Be Your Best Self

5/10/2014 4:12:56 PM

Are you your “best self” in everything you do? Are you committed to excellence?
Consider this scenario: A young man (let’s call him Joey) finds a job opening in his chosen career field. He lands an interview and arrives for it ten minutes early, dressed to the nines. Joey wants this job, so he is determined to be on his “A game.” He sells himself in the interview and lands the job with his knowledge, gregarious personality, and unique skillset. He is told that there is a 30-day probationary period for the job, at the end of which they will determine if his position will become permanent. Joey does a great job during his 30-day “trial run.” He takes initiative, is excited to work with his team members, and pushes himself to excel. He thinks outside of the box and goes above and beyond all required tasks. At his review, his superiors tell him the job is his for good.
However, something isn’t quite right. Once Joey is given the permanent position, things go downhill. His performance in the workplace greatly suffers—he begins showing up late to work, becomes increasingly uncooperative with his co-workers, and misses important deadlines. Because of his sudden change in performance, his team members also suffer. Projects are unfinished; meetings are cancelled. When Joey realized the job was his and he didn’t need to try and “impress” anyone anymore, he got lazy and content. His efforts were on winning the trophy, not keeping it. He lost the motivation to continue being his best self.
When we participate in anything, whether it’s a class project team, job, sports team, volunteer effort, etc., we contribute two things: our TALENT and our ATTITUDE. In this situation, Joey’s talent was constant but his attitude was variable. His loss of motivation caused his performance to suffer, even though he had all the talent to do an excellent job.
When you’re involved with anything individually, your own dignity and self-respect is at stake. However, when you’re operating as part of a team, you shoulder the additional responsibility of contributing to the group effort—the end result. When you choose to let your negative attitude overshadow your talent, these things are compromised.
Never take lightly the responsibility of being your best self. This does not mean that you’re not allowed to rest, sit down, relax, or treat yourself for a job well done. It simply means to remain aware of why you’re in the role you are. You’re at your job because of your specific skillset. You’re on the sports team because of your talent and athleticism. You’re in the church choir because of your natural gift for singing. Maintaining a conscious and thankful mindset will help keep your attitude right and showcase your greatest talents, helping you be your best.
Whether in the workplace, at school, or on the field, if you always be the best you, regardless of whether it’s a major project or minor task, you’ll be respected and admired. That’s the hallmark of a true winner. 
Do you find yourself “slacking off” in certain areas of your life? Why or why not? What helps you give your best performance when it comes to working with others?