BETTER - THE ENEMY OF BEST?
Would you agree that we live
in a culture/world that is obsessed with "better"? That no matter how much you have, you need more, no matter how fast or strong you are, you can be faster and stronger, and better and so on and so on. Somewhere along the way a belief has been built that suggests that in order to be successful at something or in life, you need to have a constant desire to do better and have more! There is a perception that being content, let's even say "happy" with where you are means you have lost your edge - because aren't we supposed to "keep grinding", "one more rep" "don't stop till your done". But the thing that is often forgotten with Better and More is that they don't always equal an improved quality of life or health - in fact the constant pursuit of better is quite exhausting - and it just doesn't seem to have any end to it. You reach a marker - must get better, you hit a goal, must get better, you do a certain amount of training, have to do better next week...aghhh... In his book Elite Minds, Dr Stan Beechman suggest that instead of "better" - which is a subjective judgement - we replace it with BEST. When we hear from someone that we must do better, or we say this to ourselves, it feels very judgemental, almost like what we did wasn't good enough - and that we somehow fell short and have to do more or better next time. This isn't a motivating or helpful way to develop confidence and to stay present. However when we review a race or a workout, and we put a narrative to it in terms of whether we did/gave our BEST under the circumstances this feels like encouragement. Better is often seen as a criticism, Best is an encouragement. How you talk to yourself has a major impact on your development and growth. Do you have the mindset that you need to do/get better, or do you feel that you are good enough now? I am sure that all of you picked the first statement - that you need to get better. But why do you feel you need to get better? If you really ask yourself this question it often is based on a belief that you feel you are not good enough yet. Dr Beechman states that "growth is natural process and happens whether we desire it or not, but the belief that one needs to be better actually hinders this process....our consistent criticism and failure to make peace with who we are NOW has very detrimental effects on both mind and body". Has this blown your mind a little?? Think back to a time when you feel you performed at your absolute best? If you could access this more frequently would you stop being obsessed with getting better? As strange as it sounds - the secret is that you can't pursue better and best at the same time - they are different states of mind. Better often has a feeling of resistance, pass/fail and can feel like a struggle. Best is your best, in that moment, in that situation, and has no resistance to it, and can even feel easy.
You have to pick one.
If you are constantly chasing better in everything you do, you can not find your best. This constant pursuit of better will often lead to frustration and anger, disillusionment and lose of interest. In contrast giving and doing your best, will provide less resistance, more enjoyment, a better appreciation of the process... Best is the pathway to Flow. #itsaprocess #doyourbest