“Try your best.”
It’s the three words that every child has probably heard from an adult at some point in their life. We grow up trying. We try our best to make the Little League baseball team. We try our best to ace the science test. We try our best to learn how to play the piano. Parents, teachers and coaches engrave “trying your best” into our brains to make sure that we live up to our fullest potentials.
I have come to believe though, that there really is such a thing as trying too hard.
College golf is unique-you compete against your teammates for the top five travel spots. For me, I tend to put more pressure on getting one of these five spots than I do the actual tournament. And this pressure, leads to trying really hard. In fact, as I’ve recently discovered after many frustrating rounds and some discussions with some people in my life, it leads to trying too hard.
So this battle is firing shots back and forth in my head. How do I make something that means so much to me, not have as much meaning? Or how do I just play golf without thinking about the outcome? How do I try my very very best, and not have that turn into forgetting all the things I’ve worked so hard on?
That’s when it hit me. Forget try.
Why would you want to try? What’s Nike’s motto, Just Do It? I’ve changed “try your best” to “give it all you’ve got.” I’ve had people tell me how I’m always trying my best, but what I really think the vision should be is that I’m giving it all I’ve got. If you’re giving then you’re putting in the time, effort, thought and passion.
There can’t be a try if you’re planning on doing something. That goes for anything. If you decide to go to Med School, you aren’t going to try to become a doctor. You’re going to put in the study hours, passion for learning the subject, and time in the field.
If after all the giving, you feel like you gave all you have, then you’ve succeeded. All your time, energy and passion- if you’ve given the most you could towards doing what you set out to do, then you’ve given it all you’ve got, and no one could possibly say you didn’t “try your best.” In fact you did more than that-you worked and gave your best.
A motto says, “Success is a journey, not a destination. Focus on the process.” The process is the giving. If you haven’t given anything then you can’t receive the feeling of success.
That process and journey is made up of a bunch of little things.
And magic is hidden in the simple things.