Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

May 29, 2013

The Only Question Worth Answering.

There are a lot of questions you have to answer each day. Some are simple questions about “where things are” or “who needs to be involved”.  There are complex answers about “how to do” a particular tasks or “why doing it that way” matters.

Every day you are faced with questions. It’s your responsibility to find answers. To break through the confusion with insight and clarity.

Which means that you have to get good at answer a few questions well.  One more important than the others:

Did we do our best?

It’s that simple.  You can’t ever do better than your best and it’s incredible natural to do a lot less than your best.  So the question that matters most each day is: “Did we do our best?”

The answer tells you everything you need to know in order to change the situation.

  1. If you did your best and lost then you might be competing at a level or in an arena where you don’t belong.  Or maybe you just need to do your best another day.  Keep trying.
  2. If you did your best and won then you know the conditions and environment for getting even bigger results in the future.  You know how tough it is and level of focus you need to deliver.
  3. If you didn’t do your best and still won then you need to chalk that up to “luck”.  Or maybe that’s an indication that you need to play in a bigger arena or against tougher competitors.
  4. If you didn’t do your best and lost then you don’t know much of anything. You don’t know if your best would have changed things. You don’t know what to change — what to do differently.

Doing your best is the benchmark.

That’s where success starts.  And that’s why you feel confused and frightening when you try to answer other questions first.  “Did we do our best” is the beginning of that journey.

If you’re not doing what you can with what you have then there is little else that can help you.  Not outside consultants.  Not friends, family, or therapists.  Not anyone.

The only one who can help you is “you”.

So maybe it’s time to start asking yourself the only question that really matters: “Are you doing your best?”

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.