“Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and **** the prom queen.”

In the ideal world, the winner gets a trophy and the loser gets nothing. I’d want this world, even if it means I will never get a trophy.

“Do your best” is an attitude accepted in our society as an acceptable compromise in the post-game report of performance. Regardless of how one did on a test, they can simply say “I did my best” and call it a day. Doing the best is quite different.

Leo. Fat little Leo. Leo was the kind on the swim team who spent almost every waking hour of Summer outside by the pool. His tan was remarkable, as was his fat belly hanging over the edge of his swim trunks. Less than ten years old, Leo was well on his way to becoming an obese diabetic. While most kids in the competitive swimming game were driven by competition and placing first, Leo had a sundress-clad mother waiting for him at the end of each race, perched by the edge of the pool, with a bag of cookies. Win or lose (usually the latter) Leo got his cookies and walked away feeling like a million bucks in his oversized, colorful beach towel.

Whether or not we like to admit it, each of us have a little Leo hanging around in our personality. There are grown men who have never been weaned from their mother’s proverbial breast; too scared to leave the comfort crippling them from becoming who and what they are capable of being.

I’m struggling to break from a very, very bad habit. That’s the habit of doing my best. Throughout college, even at the age of 15, I was encouraged to do my ‘best’ without being pushed for academic achievement. Competitive MBA programs don’t look for “best” on cumulative GPA scores.

Doing your best is what breeds a loser mentality. Doing the best is how champions play.

Fact: sometimes your best isn’t good enough.

I’ve been reflecting on the quote “It’s never too late to become what you could have been” and also the quote “You must be willing to sacrifice, at any point in time, who you are for who you can become.” I believe the second point to be a bit more accurate.

It’s a personal goal of mine to find employment at a Top 10 business management consulting firm, and also to attend a well-respected (Fisher, who?) business school to complete an MBA program.

Rather than taking refuge in knowing there are many proverbial “Leo” figures in the world – still living at home in their mother’s basement – I’m reminded that excellence and success have a high cost…but they are available for those willing to pay the price.

Nobody was ever made for greatness. Everybody is made, but few make greatness their occupation and lifestyle.

  • If you do YOUR best, if you’re meant to be THE best, it will be so. Most people just say they’re going to do their best, when the reality is that most people don’t actually follow through. If you truly do your best, you have nothing to be ashamed of- even if it isn’t THE best.

    Best is 100%. Not 110% like people say…that’s not possible. Most people just give less than 100%.

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