Fortunately I was able to learn an important lesson at a young age. Whenever I lost a game playing sports growing up, I usually took it hard. My parents would console me and ask one question - “Did you do your best?” Not all of the time, but most of the time I did. It taught me to focus on what I can control, my own effort, when evaluating the result of a game.
I think that’s the only thing we can do, is to do our best. The results, the outcomes, the end-product are all dependent on so many external factors. In sports it could be an unlucky bounce, a bad call, or a teammate's error. In business it could be the political environment, a bad deal, or a global pandemic. And in life it could be a difficult situation imposed on you by others. In all of these cases, all you can do is your very best to work with what you’ve got to make the most of it.
But what does doing your best look like? It involves dedication - Being serious about the thing you want to achieve or work toward. It takes preparation - Anticipating in advance some of the things that might come up so that you can handle them better. And it takes effort - Applying yourself in the moment to your fullest capacity, putting your heart and soul into your craft in order to generate the best result you are capable of. If you do all of that, then you’re doing your best, and you can rest your head at night knowing that you gave it your all.
Doing your best is about you. The action steps you take, the way you play or engage, and the attitude you have through it all. And that’s entirely within your control. The best thing you can do is to do your best.