Being ‘The Best’

What does it mean to be ‘the best’?

Not many words have an absolute definition. ‘Ugly blue car’ seems to present a clear picture, but ‘ugly’, ‘blue’, and ‘car’ all depend on our individual perception and understanding. Where one person sees an ugly blue car, another might see a beautiful turquoise 4×4.

There are some words where it’s important to define what they mean – for us. ‘Success’ is a good example. Using someone else’s definition of ‘success’ is likely to end in frustration and disappointment.

‘Best’ is another example. When we say ‘best’, what do we mean? Best in the world? Or best in this town? Best by what metrics? And in whose opinion?

Another crucial element is the difference between ‘the best’ and ‘my best’. These two things don’t often overlap:

  • Only one film wins the Oscar for Best Picture each year [but it still won’t be everyone’s favourite film]
  • Only one team lifts the trophy [yet the other teams still have fans]
  • Only one student comes top of the class [what does that mean for the others?]

Our definition of ‘best’ is also likely to change over time. When I think about my career as a drummer, at 19 I thought I was ‘my best’ … looking back, well, that makes me cringe with embarrassment!

There’s not a simple answer to this question of ‘best’. Like so many other things, it intertwines and overlaps with multiple aspects of our lives – and isn’t always a priority. We don’t have to cook the ‘best’ dinner every day – sometimes good enough is good enough.

For the times when it does matter, it can be helpful to consider a few questions …

What is important to me – what do I want to be ‘best’ at?
And what does that look like – how will I know?

What does it mean to be ‘my best’?

PS If you need a little inspiration while you’re thinking about your responses, here is one version of ‘The Best‘ … and here is another … I’ll let you decide which is best …


Weekly [digital] email to help navigate the [analogue] world …

Weekly [digital] email to help navigate the [analogue] world …