Though I meet with resistance on this opinion, I believe it to be true.
During a race, at times I felt I could push no more — while biking for example — and I gave myself permission to quiet the voice telling me to go faster. Then when EVERY race is over, I tell myself I could have done better if I had ridden faster. It turns out both of those thoughts are true — at the moment I had them. So while I'd like to critique and dismantle my effort on the bike, at the time, I was doing the very best I could with the tools I had (that includes the mental support the body requires).
If I had the physical stamina to speed up but my mind thought not, I did not have all the necessary tools. Next time, perhaps I'll have the mental stamina because I'll have a previous inner dialogue to recall. And maybe next time I'll have the mental stamina but will be plagued with an injury. Either way, I am doing the best I can.
How many decisions have you made that you regret in your lifetime? Too many to count, probably. And yet, at the time, they were the best decisions you could have made — at that point. To look at them in hindsight and determine you could have done better is to add skills and knowledge that you didn't have before.
The third leg of the tripod that needs balance to support our best decisions is emotional. Regret is an emotion, as is elation, gratitude, pride, and fear. It's an emotional response we experience after a job well-done or a missed attempt. And it is feelings that guide us to future choices — feelings we advance toward and those we avoid — adding and subtracting skills and knowledge along the way.
Doing your best requires practice and insight, both of which take action. If your best doesn't yet include self-reflection, your toolbox will remain limited. And, this is still your best because of course, if you were able, you would add tools that give you growth options.
What of the people we judge as making bad decisions? What will it take for you to see that they, too, are doing the best they can with the tools they possess? How does judgment represent your best? And where does compassion fit into your best self?
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian