Doing the best we can

April 10, 2017 Sandra Dawes

This has been the year I embraced audio books. I don’t know why I didn’t get on it sooner. Maybe it’s because when it comes to books, nothing beats holding a book in my hands. The book that I recently finished listening to is Brené Brown’s Rising Strong.

I related to so much of what is touched on in this book! The thing I want to talk about in this post is the concept that we are all doing the best we can in each moment. This concept isn’t new to me, but hearing it in the context of the stories Brené tells really got me to thinking.

I asked a couple of the people in my life what they thought about this concept. Some thought it was fair to assume that we’re all doing the best we can, others thought it was impossible. I think the struggle is knowing that we can always do better, that there’s always room for improvement.

I think that the point of the concept that we are all doing the best we can in any given moment isn’t to say that there isn’t room for improvement. It’s simply saying that we’re doing the best we can today. If you are sick, exhausted or overwhelmed with a massive to-do list, your best isn’t going to be the same as it would be if you were in the best health, well-rested and delegating what you can’t manage. Can we do better? Of course we can. We need to establish an environment both internally and externally for that to happen.

I love Brené’s sharing of her husband’s thoughts on this concept of everyone doing the best they can. He says that he’s not sure if he believes this concept to be true for everyone, but he knows it makes him feel better when he does. The truth is that we don’t know what’s really going on in the lives of the people around us. Maybe that person who cut you off last week just lost a family member. Perhaps that co-worker that hasn’t been much of a team player lately is having troubles at home.

We don’t know what personal struggles others are dealing with. It’s not our business to know. What we can do is work on our own compassion. Instead of getting angry because of what someone did or didn’t do, consider that they are doing the best they can in that moment. Rather than beat yourself up about mistakes you’ve made or disappointments you’ve caused, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and there is always room for improvement. ♥

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