Ripples #1222: Bringing Your Best (kinda sorta)


Give 100% of whatever percentage you have available at the moment. If you have 80%, give 100% of the 80…
-Joe Bonamassa, shared by Todd in Portland, OR (who snagged this while listening to a podcast interview)


Raise your ambitions.
Lower your expectations.
The higher your ambitions, the bolder your actions.
The lower your expectations, the greater your satisfaction.
Achieve more and be happy along the way.
-James Clear
shared via his 3-2-1 Newsletter


Over the last few years, you’ve likely picked up lots of messages encouraging you to BE YOUR BEST SELF and LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE. Those phrases pop up all over social media; they’ve even worked their way into some of the presentations I’ve given. I get why they’re popular: they remind us that we are generally more effective when we’re able to show up with the best possible version of ourselves.

Living through the pandemic helped me get a better grasp on the reality that there are many (many) reasons why it might not be easy or even possible to show up on a particular day with the very bestest, brightest, strongest, bravest version of ourselves. Sometimes the medium version of myself is the best I have to bring on a particular day. It turns out I can still be effective on these sorts of days, especially if I avoid wasting time beating myself for not being at my very bestest.

I’ve been adjusting my attitude, my expectations, and even my presentation content around this. I purposely stepped away from the unrealistic perfectionism hidden in challenging people to consistently bring their best *possible* selves to every single day of their lives. I’m now more likely to invite people to ponder what small changes might make it easier to bring the best *available* versions of themselves to school, work, and life.

There is still some aspiration in this revised call to action, and there are still some choices to make about looking up and stepping up. I just think it is a little more realistic and a little more accessible. So if you haven’t been living up to the sky high expectations for yourself lately, don’t give up just yet! Maybe a recalibration of your ambitions, your expectations, and your attitude will help you unleash a little more of your particular magic. And a moderate amount of success today may pave the way for a little more of your best self to show up tomorrow.

Whaddya think?


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