Give It Your Best!

2 weeks ago, I chaperoned the middle school band at All Region tryout, with my oldest son and daughter. For weeks these students spent time and energy practicing to prepare, and the day had finally come.

My daughter, the trombonist, was nervous. Last year, she was awarded 7th chair in the very same band, so her assistant director offered her an incentive. Make 1st chair and she would get Starbucks. Of course my little girl has champagne taste, so this was right up her alley! Listening to her practice, I could tell how much she had prepared. Her tone was impeccable. However, while waiting for her number to be called, her head director gave her a last-minute pointer. Play with more expression and style. “Bounce on the notes a little more; it just may make the difference,” she said.

I could tell this freaked my daughter out a little bit, but she went on in, after her number was called and gave it her best. I asked her how did she think she did, to which she responded, “I don’t know. I tried to do what my director said, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t mess up or anything, but I don’t think I got first chair.”

My son, the percussionist on the other hand, had not one care in the world. He is an excellent mallet player, but doesn’t really care for playing the snare drum. As I watched him practice, he played with such ease and precision. So much so, I had to ask him if he was confident. His response, “OF COURSE, DAD.”

He also walked into his tryout and gave it his best. When I asked him how he thought he did, full of confidence, he responded, “I did just fine.”

Well the result came in later that night. My daughter, thought she wasn’t extremely confident, gave a superior performance, which landed her the 1st chair! When she heard the news, she cried (and that was the most adorable thing). My son, though he gave a great performance, didn’t make the band at all. When he got the news, he was not phased at all. He shrugged his shoulders, then turned and congratulated his sister by initiating a high-five. I asked him a little later if he was disappointed, and his answer was a strong, “NO.”

What am I saying here?

Life will play out how it plays out. We can’t control out comes. I know that there are a bunch of self-help, new age gurus who will tell you different, by insuring that you can will anything to happen. But truth of the matter is, we can not control outcomes. All we can do, is prepare, and give it our best. The proverbial chips will fall where they may.

At the end of the day, only you will know if you gave it your best. And If you give it your best, that’s something you can be proud of. In the end, excellence will ultimately produce success, even if it’s not immediate. So always put your best foot forward.

© 2016 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoyed this essay, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!


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