I've been thinking about this subject for a couple of days now. Doing your best. I was taking a trip down memory lane, back to when I used to be in the Cub Scouts. I remember that when I was a scout we would have a ceremony each time we met in which we first unrolled the flag, and then at the end of the session would have lower the flag and then stow it away for the next week. Every week we would line up, be quiet and respect the moment, the flag, our leaders and the other scouts. The leader would bark "Scouts, do your best!" and we would reply in unison "We will do out best!". At the time it was just a learned response really. I was simply concerned with getting the reply right and not screwing up the whole thing. Especially if i was on flag duty.
I got to thinking though about the promise to do my "best". I mean, how often do we do our best? When are we given encouragement or push ourselves to give that little bit extra, work harder and can stand back afterwards and say "There you go, that was my best. This was the most that I could do." For me it's not very often. I mean I will put a lot of effort into things sure...90%, 95% but my best? I'm not so sure.
What sometimes makes us aim a little lower in life are the people who we either surround ourselves with or are put together with. I've found that in previous jobs it is the people around me who will distract me, pull me down, encourage me to not to do my best. It's those colleagues who will goof off, get bored and then try to gain some company by inviting you to join in the goof off session. I've had a couple of high school friends and colleagues like this. I've also had some who show up late, do the bare minimum, if any work, and leave early in their own little world. These kind of people are oblivious to the fact that their actions demoralize everyone else who are working hard for their money and picking up the slack.
Doing your best shouldn't be a daily thing. I mean I only had to promise to do my best once a week at scouts, but I think it should be something we all try to do, in at least one aspect of life every now and again.