Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Does It Mean To Do Your Best?

Is this the best you can do?" said a character in a TV drama watched by a columnist in the Catholic Times. It prompted him to ask the same question of himself and others: Are we doing the best we can? He has tried, he says, but knows that he consistently falls short of what he intended. 

The head of one of the  big Korean conglomerates answers the question by saying that he tries, in his own way, to do his best.  We think we have been doing our best but others often see the reality differently--our best in their eyes is not their best. Because of our comfort range and different situations in life, the standards, we use to determine "our best" vary from person to person and consequently so will our beliefs vary on what actually is the best we can do.  

Also important to remember: Those that have found success in life have not necessarily done their best--doing your best is not  another word for success. We have to have eyes that see through the currents of our times, and double our effort, he says, in doing what we know to be the best for us.  Although our best may then result in more effort and pain for us, the reward comes as a gift.

Our columnist believes that "Doing our best" is one of our most beautiful expressions. Many people prefer to think that doing your best is material success. But he tells us that we should aim not for what we think is success but  putting are heart and soul in what we do. Whether we succeed or fail in the pursuit  is immaterial. In doing our best we will not have any regrets--doing our best is itself the success.  

As Christians we have the task of loving God and our neighbor. When we go about doing this with joy and delight we receive great blessings. This is the mystery of living with faith. When we desire nothing, but do what we are doing with our whole  heart and soul, we leave the results  up to God. We have the example of Jesus, who in life would be considered a failure, someone crucified on a cross, but when we look at the cross we see what is not there, which makes all the difference.                                                   


  1. Good advice as seen by a lapsed Catholic. Love God (nature, life) and our neighbour. Do what we are doing in good work with our whole heart and soul.



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