To be THE best or be YOUR best?
At kindergarten it was who painted the best picture. During primary school is what the best speller. The best rising sports star.
In high school, the best math student. The best debater, the best essay writer.
At university, the best academic.
In adult life, the best friend, the best wife, the best mother.
Throughout our lives and particularly so during our formative years, the best is the measure we are all taught to aspire to. Be the best they tell us. It’s the measure of success.
Being the greatest at something, be it sport or science or work or any facet of life is celebrated across the globe. Olympics and Nobel Prizes, awards and accolades. Admittedly, whatever your interest may be, this brings us joy and satisfaction.
The message is clear: best is the only option and anything else is failure.
Yet, as we strive to be THE best, we forget everyone else who is truly trying to do THEIR very best. The toddler learning to use yellow to paint the sun, the child who learnt the sound s + h makes the ‘shhhh’ sound in ship. The teenager who studied all week and just passed a math test. You see where I am going with this?
What if we stopped and recognised that not only is everyone’s best different, it also contributes to a greater happiness and peace inside us. Remove the competition and we remove the urgency and angst that comes with it.
Let’s celebrate someone be THEIR best. When you see a child do something new for their first time. At that moment, that is their best. It absolutely won’t be the best – but at that moment in time it is THEIR very best. Admit it – you just smiled thinking about this. And how can this, not be the best feeling in the world?