I truly love this quote and it’s relevance can’t be underestimated or undervalued. I’ve never been a big fan of the saying (often as some sort of comfort to soothe failed engagements): “at least you tried your best.” I think the matter of “trying” is too often confused with the level of “activity”, not the integrity behind the efforts employed. I mean we confuse victory as the precise assessment of what we put forth when we know in certain instances, being victorious may not call upon our best depending on the quality of our competitors.
So how do we know if we “brought our best” to a challenge. Again, sometimes it’s more difficult to ascertain when the result is triumph but at least we know that our “best” was superlatively better than whoever we faced and our sense of satisfaction, or lack thereof, will rest on our view of what we did to prove it.
But the true measure of what we brought to the game is revealed through our losses (and they should be few) by the appearance of both combatants and utter confusion by the casual observers about who got the worst in their warfare. By that evaluation, we can be assured that our “best” may have fallen short, at least this time, but it was good enough to let our challenger know he was one punch away from being on the receiving end of defeat and wondering if it’s worth another engagement in a rematch.
So “trying your best” is certainly a good starting point but it’s an empty effort if you leave behind the characteristics and quality of the best within you, both intrinsically and what has been exquisitely developed through your work over time, that must be brought when the moment calls for its superb application. Simply put, you’ll know if you’ve “brought your best” when afterwords there’s not one element of your mental, emotional, and physically being untapped leaving you silently applauding yourself, not only for the result achieved but also by how little you saved of yourself to capture it so you’re at the point of being almost incapable of standing upright to enjoy it!
What’s so hard about making your dreams come true if you consider the recipe and mechanisms to reach them? First, it starts with imagining them for yourselves in a way that they seem real and thus within your reach. Next, you believe and have faith that you, and only you, have the capacity and capability to accomplish them no matter the obstacles. And finally and most importantly, you have to be absolutely 150% committed to putting in a determined effort to reach your destination without accepting that alternatives or options exist short of your dreams.
I’ve found that the only times I’ve ever abandoned any lofty goals are when I’ve surrendered that commitment in exchange for convenience and practicality, using paltry excuses, flawed justifications, and misdirected blame to comfort the loss of something I really wanted and could have had. You guys are at a stage where your dreams are closer than you realize and if you stay committed to and focused on your quests, what you dream about will turn out to being another among your growing prized possessions. I’ll provide the hope, support, and encouragement as you get there, while you guys do the heavy lifting and hard work necessary so in the end, we’ll all celebrate together in the kingdoms you’ve created!
I’ve learned it’s best to remember that as you move forward racing towards your stars, the target never changes no matter what we unexpectedly encounter. A change in goals is never the option, just adjustments in the directions to get them.
You know I never had a “plan B” in the event I didn’t go to law school and I guess if I did, I’d probably have quit along the way and given up on a lifelong dream knowing I could settle for a “realistic” alternative. There were obstacles that either were put in my way or I threw down myself but my “plan B” was always to just change the route and keep pushing until I got there in the end. I was too stubborn or stupid to understand that maybe I couldn’t get to where I wanted when others had their silent doubts that it would ever happen.
The point is that the goals you know you want and can get to never, ever change on anyone else’s terms or forecasts until you find out what the end of the road reveals and you know why? I firmly believe in you from what I know and have seen for so long to the extent that your goals don’t need a “plan B”, at least at this stage of your young life since you’re probably only a few steps away from them or closer than you know.
Sometimes all that’s required is just a change in outlook and trajectory when things don’t go as initially planned since our capacity to achieve all of our individual dreams will always be there. All it takes is you’re willingness to put in the time and work to get them and, ignore those who predict your own personal outcome when they don’t know enough about you or weren’t ever capable of doing the same things.
Very few things succeed on their own or by accident, or on the first attempts, and/or without a rebalancing of the mechanisms that take us to the revelations that await and are meant for us so never give up. Just don’t be locked into one approach and if necessary, do it differently to do it better than everyone else chasing the same things.
Remember, I want you to “have it all”, not because I’m your dad existing in delusion but because I know that you’re on the right side of history where so many have done much more beyond what you seek with a helluva lot less!