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Better Is Possible

If better is possible, good is not enough. ~ Unknown

How many times have we been in a situation when someone became tired or frustrated with the challenge and stated, “That’s good enough”? All around us are people who have decided to not shoot for the very best. It’s as if they have adopted the mindset, “Why should I give more effort? No one else is doing what we are doing. Besides, we are already better than the other people around us.”

For the first six grades of my education I had always been in advanced classes. And I was doing pretty well, especially considering that I did not have a study routine. Things seemed to come easy to me. In seventh grade, for the first time I was in a math class that challenged me. I stayed there through the first grading period. When I got my report card, I was unhappy with the results. I went to my parents and complained that the material was too hard for me. I took the easy way out. I knew that I could have grasped the material, had I studied. I made the excuse that the work was too hard but my real reason for wanting to get out of the class was because none of my friends were in the class. I did not give it my all. It is one of the few decisions in my life that I regret. Over forty years later, I still remember it.

I learned a valuable parenting lesson from that experience. When my children were in school, I told them, “I do not expect you to be a straight “A” student. I think you can do it, but the choice is not mine. I will not pressure you to be a star athlete. You possess the skills but that’s not my decision. But there is one thing that I expect of you in everything that you do. I always expect you to give your very best. As long as I know that you have given your best in every situation, I am proud of you.”

Although others can observe us and evaluate our actions, as well as our intentions, we are the only ones who can HONESTLY answer the question, “Did I give it my very best?” When we don’t give our best, we are left to wonder what could have happened. We will always be haunted by speculating what it would have been like if we had expended a little more effort. The difference between ORDINARY and extra-ORDINARY is that little extra.

Instead of giving 110% once, consider giving 1% more in each effort. That is sure to give you a better-than-good outcome.

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