At Our Best

“I believe that at our best, America is a beacon for the globe.
We will lead not only by the example of our power,
but by the power of our example,” – J. Biden

Do you think Tom Brady will be at his best today?  How about Patrick Mahomes?  Does the Super Bowl come down to which team is at it best?  There are so many factors to consider, but I’m just going to consider one, what does it mean to be, “at our best?”  

The good news is there is no set criteria!  Being at our best is a variable, as we are unique individuals; no two of us exactly alike.  One of the most important things we can do is resist the temptation to go down the comparison route, as we will rarely resemble someone else at their best.  The reality is, we all bring varying talents, skills, challenges, and experiences to the table, thus when it comes to being at our best, it’s a personal decision

The other great part about being at our best is that we are in a constant state of growth.  What does that mean?  Our definition of what it means to be at our best will expand.  What represented our best at one point in time will give way to an improved version.  In other words, we are in a continual state of growth, we are never finished, we never really arrive.  Being at your best is a journey; it is not a destination.  On this trip called life, we each will each encounter multiple experiences that will call for us to be at our best.  We will grow with each, and then use the experience to be even better for future challenges.

Today when we set out on a journey, most of us will open our navigation system, Mapquest or another app that will quickly and easily select a route for us to follow.  Some  provide multiple options permitting us to select the type of road we will travel, the frequency of convenience stations, and even a timetable to tell us we’ve arrived.  Life is not as accommodating; being at our best falls on us.  It comes down to the decisions and actions we, not an app or navigation system, make.  The good news is there are best self practices we can use on our journey, and these can serve as our landmarks to reinforce we are on the right path.  We can: 

  • Take Ownership and Accountability – It’s not possible to be our best self when we permit another to call the shots. We must take ownership and make the choices and decisions that ensure our best self thrives.  When it comes to being at our best, we answer only to ourselves, because the only one to say, “I gave it my best”, is the one we see in the mirror 
  • Practice Self-love – Becoming our best self requires self-love.  It means being proud of who we are, and even patting yourself on the back when appropriate.  When we feel good about ourselves, we show up in an entirely different manner; confident, strong and ready to achieve.
  • Invest in Ourselves – At our best, we serve others, but we cannot do so unless we invest in ourselves.  In seeking to be at our best, we invest in that which inspires us to keep learning, sharpen our skills, and explore our passions.
  • Leverage Our Strengths and Talents – We all have something we bring to the table.  We need to own and appreciate these attributes instead of playing them down because they help us show up. 
  • Embrace Our Vulnerability – Vulnerabilities are never the problem; it is our relationship with them. When we learn to own them with confidence, we find our courage and power. 
  • Establish Challenging Goals – Never settle for mediocrity or the status quo.  Our best self sets goals, which excite and inspire us to stretch. Our best self knows that if we can believe it, we can achieve it.  There is no doubt!
  • Serve Others  – At our best, our actions serve others and inspire them to do the same.  Our best self puts the needs of others before self interest.  Our best self puts the welfare of the group first.  

Committing to the idea of unlocking our best self is not something that everyone is ready to do, but in making that choice, we become the beacon that inspires others to do the same.  They in turn will inspire others and together we will create a better world for all!

Embrace the Challenge