I believe that trying my best is the best thing I can do. No matter the result, when I try my best, I am successful. Even though I was not successful by someone else’s standards, I can confidently tell myself that I couldn’t have done anything differently and I took advantage of every possibility that presented itself.
I remembered this belief when I was at a Mock Trial competition. My team and I were at the National Championship and I was looking forward to a very successful tournament. We all had prepared diligently and practiced hard to come this far, and we were ready to compete. We had been very successful in our past competitions. We had qualified straight from our regional competition instead of qualifying through Silver Nationals, which is the competition between the Regional and National Championship level.
I learned that weekend that no matter how long we prepared, no matter how many times my co-captain and I drilled procedure and rules of evidence into our teammates’ brains, we could only do our best. We brought our best abilities to the competition that weekend, and we knew that no matter the result we would try our best. No matter what happened we could be proud of our accomplishment, proud that we made it to a national championship.
Well, we didn’t do too well. At the end of each round when we found out the results, we were disappointed at the outcome. Reflecting back on the trial we knew that we tried our best. We reviewed the trial, the other team’s strategies, and thought of ways that we could improve. We looked at ballots to combine the points we received versus the points the other team received. In the end, we realized that although we came out of the competition with a record of 2 wins and 6 losses, we tried our best and we were proud of how we competed that weekend. We came home with one All-American attorney, one of eight attorneys chosen by the judges as the best attorneys at the competition. That All-American was only the fourth All-American attorney in Penn State history.
I believe that trying my best should be good enough for me, for anyone. People can’t, people shouldn’t criticize others when they try their best There always could be room for improvement but that doesn’t mean that you didn’t try your best. Only I can tell if I tried my best and if in the end, I am only cheating myself if I don’t..
I believe that trying my best is the best I can do. I may not have achieved the result I wanted at that National Championship, but I know I achieved a level of competition that is my best. And it is because of this belief that I can be proud of what I did accomplish that weekend and that I can stand firm in my belief that trying my best is the best I can do.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.