don’t feel guilty for leaving things out or partially finished, or for canceling on people who relied on you. This bleeds into being impeccable with your word, just as the rest of the agreements bleed into each other. Following this agreement lets you have more regard for yourself, your time, your word and your abilities. And less truly is more! There is no such thing as multi-tasking, and quality over quantity creates more abundance in our lives.
Always do your best. Nothing less than that is good enough for you. Because you are worth it!