Archive for the ‘Good, Better, Best!’ Category

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Doing my best doesn’t just happen. It must be intentional. i begin by having a plan for making small, but consistent improvements each day and thus that is MEASURE #14.

Being the best isn’t about knowing the most. Being the best is about confidently admitting i don’t know it all, while embracing every opportunity to learn and grow from the wisdom of others and through circumstances. i need to have confidence in my ability to learn, not in the amount of information i already know. i must remember that wisdom comes from gaining knowledge and experience over the course of time – not a day or a week – but over a lifetime.

Wanting to do my best, means becoming proficient at what i do. Here‘s a few things i consider and am working towards:

  • Despise not small beginnings.
  • Don’t be satisfied with Good or Better.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Outwork everyone.
  • Serve.
  • By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started.

Small consistent improvements of the above each and every day allows me to be the best that i can be each and every day. Let me expand on these small consistent improvements.

Despise not small beginnings:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people think certain jobs are beneath them. i guess it’s alright for them, so long as they understand that as long as certain kinds of work is beneath them so will certain grades of pay be beneath them.

Then there are those who have the idea that they have already “paid their dues,” or who have “not-in- my-pay grade” syndrome. i am always willing to roll up my sleeves and “chip in” and help others finish the task.

Don’t overestimate myself:

One of the saddest moments i’ve experienced is having a conversation with someone who once was “all that,” but who now has decided to live off of his or her previous successes. In many cases these types of people have one year of experience at this or that, and then just repeated it over and over? I understand that past accomplishments are merely a foundation for what i am currently doing.

Never Stop Learning:

When i meet people, the number-one thing i try to discern is whether they possess personal integrity. The second thing i try to discern is are they teachable. A teachable spirit is one of the most important traits leading to success in life. Basically, it is an attitude that drives the individual to find out the “why” and “how” of things, rather than just the “what.” One tool to discern this attitude is to ask, “what’s the  most interesting book or article you’ve read recently.”

Outwork Everyone:

It’s said that, “the only place you’ll find “success” before “work” is in the dictionary. It’s sad to say this, but it is such a treat these days to come across someone who really knows how to work. The following poem says it all. The heights by great men, reached and kept, Were not achieved by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Serve Others:

The great philosopher and physician, Albert Schweitzer said, “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

That says it all.

By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started:

Let me share a secret that i’ve found useful when it comes to taking on big projects – such as changing my life. The secret is, take life one step at a time. i don’t need to conquer the world today, but my small consistent improvements will surely make me better at the end of the day than when i started.

This all takes discipline. Discipline that many are not willing to apply and thus at the end of the day, week or even year they will be exactly the same or even worse than when they began. That’s why i continually remind myself that i must do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.

MEASURE #14 is this, Start right now, whether you have to make the plan or whether you have to implement the plan, regardless the goal is for small, consistent improvements and to that, i say “yes!”

Prior to reading or listening to this post or podcast there is a short 1 minute video regarding this idea of doing my best. Please click that link first and then come back to the post to read or listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn9tt0zgY9E

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Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best.

Og Mandino said, “Always  do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”

Something happened the other day that reminded me of doing my best. It’s been a month ago when i shared about how foolish i felt after forgetting a catering event and the potential of 50 people standing outside of the building expecting breakfast, was not going to to as expected. i shared in that post about a woman who came in a few minutes early and after i share my dilemma she volunteered to help in any way i would like. She was the woman who went to the local Dunkin Donuts for me.

Yesterday we gave away the final donuts left in the freezer from that event. Today she came in and handed me some money and explained, “when you asked me to get donuts i doubled your request thinking that it wasn’t going to be enough and ever since then i have felt terrible for taking the money for my poor discission, so i’m returning it today.

i tried to convince her otherwise but nothing i said was changing her mind. She said, “it was a heart issue and that she had to be the best person she knew how to be and that she had felt terrible ever since.” i then understood that her returning the money was the only option. Here’s the amazing part, i had been sitting there working on this weeks posts about Good, Better, Best.

Vanessa  Kerry said, “One of the things I’ve learned is that when you fight for something you believe in  and you tell the truth and you do your best, you can always hold your head up  high and no one can take that away from you.

This woman wanted to hold her head up high. In-spite of my trying to make light of it and trying to convince her that there was no need to repay the money she would have no part of it, she was telling the truth, and doing her best.

i am learning to recognize the reality that just because something is good, is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things i can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Also true is the fact that some things are better than good, and these things deserve more attention in my life. But then there are the best things that should out-weigh any other options.

Perhaps this story will help? A childhood experience introduced a now elderly man to the idea that some choices are good but others are better. He lived for two years on a farm. He rarely went to town. His Christmas shopping was done in the Sears, Roebuck catalog. He spent hours poring over its pages. For the rural families of that day, catalog pages were like the shopping mall or the Internet of our time.

Something about some displays of merchandise in the catalog fixed itself in his mind. There were three degrees of quality: good, better, and best. For example, some men’s shoes were labeled good ($1.84), some better ($2.98), and some best ($3.45).    1

Today as he considers various choices, he remembers that it is not enough that something is good. He is still very much aware that other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, it’s far greater value may make it the best choice of all.

In closing… Whether it’s in regard to my actions or my words… Best: is of the highest quality, excellence, or standing. Best is most advantageous, suitable, or desirable.

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Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, Till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best.

It seems like there is always one post that is odd or different in nature from all the rest even though it is in regards to the same topic. Today is that post. While all the other posts talk about doing or being at my best today’s post is about finding my BEST ideas. Today’s post contains more research information then spiritual application but i found it interesting so please, bear with me. If you don’t care for this kind of post perhaps you could change your mind and everything will change. Find some value, some nugget in the information. Stop counting the cost of having listened to what your currently viewing as worthless. By the closing of this post i found several elements to be thankful for, hot showers being one.

i’m in the shower, mindlessly scrubbing my toes when—bam!—a prophetic thought pops into my head. Maybe i finally solve that glitch bugging me on my computer, pad or smart phone. That’s the glitch right there, too much electronics. Maybe i learn something terribly more important. The meaning of life, perhaps.

Those aha! moments aren’t locked inside my bottle of shampoo. It would seem that the shower creates the perfect conditions for a creative flash, drawing out my inner genius, so to speak.

Research actually shows i’m more likely to have a creative epiphany when i’m doing something monotonous, like fishing, exercising, or showering. Since these  routines don’t require much thought, my mind flips to autopilot. This frees up my unconscious to work on something else. my mind goes wandering, leaving my brain to quietly play a no-holds-barred game of free thoughts.

Ideas i have in the shower are so different from the ideas i have at work. Thinking hard about a problem deactivates my default thought process. This isn’t a bad thing—it allows me to focus and gives me the strength to stop day dreaming and hit the deadline. But it can also trap me. When i’m deeply focused on a task, my brain is more likely to censor unconventional, and creative, solutions… and who am i to disagree with the researchers

Strange as it sounds, my brain is not most active when i’m focused on a task. Research shows it’s more active when i let go of the controls and  allow it to wander. Shelley Carson at Harvard found that highly creative people share one amazing  trait, they’re easily distracted. And, that’s the beauty of a warm shower. It  distracts me. It makes me defocus. It lets my brain roam.

But what makes the shower different from a boring board meeting? Doesn’t my  mind wander there, too?

Well, yeah. i have the scribbles to prove it. But a  shower is relaxing. It’s a small, safe, enclosed space. i feel comfortable there. On top of that, i’m alone. It may be the only alone time i get all day. It’s my chance to get away from the outside.

When i’m that relaxed, my brain releases everyone’s favorite happy-go-lucky neurotransmitter, dopamine. A flush of dopamine boosts my  creative juices. More alpha waves will also ripple through my brain. Alphas accompany my brain’s daydreamy default setting and encourages creative fireworks.

Wait! There’s more! The time i shower, also plays into the equation. Most wash up either in the morning or at night, when we’re most tired. According to the journal Thinking  and Reasoning, that’s our creative peak. The groggy morning fog weakens my brain’s censors, keeping me from blocking the irrelevant, distracting thoughts that make great ideas possible.

There you have it. i’m distracted, relaxed, and tired. The shower creates the perfect storm  for my BEST ideas.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder says, “Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only  to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.”

If you read these posts with any regularity you’ll know that i refer to something i call the “flip side.” It’s the other side of what i’m sharing, usually it’s the negative side or effects of something. So would the “flip side” of Good, Better, Best, never let it rest till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best, be, Bad, Worse, Worst, never let it rest till you bad is worse and your worse is the worst?

No! i’m not going there, just throwing out the thought. Sometime in the future i or you will be making a decision about whether to do something Good, Better or Best and i or you will remember the Bad, Worse, Worst and it will encourage us to make the wiser choice or at leas smile.

There are some things that i know about myself and when i do my best.

i do my best when i do what God wants me to do, in words and actions.

i do my best by challenging the way i did things yesterday.

i do my best when i’m part of the solution instead of the problem. W.  Edwards Deming said, “It  is not enough to do your best, you must know what to do, and then do your  best.”

i do my best by expecting nothing less than my best.

i do my best by giving away the credit (especially if i crave it).

i do my best by practicing my gifts so i become skilled in using them. Daniel Defoe says, “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear”

i do my best by eliminating excuses and taking responsibility.

i do my best by getting up when i’ve been knocked down.

i do my best by allowing my passion to see action. Maya Angelou says, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

i do my best by keeping my promises, to others and to myself.

i do my best by showing integrity.

i do my best by delivering more than what was expect.

i do my best by making time to refresh and refill my inner spirit.

i do my best by having a strong foundation in the Word. Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”

i do my best by training my mind like a pro athlete. Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing,
we would literally astound ourselves.”

i do my best by doing tasks that make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Norman Vincent Peale says, “If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.”

i do my best by serving others even when it’s at great cost to me.

In closing… i have to let go of  some GOOD things in order to choose others that are BETTER, then i have to let go of some BETTER things for the BEST, because the BEST, my BEST, develops faith in God.

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Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest. Till Your Good Is The Better And Your Better Is The Best.

Jarod Kintz says, “What does it mean to be the best? It means you have to be better than the number two guy. But what gratification is there in that? He’s a loser—that’s why he’s number two.”

That’s what i would call stinking thinking just as these kinds of statements i sometimes make. Statements like, “i gave it my best but, i’m not sure it was good enough. i think i gave it my best shot. all i can do now is wait and see. i did my best but…”

Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest. Till Your Good Is The Better And Your Better Is The Best is simply  a change of mind. There are times when i do a good job and leave it at that. There are times when i do a better job and leave it at that, as well. The problem is that when i do the good and the better thing, i ended up dealing with the reality that neither were my best.

Example… Over the years i think i’ve done a fairly GOOD job in relationship with God. Notice i said think. i want to erase it and put know but i have committed to once written it stays. That’s so these post remain real. The problem with think is, it sorta, leaves a question as to what’s being stated. There’s another problem with thinking i’ve done a good job. It’s that i’m comparing my relationship with God to others and thus mine is good, by comparison

In the past say, seven years i again think that i have done a BETTER job in the area of my relationship with God. That change of mind, to go from GOOD to BETTER, awakened me to the relationships with others around me. That’s where i was faced with the truth that i endured people and did not enjoy them. God said, “STOP THAT” and i put some effort into doing better.” The same problem exists with better as it did with good. i’m still comparing and now i’m assuming that my Good was really good. Get where i’m going? If my good really wasn’t good then my better really can’t be better.

Two years ago at this same time i had a change of mind. It was to make the leap from BETTER to BEST. That’s not to say that i have arrived. BEST is not a destination, it is a journey of intentional living. my BEST is always growing and maturing in direct proportion to my intentions. While i still make mistakes, wrong choices, bad decisions, etc, i end many of my days KNOWING that i’m doing my best right where i’m at.

Let me take one last stab at explaining this. I’m driving down the road, i pass a gas station or two but pay no attention to the gas gage in my car and then i run out of gas. Good would be to check the gas gage. Better would be to check the gas gage and to drive in the direction of one of the gas stations. Best would be to check the gas gage, drive in the direction of the gas station and to stop and put gas in the car. There is a confidence that then comes from doing my best.

Checking the gage gave me valuable information but i did nothing with it so it was useless. The word of God is like that, filled with valuable information yet if left for simply good information it is useless.

Checking the gas gage and driving in the direction of the gas station was certainly better than doing nothing but ultimately it was still less than what was best. So i hear or read the word of God which is better than what was good if left there it still does nothing toward getting what i need in my life.

The best i can do is read the word which is good, move in the direction of the filling station by studying the word, which is better, and then stop, stay a while and fill up on His presence which is my best!