I don’t know what it was about this piece of advice, but it’s been all I’ve been able to think about recently. With everything I do and everything I say, this piece of advice has been at the forefront of my mind. Personally speaking, I feel it’s the most underrated piece of life advice out there.
It all started when I asked my behavior and performance coach at work to meet with me. I wanted to check in, see how I was doing as far as work output was concerned, and just wanted to gain some insight into best practices as well as what I can do to improve.
At first, my behavior and performance coach was surprised. She told me that normally she works with individuals who are struggling and has to find new ways for them to meet standards, so it was a nice change of pace to be able to have a conversation with someone who actually wanted advice.
For me, I guess I just want to be the best employee that I can possibly be. I want to ask questions on what I can do to improve, I want to learn how to become more efficient and more productive, and I just simply want to be the best that I can be.
After telling her all of this, my coach asked me why I’m always so hard on myself.
She knows I’m a perfectionist and that I work my butt off, but she also doesn’t think that I give myself enough credit for the work that I do.
During our meeting, she told me, “Everybody knows how great Michael is and how hard he works. I just don’t think Michael knows how great Michael is and how hard he works.”
The way I see it, she’s right. I know I am good at my job, but I don’t think that I am great, at least not to the level I know I am capable of being.
The Most Underrated Piece of Life Advice
As we continued to talk about various ways for me to improve in my current role, she told me to try something. She said after every conversation, after every meeting, and whenever I was mindful enough to remember, instead of constantly getting down on myself, ask myself “What’s the next best thing that I can do?”
I found this to be such an underrated piece of advice. It’s something that’s so simple to comprehend, but yet it’s something that many of us struggle to do.
After thinking about it for a moment, I told her that she was right. I admitted the fact that I sometimes get into this flow state and just continue to constantly look for ways to pick apart my past instead of looking at what the next best option is to move forward.
Sounds like a lot of us, right?
That’s because it is. With everything we do in life, we are more prone to reflect back on our previous mistakes and weaknesses instead of looking ahead and asking ourselves what we can do to improve on who we are today.
How To Use This Advice
I took this piece of advice and I immediately wrote it down on a post-it note and placed it on my computer so that when I am at work, I will constantly be reminded to do the next best thing that I can do instead of picking apart the mistakes I have made in the past.
The thing about the past is that it isn’t perfect. Whether it’s with work, being a friend, or just life in general, we all make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of who we are – it’s in our DNA. But it means that we are at least trying to progress and move forward in life.
As you go through your day today, be conscious of the thoughts you are thinking. If you find yourself beating yourself up or being too hard on yourself, ask yourself what’s the next best thing you can do. What’s the next best thing that you can do to turn yourself from who you were as an individual into who you want to become.
It’s a lot easier said than done, but try to let go of the mistakes you have made. It’s not going to do you any good to beat yourself up over the past mistakes you have made. No matter how badly you want, you are never going to be able to go back and re-live the past. So with all of your might, let it go and move forward. Do so by asking yourself what’s the next best thing that you can do.
Before You Go
It’s pretty good advice, isn’t it?
I thought so too. That’s why I wanted to share it with you.
It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past or what challenges you may have endured over the course of your life. All that matters is what you’re willing to do for yourself moving forward.
Make no mistake (no pun intended), you are going to continue to make mistakes on a daily basis. You are going to continue to endure challenges and struggles in life. But instead of allowing them to stop you from living your life to the fullest and being the best that you can be, ask yourself what’s the next best thing that you can do and move forward.
So… what’s the next best thing that you can do?