Every human being is limited in terms of their ability. There is just no way around this. Nature has distributed both her talents and her potentials in an unequal fashion. Not everyone can run a four-minute mile and not everyone can craft a beautiful symphony. While we can improve, our ability to improve comes with natural and social limitations.
What everyone can do, however, is aspire to do their best. Doing the best that we can do is what every person is called to do in our life.
Aspiring to do “your best” is not a call to submission, failure, and mediocrity. On the contrary, it is a call to do anything and everything that you can do to confront a given situation every time that you encounter it. This is an opportunity for people of any level of ability or aptitude to struggle and to strive — to achieve to the best of their abilities.
It is a liberating concept, one that allows us to cease comparing ourselves to others and simply focus on being the best that we can be. The only person that we are in competition with is ourselves and who we were the day before.
The greats of human history understood and recognized this. Rather than resting on the pedestal of their superior talents, they always strove to do their best. Here’s what some of them have to say on the matter.
Quotes About Always Trying Your Best and Doing What You Can
“Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority. Accept the fact that you are not omniscient, but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience—that your mind is fallible, but becoming mindless will not make you infallible—that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.”Ayn Rand
“Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work…Sacredly, Secretly, and Silently….and those with ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’ will respond.”The Arcturians
“Do your best, and be a little better than you are.”Gordon B. Hinckley
“I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. I tried to stretch myself.”Audrey Hepburn
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“As I’d found time and again throughout my life – and would continue to find – you do what you can, say your prayers, and hope for the best.”Dick Van Dyke
“We should learn to do our best and let the results take care of themselves. We cannot please all, however we may try; someone is sure to find fault and criticize. Certain ones may fail to see the purpose or object of our work. Others may not appreciate the efforts we have put forth to please all. We must therefore place ourselves above the likes and dislikes of people and go on doing our work, leaving no stones unturned in our efforts to bring about success. We should not seek refuge in inaction, thinking ‘Of what avail are these painful works if their fruits are not desired?’ Nor should we be fatalists, believing that what is to be will be, whether we put forth our best efforts to bring it about or not. Nor should we expect to be successful in all our attempts. Some ventures may fail, but others will be successful. Success and failure are interrelated; one cannot exist without the other. Life would not be pleasant if we had either success or failure all the time. So we should not become egotistical and overpowered with pride if we find abundant success; nor should we lose heart and become discouraged if we meet failure. We must cultivate strength and will power, so that we will not be overwhelmed by failure. We should approach our nearest problem or duty with concentrated energy and execute it to perfection. This should be our philosophy of life.”Parmahansa Yoganandya
“Always remember: your Father loves you unconditionally. But because He has given you freedom to go away from Him or to approach Him, He is waiting for you to express your desire for His love before He comes to you. Once when I was meditating I heard His voice, whispering: “Thou dost say I am away, but thou didst not come in. That is why thou dost say I am away. I am always in. Come in and thou wilt see Me. I am always here, ready to greet thee.”Parmahansa Yoganandya
“Do your best when no one is looking. If you do that, then you can be successful at anything you put your mind to.”Bob Cousy
“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility”Albert Einstein
“Doing your best means never stop trying.”Benjamin Franklin
“A man casts seed into the ground, sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how.”Jesus, Mark 4:26-29, The Message
“Little by little one walks far.”Peruvian proverb
“Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.”Thomas Jefferson
“Whatever history may say of me when I’m gone, I hope it will say that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidences rather than your doubts.”Ronald Reagan
“I sometimes fell short of being the best, but I never fell short of giving it my best.”William McRaven
“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”Hellen Keller
“Always do your best in whatever you do;
set goals and seek challenges;
become a role model for those coming behind you; and
always have God in your heart.”Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do little jobs well, the big one will tend to take care of themselves.”Dale Carnegie