It’s a common practice especially in this city to groom your child to be the best. This means starting from early as two months out with scheduling, training, classes, and obedience. It’s a commitment I’m pretty amazed at but have no desire to introduce to my own child.
Being “the best” is a singular position. By definition, there can only be one. This means slim chances of achieving it and many bouts of disappointment. Sure we can learn from our failures. Yes, we can grow and improve by setting high expectations. But setting a standard so high it can only be enjoyed by one leaves too much room for the feeling of never being enough.
Being the best requires hyper focus and while this kind of focus is a wonderful thing at certain times and can lead to great achievement, it means absolutely neglecting parts of life. Training to be the best at one thing means not putting time into other things in life. It is the one and only category. You will by definition miss out and since I believe childhood is for exploring and expanding, I can not groom my child to be the best at one thing.
The top spot is a title designed to be occupied for a brief time. There is always a person just behind trying to beat your record, be or convince others they are actually deserving of the one title role. This creates serious competition and rivalry and while competition can lead to the creation of top ideas and products, collaboration is a better way to get there.
One can never be satisfied being the best, because one knows it’s impossible to remain there long. So one spends one’s entire time there trying to figure out how to hold on to something fleeting, never even enjoying the fruits of labor.
Being the best is boring.
Instead I’m teaching my daughter trying her best.
You can try your best without perfectionism, isolation or competition. You can try your best at kindness, understanding, thoughtfulness, honesty, contribution, curiosity and discernment as well as any other topic or activity. You can try your best to be uniquely you and embrace yourself as you are all while trying your best to learn and grow.
Trying your best means having a gentleness toward yourself even and especially when you don’t perform the best. This leads to an acceptance of others when they struggle and recognizing they too tried their best. It creates a better, happier society of trying hard while holding space for all outcomes and that’s how I want my daughter to live.
What do you think about being the best verses trying your best? Tell me in the comments below.