Friday, March 4, 2011

The Best you can Be

I have trouble accepting the best I can be. It’s an interesting and confusing topic for me to think about. In one sense, technically we’re always the best we can be. If we’re limited even only by our own level of motivation, then we’re still doing the best we can. If a student fails a class because he was too lazy to do his homework, he’s still the best he can be (taking into consideration the obstacle his natural laziness had).

But on the other hand, we’re never the best we can be—there’s always some other course of action we could have taken. We could have studied for ten more minutes, or we could have accelerated a bit more through the yellow light and gotten to work on time. This especially comes into play during my continual strive for fitness. I feel like I’m never the best I can be—I could always have eaten a hundred calories less, always have run just one mile further. It’s absolutely haunting.

I can’t seem to accept myself for what I am, and I think that’s a commonality in the population. As Americans, we place a great deal of pride in becoming everything we can be—achieving our greatest potential. But it’s maddening to always know you could have done just a little bit better. You could always be just a little bit more than you are. It’s a nagging perfectionism that’s never okay with your present self because your potential isn’t 100% realized.

Like many people, I need to take bits of sentiment from the first argument I made—in a sense, we’re always the best we can be, limited by whatever agents are our detriment. Thinking exclusively in this way can lead to apathy or excusing laziness, but taking it in moderation with the second argument can lead to a more peaceful kind of existence.

Be all you can be. But you’ll never be all you can be. And you’ll always be all you can be. Fuck it, I have to stop overthinking things.


  1. You're always the best you can be. That is, assuming our future is already determined and all our actions are already decided. If that's not the case, you could've always been better.

  2. disagree, you are not always the best you can be. its called slacking