Teddy Roosevelt is credited with saying, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
I am modifying that somewhat to set only one goal for 2016:
I will do the best I can, with what I have, where I am.
People often use the phrase “do the best you can” when it is clear they don’t think you are capable of accomplishing much of anything. Rather than believe you can succeed, they offer to accept the “best you can do”, like a consolation prize. Well, if you truly do your best, how can that not be counted as success?
The trouble is that most of us seldom give any task our best effort. Oh, we may think we are operating at full brain power and creativity, but quite often our focus is weak and our penchant for “multi-tasking” means that nothing is getting our full attention or effort. My goal for the new year is to be more focused, attentive, and thoughtful as I go about my daily life. I am guilty of doing one project while quite literally planning the next. That needs to change.
How many of you make excuses for your inability to accomplish something by claiming a lack of tools or talents? I do! I could take better photos if I had a better lens. I could exercise more if my health was better. I could write more if I had more time. Well, enough of that! What do I have? How can I put it to better use? How can I adapt to reach my goals? Exercise is a fine example. I have difficulty walking. Some days I go through hours of time when I can’t walk much at all. However, I CAN lift weights. I CAN use an arm bicycle. I CAN use a recumbent bike. So rather than lament the fact that I can’t use a treadmill right now, I go to the gym three or four days a week and do the best I can on the equipment that I can manage.
I am in Durant, Oklahoma for a reason. Gary I talked yesterday about all of the good things that have happened to us since we left California. And we discussed the positive changes that have occurred since we moved away from Liberty Hill and then away from Caddo. Each move was one that we weren’t quite sure we wanted to make. Of course there are things we miss about our old state, our old communities, our old houses, but it is clear that we are blessed to be here now.
Here is also a state of mind and relationships. I had to make some important decisions this past year. I faced some personal challenges. I experienced some major changes in relationships. I was saddened by the loss of friends and family members. The only way I managed to stay positive was to do my best and pray for God to work everything out for my good.
Here is also a state of time. We try to look ahead and predict and calculate and plan…especially this week. But today is the only time we have and here is the only place we have and we are the only one who can do what God has called us to do. Let us focus on today and the task at hand and do our best!
Happy New Year!