My favorite of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is “Always Do Your Best”.   This agreement might be one of the toughest ones to follow because we can beat ourselves up when we feel like we don’t do our best.  Or if we do our best but then don’t get the result, we feel like we failed.

“Always Doing Your Best” means to work to the highest capacity.  Striving for the ultimate results is what we’re conditioned to in life.  However, have we considered that each day our capacity could shift?  What if we’re upset or feeling emotional?  Can we still do our best?

We have to consider that our best is what have in us that day.  We may only have a small amount of strength and motivation in us that day but that’s okay.   Maybe tomorrow we’ll have more.  But we have to remember, no matter what we’re feeling that day, if we can only do one thing on our task list, as long as we worked towards it to the best of our ability, then we did our best.

This is not making excuses for us.  Not at all.  This is actually giving you the freedom to have a bad day.  If it’s just enough to make it through the day because of a lot of stress or tough situations, then why can’t we say we did our best?   We made it through.  We didn’t do anything too crazy, we met our obligations and went home.  That can be enough for that day.

A friend of mine is going through an extremely hard financial time.  She can’t really even afford the basic things for herself and she’s feeling really down because she’s not sure where relief is coming from.  In her case, her capacity to just get up in the morning and make a few phone calls to look for jobs is probably her best.  She beats herself up but once she thought about it, she gave herself a break because she knew even though she didn’t want to, she was making an effort.  Right now, it was truly her best and she realizes that it’s okay if it is her best.  Instead of beating herself up, she is giving herself the space to be gentle with herself.

Every day is not going to be the same.  This is why we can’t look at our performance each day as being consistent.  Life is going to throw us curve balls, wrenches, rope to trip us up and a big bag of craziness - sometimes all at once, sometimes one at a time.  The only thing we can do is to react to what comes our way with what we can do at that moment.  This is why these experiences are so crucial because our best and our knowledge grow based on what we do.  So if we make a mistake once, at least we tried.  We’ll just do differently the next time.

If we go back and look at situations, we can see where we fell down.  It’s not hard to see.  Also, we can go back and see where we acted beautifully.  Seeing what our best is can be very simple.  What’s not so simple is keeping our eyes clear to not beat ourselves up when the results don’t come out exactly the way we thought.

Remember, we can only do what we have the capacity to do.  Yes, later on, we may gain more capacity, we may know better and we may do things different.  But we can’t base our current decisions on the past or future.  We have to work from the place we’re in right now - the best place we are.

We are only responsible for our actions.   Doing our best brings our standards to a higher place, possibly inspiring others.  If not, that’s okay.  We did our best and we move on to the next task. 

So when we’re going through tough moments or hard situations, we just need to ask “Is this my best?”  If not, make changes.  If so, then relax.  We’ve done good!

~Copyright 2011-2012, Mary D’Alba (Spiritualitygirl)~