Effort (aka Be The Best)


[Noun; ~Pronunciation: /ef-fert/]

  • Definition: Putting in all the work that you can possibly do. In other words: giving it your best shot, and knowing that that is more valuable than the end results alone.
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best”
– St. Jerome –

Oh, those windows! How I’d love to clean them, and how I promise myself each week that, if I find myself with just ten spare minutes, I will. Clean them. Get that “Happy New Year” window paint off. How my heart longs to do that, but how my hands ache to do a whole lot more.

This is my endless dilemma: I clean a person’s home and I have more work than hours to do said work in. What to do? What to do? In the end, I have to get my priorities straight. Toilets over showers, showers over windows, etcetera. It’s a sad fact of life, but there’s really only twenty-four hours in a day.

Even after a well spent three hours cleaning an entire house I feel unhappy. Why? Because I didn’t get to the windows! It’s that simple and that complicated; for a perfectionist nothing is ever good enough and being constantly faced with insufficient time is killing my spirits and raising my stress levels. So what to do? Work along in my own time or adopt a new game plan?

I had severe doubts, as I guessed that in fifteen minutes I could clean those seven infested/painted upon windows (they’re not that big). But what about the remaining five surrounding them? Those look spotless now, with the other ones being all out-of-date festive, but would stand out in a bad way if I’d clean the decorated ones only. And to clean all of them would mean working more overtime than I’d be comfortable with.

This is life. I am giving you an example of throwing in a lot of effort and feeling it still isn’t enough. These were just windows, but life hands us many similar situations and we assume we are expected to give more than our best at times.

Well here’s a kicker: we cannot ever be better than our best, it ends right there. There’s nothing beyond “best”. Nothing. It’s good – better – best, not good – better – best – besterer. “Best”is the limit, it’s the top of our doing (it’s also a place in the Netherlands, which just goes to show one of the people living there should google me and use this post to promote their town. Just saying).

What’s more important in life is not the outcome of everything we do, it’s the effort we put in to get there. If your effort is at 100% and so is your goodwill, then the outcome will follow. A great input will lead to a great output. Simple and easy.

So this morning, after having cleaned an entire house in three hours, I heaved a sigh and left those windows as festive as outdated Happy Holidays-windows could be. They are top priority for next week. And that’s the best I can do.

When was your best not enough? How did you cope?

15 thoughts on “Effort (aka Be The Best)”

  1. Hey Samantha! I didnt blogged for 2 weeks but I started to miss your inspiring blogposts so now Im going to read everything of you! Im really curious about everything haha. I hope you are doing okay and about this blogpost: i know what it is like to be a perfectionist so I can feel your struggle but you are already doing the best you can with cleaning other one’s houses! Have a nice day 🙂


    1. Thank you, Romy. I missed your blogs, too, so you better start writing more 😉 Just kidding, take your time. But don’t quit! D:

      In the end, I told the client I’d clean her windows next week and she ended up doing it herself, because she told me she knows I have a lot more work to do and I needn’t do it all. So sweet 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aah so sweet of you! Thank you for that compliment 🙂 I SHALL NEVER STOP WRITING!! Hahaha but sometimes I dont have so much inspiration, but this will come back to me ! And thats really sweet of your client, thats the kind of vibes you need from your work!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am in one of those waves right now: I have no clue what to write about :p But I know it will pass and then I’ll have tons of ideas. So what I do is write those down when I’m full of topics, so I have something to pick from when I am without inspiration :p
          And yea, my clients are all great! I am lucky to have them 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice one, Samantha. I think that is a really mature attitude about everything in life. We can only do what we can do. If we are satisfied that we did our best. That should be good enough. Not many people reach perfection. At least not the ones who tell the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandmother used to say that the best is the best you can do. Yesterday with those windows I think I finally listened to her.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was a boy, I was a member of a 4-H club. The 4-H motto is “to make the best better.” I can think of a lot of projects at work or at home where I have settled for “better than it was,” but that’s as much because of time restraints rather than any lapse in perfectionism. In an imperfect world, there is always room for improvement. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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