I was never the type of person to give up. Whether this was in regards to sports teams, school, or my personal life, I was always in some way constantly trying to prove myself.
There was never a moment when I finally decided that what I know is enough and there is no way to improve myself. In fact, I still don’t believe that there is no way to improve myself because every day there is a new and better opportunity to grow and change. However, there were some points in time where my need to be better was verging on unhealthy.
I should have recognized the signs. Staying up late, stressing to the point of vomiting, this had become normal in my mind. Deciding to stay up until 4 am to keep working on a paper that I know is as good as it is going to get. Sleep was a small sacrifice to get better quality work out of myself.
But there is nothing normal about this at all. No one should have to put themselves through that feeling. The feeling where the sun is beginning to rise, so why even bother going to sleep. This is not a healthy lifestyle. You are suffering from it, and your work will as well.
And yet no matter how much I studied, stayed up, or proofread, there were still some things that I ended up failing. Everyone would always say, “Well did you try your best?” And I felt that I could answer “yes.” Isn’t my best the work that is produced from hours of studying and research?
This is true, but your best is so much more. Your best is when you and your mind are at peace and are content with the work you produced. Your best is being able to get things done and still sleep.
I was not doing my best.
Now that I have come to realize this, I feel so much lighter. Like this heavy weight of freaking out about all nighters and difficult tests has been alleviated. Sure, I still study just as hard and proofread just as seriously. But now I have come to terms with the fact that as long as I am content with the amount of work I put in, I will be golden.
The second that you realize that your best is enough, life will be so much more enjoyable. Now I’m not saying don’t study for tests. But the fact is, if you don’t know it, you don’t know it. You are far better of getting a restful sleep before a big test, than staying up into the wee hours of the morning studying. Be happy with the work you put in, and you will see results.
Really, in the end, all that matters is if you did the best that you can do.