The last of the Four Agreements is: Always do your best. For many, this brings up visions of hard work, stress and endless re-dos until the final result is flawless, but doing your best isn't always about absolute perfection.
What is “best” for one person, may be impossible for another to achieve. If you have never picked up a violin, your best will sound nothing like a symphony orchestra player, but it is still your best.
Doing your best is not something that can be compared or measured. It is a state of mind and heart. It is giving everything you can in this moment, and trusting Spirit to do the rest. When you do your best, you tell the Universe that you are grateful for your life, and the Universe rewards the grateful heart with even more blessings.
Doing your best requires three things:
1. Be present. Whatever task you are doing or goal you want to achieve, stay in the present moment. Do not revisit past successes or failures. Do not allow your thoughts to travel to the future where they can do no good. Look at what is in front of you, whether it be a dirty dish or an important work project. You may find your stress dissolving as you let go of what you cannot control. You don't need to do everything right now, just what is in front of you. Approach this moment as a meditation: If your mind wanders off, gently guide it back and continue your work.
2. Be in your heart. Is your goal to help, to teach, to learn, or to entertain? Infuse your project with love. Think of those who will benefit. Are they friends, family or just fellow souls traveling through this life? This may be easy if the task is making a healthy, delicious dinner, but more challenging if it is washing and putting away the dishes afterward. If the purpose for what you are doing isn't obvious, then look harder for it. You can think of keeping your family healthy or of honoring the home which keeps you warm and safe.
3. Believe in yourself. Doing your best will not be possible if you have no faith that you can achieve your goal. If failure is imminent, what is the point of trying? Every task put in front of you is an opportunity to learn and grow. Let go of challenge and see opportunity. Instead of thinking about how long a college semester is celebrate, in advance, all of the new knowledge you will have attained when it is over. See a restriction as a chance to hone your skills instead of an impediment to moving forward. If you haven't finished the task, you haven't failed it. Even if you have failed in the past, there is a first time for everything. Approach your work as though you will succeed, and you will increase the chance for your desired outcome.
When you make giving your best effort a habit, you will have more confidence and will be seen by others to be steady and reliable. You may find yourself approached by managers to take on more responsibilities and friends when they need a hand. To be of service is why we are here on Earth. To provide the best service with a loving heart is gift which benefits everyone.
It is said that there are no truly selfless acts. Be selfish enough to give every task your best effort. The self-esteem and warmth in your heart when you see how your actions benefit others are the rewards for your hard work.