“Being your best” is really about controlling what you can control, today.
It boils down to the simple disciplines and difficult choices. Did you get up today and do the most important task (usually hardest or most dreaded) on the list? Why not? What are you putting off right now that you know you should be doing? What choices could you make today to get you closer to your goals – which by the way don’t have to be giant things like ‘circumnavigate the globe in a kayak’ but instead could be ‘strengthen my marriage’.
Your best doesn’t require Zen or God. It doesn’t matter where you came from, who or what you’ve lost along the way, where you’re going, or frankly even who you are. That’s the beauty of it, it’s universal and timeless. “Your best” is a gear that can be engaged by anyone, at any time.
We spend our lives searching for answers or fulfillment, and yet the answer is right there: “Be your best, today”.
This following list is borrowed from Lori Deschene – 50 Things You Can Control Right Now:
Here are 50 things you can control right now:
1. How many times you smile today.
2. How much effort you exert at work.
3. Your level of honesty.
4. How well you prepare.
5. How you act on your feelings.
6. How often you say “thank you.”
7. When you pull out your wallet for luxuries.
8. Whether or not you give someone the benefit of the doubt.
9. How you interpret situations.
10. Whether or not you compete with people around you.
11. How often you notice and appreciate small acts of kindness.
12. Whether you listen or wait to talk.
13. When you walk away from a conversation.
14. How nice you are to yourself in your head.
15. Whether you think positive or negative thoughts.
16. Whether or not you form expectations of people.
17. The type of food you eat.
18. When you answer someone’s question – or email or call.
19. How much time you spend worrying.
20. How many new things you try.
21. How much exercise you get.
22. How many times you swear in traffic.
23. Whether or not you plan for the weather.
24. How much time you spend trying to convince people you’re right.
25. How often you think about your past.
26. How many negative articles you read.
27. The attention you give to your loved ones when you see them.
28. How much you enjoy the things you have right now.
29. Whether or not you communicate something that’s on your mind.
30. How clean or uncluttered you keep your space.
31. What books you read.
32. How well you network at social events.
33. How deeply you breathe when you experience stress.
34. How many times you admit you don’t know something, and learn something new.
35. How often you use your influence to help people.
36. When you ask for help.
37. Which commitments you keep and cancel.
38. How many risks you take.
39. How creative/innovative you are in your thinking.
40. How clear you are when you explain your thoughts.
41. Whether you formulate a new plan or act on your existing one.
42. How much information you get before you make a decision.
43. How much information you share with people.
44. Whether you smoke or drink.
45. Whether or not you judge other people.
46. Whether you smell good or bad.
47. How much of what other people say you believe.
48. How quickly you try again after you fail.
49. How many times you say “I love you.”
50. How much rest you get at night.
Once you’ve mastered this list, feel free to move on to the list of things we typically tell ourselves are keeping us from living a better life – time, money, age, our past, other people, the government, taxes, weather, life in general, etc.
I’m guessing that they won’t seem like the right places to focus anymore.