Every now and then I have to remind myself of a simple truth that I learned while driving along the ever-busy FM 1960 corridor, a Farm to Market road that is one of Houston’s busiest thoroughfares.
As I drove, I seemed to catch every traffic signal on red so it was no surprise to find myself stopped at an intersection by the Methodist church. Impatiently, my fingers drummed the steering wheel, and my eyes darted around, looking for something more interesting than the tail lights of the car in front of me.
The message on the marquee in front of the red-brick church caught my attention.
IF YOU CANNOT BE THE BEST, THEN BE YOUR BEST
Wow! If you cannot be the best, then be your best. It hit me with the force of a two by four between the eyes then.
Think about that aphorism. Have you ever heard people grumbling about someone higher on their career food chain? Have you done it yourself? Have you ever stopped to think that, yeah, maybe Nora or Stephanie or Patterson or fill-in-the-name-of-your-choice, is the best in their field, but that’s okay. You can be your best. No one can be the best Joan Reeves except me. No one can be the best you except you.
Flying High Or Stuck
We all spend so much time agonizing over trying to be the best writer or accountant or artist or mom or whatever. Inevitably we feel dejected because someone else is, we think, better. They get better breaks. They make better money. Or you obsess about catching up with someone who started out at the same time as you and now has a high-flying career while you’re stuck in the rank and file.
Attempting The Impossible
Unfortunately, too many of us spend vast amounts of time trying to be the next Bill Gates or Stephen King or Martha Stewart or whatever the flavor of the week is. Wouldn’t all that energy and time be better spent in trying to be the best you? You with your voice, your style, your personality, your skills, your experiences is indeed an original. No one can be that person better than you.
Forget about being the best. Just be your best.