I have used the #BestYou on my blog for some time now – more than a year. It’s time to look carefully at what my intended meaning is, and what it might mean for you.
First, My Best is not to be the measure you use for yourself.
We each have capabilities and talents.
The level I am capable of attaining in some areas may not be your Best.
And, my Best in some efforts may be paltry when compared to your achievements.
Rule: Don’t compare yourself to others.
Second, there are only two acceptable comparisons:
1. With yourself from where you started;
2. Jesus to where He wants us to be.
I realize that you probably have already accumulated many accomplishments.
But let’s work through a couple exercises.
An inventory to determine where you are starting is important.
1. What are your inherent aptitudes?
Things that you had a natural liking for and easily acquired skills in?
What skills or interests did your parents model for you?
Teachers or others that were role models to you that inspired you to learn something?
What have you done with these abilities, knowledge, and skills?
What are you doing to encourage yourself to continue developing things on this list?
2. What are your ‘dream abilities’?
Maybe you have thought or said “If only I could…”
Write a list.
What have you done to pursue these abilities, knowledge, and skills?
What are you doing to encourage yourself to pursue things on this list?
3. What are your developed abilities and achievements?
You probably read through those lines without getting paper and pen and ‘doing’ the exercise.
Let me stir the soup a little more.
Focus your thoughts on one category at a time and write what comes into your mind.
Categories in which you may have skills and abilities:
Mind – mental abilities – thinking – learning
Hands – manual abilities to make things and do things – touching that soothes and heals – draw – paint – sew – cook – garden – musical
Body – exercise – balance – dance – movement – rhythms
Spiritual, Creative, Academic (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral degrees)
Physical, Recreational, Musical, Artistic
Attitudes: persistence, consistency, never quit, positive outlook, encouraging, resolution
At an early age I determined that I wanted to become a teacher.
My mother was my first teacher. I found that I learned well from her methods of instruction.
I also had two or three excellent teachers in my formal school experiences.
I applied the methods they used that were effective with me. I found that I could successfully tutor fellow students that where struggling.
I read every book on teaching that I could get my hands on. Then I applied what I had read to my classrooms.
I observed other teachers whenever possible.
I assembled ideas of my own – amalgams and hybrids of reading, listening, and trying.
I asked mentors to observe and coach me.
I built successes into my regular performances in the classroom.
On the ride home and in the quiet of working in my gardens, I reflected on the work of the day – noting successes and failures. Planning for the next time that would avoid the failure.
That is the operant word.
The key to all learning is Repetition.
Repetition is the Mother of Learning.
Mastery of the basics makes it possible for Genius to Achieve.
Whether it is manual or mental skills, they are honed through practice – Repetition.
I know that there are exceptions – savants who seem to be born with a special ability.
One of my students could tell which day of the week any date was – past or future. No practice involved.
My wife has piano lessons with a first grade boy. He is able to create original compositions. He has finger dexterity that is beyond most children his age. His musical thinking is amazing.
But he spends hours practicing in between lessons. Because he wants to do more.
Now – – –
Go back and do the 3-Part Inventory.
Put in the effort.
Be confident that you are The Best You now, and are working toward the future Best You.
Tomorrow will probably require some more effort so you can stay The Best You.
It’s an on-going effort.
Be willing to Repeat the effort daily.
Everyone has the responsibility to become their Best Self.