Joy of Best : Do Your Best, Get the Joy

October 23, 2014

When you do your best you get a feeling of joy, “Joy of Best”. Who doesn’t want more joy in their lives?

Kids seem to be joyful naturally. Doing their best comes naturally. Ultimately this site is about joy; developing and using your imagination and playing. Isn’t playing about having fun – experiencing joy?

Joy-Swinging-by-Loren-Kerns-at-Flickr-cropped-8645901176_61df2dbc7c_z“Joy of Best” like play and imagination is tough to measure, hard to quantify. That means it doesn’t compute well in a world where everyone gets a grade or a performance review.

How do you measure imagination? Even something as simple as how much time do you spend imagining or playing? What is play? What is using your imagination? What is your best? Some things are difficult to quantify. Let’s say you enjoy cooking. You’re in the kitchen, having fun, preparing a meal for you or your family. Are you playing? You’re having fun. You’re doing something you enjoy. Sounds like it could be playing.

Today you put olives in your dish. You never put olives in it before. Where did that idea come from? Are you cooking or are you using your imagination? Definitely sounds creative. Are you doing your best?

Rosedale-Branch-LEGO-Program-by-Baltimore-County-Public-Library-at-Flickr-cropped-15198797412_27960a0646_zTwo thoughts on doing your best. Let me digress; how often we hear something like, “Give them a break, they are doing their best”. Seems like we hear that a lot. These people are doing their best. Those people are doing their best. Here are the two thoughts. First, no one is doing their best. Second, everyone is doing their best.

Let’s start with the second thought first. “Everyone is doing the best they can”. It may be true. In some ways it’s the best way to look at things.

  • Give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they can with what they have at that moment to be as successful as they can be.
  • Give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they can with what they have at that moment to be as successful as they can be. That would be great. Everyone is driving their car to the best of their ability. Everyone is listening to their coworker or friend to the best of their ability. That athlete is doing his best. Everyone is at the top of their game. If they are being with you or serving you in a store, playing on your team, isn’t comforting, flattering in fact, to think that you are getting their best effort? Maybe “Everyone is doing their best”. Summer-vacation-2011-friends-and-family-by-Kevin-Dooley-at-Flickr-6041928410_b7f5476fc1_b

No one is doing their best! Is there no room for improvement? Can’t you drive just a bit more aware and in control? Can’t you listen just a bit more attentively? Can’t you run just a bit faster or jump just a little higher? You see, no one is at the top of their game. Everyone can be just a little bit better than they are. No one is doing their best.

It’s like this: “Everyone is doing their best.” and “Everyone can improve.”

Most measures have little to do with best. Think about grades in school for a minute. In your classroom of 20 or so students there will be students with all sorts of abilities, skills and talents. Some of the students will have talents that mesh well with the subject area. Maybe they are really good at words and this is English. Maybe they are really good at reasoning and this is math. Maybe they are really coordinated physically and this is tryouts for a team sport. Some students will just naturally have more talent than others. Emily over here can do NO homework, barely read the assignments and pass the test with an “A”. Joe over there, well he doesn’t get it yet. He can study every night, read the assignment twice, work much harder than Emily and he will only get a “B”.

Childrens-Winners-by-San-Jose-Library-at-Flickr-9600405081_08d9db07a5_bHow fair is that? Emily did nothing and got the “A”. Joe worked his fingers to the bone and got a “B”.

Grades measure something. But if the idea is to get each person maxing out their contribution to wherever they are engaged then grades and curves and comparing the Emilys to the Joes is not going to work. Instead we have to “grade” based on personal best, capability.

“Joy of Best” works for everyone the same way. Joe and Emily are different people. They have different skills, talents, abilities and circumstances. What they have in common is: Their Personal Best. Emily can do her best. Joe can do his best. Emily got an “A” and she wasn’t challenged. Joe wasn’t rewarded for his efforts. Again, how far is that? Wouldn’t a better percent grade be: how close does each person work, play, imagine toward their potential?DSC_0704-by-chegu-Thamrin-at-Flickr-3296324009_254e7771c6_o

Everyone can have “Joy of Best”. Everyone can give their best shot. Everyone, measured against the best they can be, can get 97%. Don’t compare Emily with Joe. Compare Emily with Emily. Did Emily give it her best effort? Emily gets a 60%. Did Joe give it his best effort? Joe gets a 97%.

Can you imagine a classroom or a work place where everyone was getting 97%? We’re thinking that a class or office that figures out how to do that would be a pretty great place to be. The system today is mostly about “getting the grade” or just being better than your class, office or play mates. Perhaps one day we’ll have a world where best is the focus and we’re all working toward the intrinsic reward: “Joy of Best”. It will happen because people that are positively motivated are more productive.

“Joy of Best” is intrinsically rewarding. When you do your best, you know it. It feels good. That’s how you know if you are doing your best – you get the “Joy of Best”. When you give a maximum effort, you get a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, “Joy of Best”. Who doesn’t want to be joyful? It’s just around the corner. You don’t have to save the world. Just be and do the best at what you are doing right this minute and you will get “Joy of Best”.

You can’t make someone else do their best. What can we do today to facilitate “Joy of Best”? Making an environment with energy requires encouragement, recognition, listening, growth, dignity and respect. One day classroom and work places will have these characteristics. Our environments will have these characteristics that generate an atmosphere that is ultimately more rewarding, productive and profitable.

UTrophy-Time-by-terren-in-Virginia-at-Flickr-cropped-edited-3499105060_bec65b2597_bntil we can recognize and appreciate best effort of others, we are on our own to make it happen for ourselves. That’s what makes the most sense anyway. As fun as it is to see your professional football team win, it’s not your accomplishment. “Joy of Best” is joy from your best. It is something over which you have, almost, complete control. You do the work, you get the reward, Joy.

Push ’till you can’t push any more. (You can not push someone else to Joy.) Take it to the limit. Doing and being your best is about exploring your limits. Just like building muscle, you build any strength or characteristic with exertion and recovery. To build you must take your muscles or capabilities to the max. You have to push until you can’t push any more. Isn’t that what “your best” is? And then you must give your muscles or capabilities recovery time, time to grow, rebuild and assimilate. What happens with muscles is that the progressive overload causes the muscles to breakdown, to “tear”. During the recovery period the body builds the muscle back and a little more. Exhaustion and recovery. Growth happens when you take it to the limit and then recover appropriately. With muscles recovery is one to three days. Do your best. Relish the joy. Experience growth.

We all have a personal continuum with best at the top. Everything we do to different degrees with “our best” the measure to beat.

“Joy of Best” is the feeling you get when you do something, anything, to the best of your ability. When you do your best you get a real feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. Your best is yours. Your best will give you “Joy of Best”.

Do you want more Joy in your life? Do your best because you like the feeling you get. You like “Joy of Best”.