Many years ago, my best friend shared an enlightened idea with me: “People do the best they can with the resources they have at the time.”
I remember actually thinking the words, “that’s bullsh*t.”
And by looking at the world with that enlightened perspective, I had mountains of evidence to the contrary. I was focused on my definition of best, and I was expecting the world to meet my expectations.
Does that sound familiar? The more we scrutinize, the more “proof” we’ll find that people aren’t living up to our standards.
Truly, it wasn’t until a few years into my personal growth journey that I started hearing the same words from a new perspective. “People do the best they can with the resources they have at the time.” I had a couple of important realizations:
- Each person gets to define his or her own best. My judgment wasn’t serving me or my relationships. Judgment of others can lead to a lot of frustration, angst and can damage our relationships.
- Our “best” changes from day to day. As Don Miguel Ruiz outlines in the short, inspiring book The Four Agreements, we need to treat ourselves kindly and trust that we are doing our best.
- The focus should be on our resources. By focusing on resources, we are empowered to grow and to be who we really are.
Here’s the secret: each person’s “best” is directly related to their resources. Resources can be money, sleep, education, compassion, friendship, security, food, hobbies, support…you name it. Start with the foundation of self-care, and focus on getting your needs met.
If you want to do/live/be better, focus on your resources, not on judging yourself harshly.
If you are wondering about how you can boost your resources, send me a note. I love exploring how we can define and achieve our own best.
“Your best is going to change from moment to moment…Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements