…for I was about to spin myself into a “being the best” (i.e., perfect) frenzy – the best writer, business owner, even parent (WTF – this egg freezing to-do-or-not-to-do has thrown me into a major existential crisis – but more on that in a separate entry to come…soon). But the truth is that, over the years, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that ego and expectations often lead to disillusionment and disappointment. And by ego, I don’t mean behaving like a narcissistic egomaniacal j-hole; I mean doing things because they stroke your ego – like a job with a prestigious company or an over-the-top house or a title that looks good on paper, but none of these things really “make your soul sing.” Let me tell you – this lesson has hit me in the face like a wet pancake more times than I can count.
So let’s learn the lesson (again), shall we? To wit: these words of wisdom from our kumbaya friends at Daily Om (per Julie, who so graciously passed it along):
We often come into contact with the idea that our best isn’t good enough, as if this were actually possible. If you examine this notion, you will begin to see that it doesn’t make much sense. Your best is always good enough, because it comes from you, and you are always good enough. You may not be able to deliver someone else’s idea of the best, but the good news is that’s not your burden. You only need to fulfill your own potential, and as long as you remain true to that calling, and always do your best to fulfill your purpose, you don’t need to expect anything more from yourself.
It’s easy to get tangled up with the idea of trying to be the best—the best parent, the best employee, the best child, or best friend. If we try to be the best, we run the risk of short-circuiting our originality because we are striving to fit into someone else’s vision of success. In addition, if everyone is striving for the same outcome, we lose out on creativity, diversity, and visionary alternatives to the way things are done. On another note, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve, but examining where this feeling comes from is important because wanting to be better than others is our ego coming into play.
Letting go of the tendency to hold ourselves up to other people’s standards, and letting go of the belief that we need to compete and win, doesn’t mean we don’t believe in doing the best job we can. We always strive to do our best, because when we do we create a life free of regret, knowing we have performed to the best of our ability. This allows us to feel great personal satisfaction in all of our efforts, regardless of how others perceive the outcome.