do your best, spiritual task of man

Do Your Best in Everything, Spiritual or Material

“The first three agreements 1 will only work if you do your best. Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word 2. Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally 3; just do your best. Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption 4, but you can certainly do your best.
“By doing your best, the habits of misusing your word, taking things personally, and making assumptions will become weaker and less frequent with time. You don’t need to judge yourself, feel guilty, or punish yourself if you cannot keep these agreements. … If you do your best always 5, over and over again, you will become a master of transformation.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

Doing Your Best

None of us is perfect. None of us is always right. We make mistakes. We make emotional decision rather than thinking things through. Often we do things without regard for the consequences. But we are human. We can’t always do what is right because we don’t always know what is right. What we can always do is our best.

Adequate is Not Best

Many of us think we are doing our best most of the time. The truth is, that is rarely true. What we actually do is just enough to get the job done, just enough to make the boss happy. We know, usually, that it isn’t our best. We justify that by telling ourselves we are do as much as we are getting paid to do. If “they” want us to work harder, they should pay us better. But no matter how you justify it, doing as adequate job is not doing your best.

To do your best doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to get ripped off. If you are a car salesman, trying to sell s many cars as you can is doing your best. Selling a luxury car for the price of an economy model is not. If the customer only pays for an economy model, you only sell her an economy model. But you help her select the economy model that best suits her needs. If you are a carpenter ho builds houses, you do the best work possible. But if the customer wants a small, inexpensive house, you don’t build a mansion. But whatever you build, you do the work well. That is how you do your best.

Spiritual Best

Doing our best in spiritual matters is often harder than in matters of the material world. We live in a society that is oriented towards materialism. While there was a time in America and most of the world when you were expected to make time in your schedule for religious and spiritual activities, that is no longer true. In the business world of today, people who get too involved in religious or spiritual activities are looked down on. Nonetheless, we need to do our best within the boundaries set by our society.

If you practice daily spiritual techniques, you might have to skip one day because you are traveling. But you don’t skip a day because you just don’t feel like bothering with it. That is not how you do your best. And when you have mastered the techniques on one level, you start practicing those of a higher level. They are probably harder, and even less convenient, but you do them anyway. That is doing your best.

1. Quote is from the book, “The Four Agreements”.
2. The first agreement.
3. The second agreement.
4. The third agreement.
5. The fourth agreement.