• . . . “to do my best”

    . . . “to do my best”

    What does it mean to do your best?  We say we’ll do our best at every Pack Meeting, but what do these words really mean?  Last week we continued to explore The Cub Scout Promise by discussing this important phrase, and we learned a few things.

    What happens if you don’t succeed at first?

    First, we learned that, even when you do your best, sometimes you still don’t succeed.  This was true even for Thomas Edison, who once said:

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

    Thomas Edison makes a good point, but Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone author J. K. Rowling focuses on how important it is to try:

    “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

    Maybe this is why hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said:

    “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

    So success — and sometimes failure — come from doing our best, not just succeeding, as Michael Jordan reminds us in the video above:

    “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

    On this, Michael Jordan is right, because success doesn’t come from avoiding adversity.  It comes from how you handle difficulties when they arise.

    So what is your best?

    Do you know what your best is?  How do you decide whether you’ve done your best, before you have succeeded or failed on any given day?  Our friends over at boyscouttrail.com tell us:

    “Only you know what your best truly is. Do not measure yourself against the accomplishments or laziness of peers – strive to surpass your own high standards and be proud when you know you’ve put in your best effort.”

    So as you think about what’s ahead for you, have you done your best?  Have you given it that last little bit of effort to succeed — that last 10% — so you’ll know that, even if you don’t succeed at first, you gave it your all?