“Just do your best.”
There should be no more terrifying mandate than this. Just do your best. Perhaps it is a misnomer, for there is no “just”.
“Do your best.”
Often this is used as an excuse or alternative for not obtaining an external, objective goal. However, if our best is truly the bar, there can be no greater challenge, no greater calling. No one can determine your best, only you. And even then we only know our best when our best abuts our failure. When we run so hard we fall. When we study so hard we can’t see clearly. When we face questions we don’t know the answer to. When we take great risks and come up with nothing. When we love so much it breaks us. Our best is the place where our greatness meets our failure.
If our best is the calling we will not stop, cannot stop until there is nothing left in us. The finish line fades in importance and our own limitations, our own willpower comes into focus.
“Do your best” is not an excuse. “Do your best” is the highest bar, the greatest challenge, the most extreme calling.