Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thoughts on Doing Your Best

Several of my friends and former co-workers are traveling to Miami today for a work event and a (small) part of me wishes I could be there with them! In thinking back to last year when I went to this event, I recognize a recurring theme that kept me going there and has stayed with me in other pursuits as well.

Last year in Miami I worked harder than I ever had in my entire life. Every night I returned to my hotel room completely exhausted. Every morning I was up early, ready to go non-stop. I was so incredibly proud of the work that I did each day. I enjoyed seeing all of our behind the scenes hard work come to fruition. I was tired when I came home, but felt motivated, excited, and ready to grow into a new job role.
I knew I had done my best.

Six months later I worked the same event in a different location. I worked tirelessly, was a leader for my team, and added so many new items to my list of responsibilities. I cried every day, mostly out of frustration, once because someone told me I was doing a terrible job and didn't deserve to hold the position I did. I was tired when it was over and I came home feeling utterly defeated. But at the end of the day,  
I knew I had done my best.


I think there is something extremely honorable about doing your best and working your hardest even when there's no one around to say "way to go" or "thank you so much" or "I value you." If you strive to do your best under any circumstances, others will take note. It may take some time, it may not always be apparent, but it will make a difference in the long run. My work ethic is something I am very proud of and I didn't meet the opportunities I have been blessed with because I got fed up, had a bad attitude, or shirked my responsibilities when things got rough.

Always do your best. Period. And if nobody is going to appreciate you for it - appreciate yourself. Doing your best is something that you, and only you, can control.

"Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know." - Charles Kingsley