By Bruce BurkeHelping people with their physical fitness is what we are best known for, but helping them to acquire the tools necessary to experience balance and a sense of well being on a daily basis is equally important. One major source of many people’s discontent is their inability to accept that they have done their best and that it is indeed good enough.

I like to break this concept down into two parts. The first is answering the question “Have you really tried your best?” The other is accepting the result.

What does trying your best look like? I like to share the story about my son getting a mediocre grade in geometry. He explained that he was “trying his best.” I asked if he had spoken to his teacher about getting extra help or if he had looked into getting a tutor. Of course, the answer was no. Like all of us, he didn’t know what he didn’t know. He didn’t know how high the “trying” bar could be raised and didn’t have the experience to know how to achieve the best result.

For others, fear prevents them from even aspiring to try their best. After all, if you don’t give an endeavor your best shot, you will have a great excuse when you fail. Fear of having to work a little harder can also come into play. Staying after school to meet with a tutor might not be much fun, but then neither is having to take the same class again next year!

The only way to ensure that you are on the right track and are indeed trying your best is to run your strategies and decisions by a close friend, mentor or professional. The humility that comes with acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers and “don’t know what you don’t know” is truly a virtue. Often, your strategies will simply be validated. Other times you will learn an important piece of information that will make the difference between success and failure.

Once you have gone through the process of developing a strategy and getting it validated by someone you trust, move forward and let go of the outcome. You have controlled what you can: the process. The result is not in your control. You will, however, be pleasantly surprised how often you enjoy a favorable result when you legitimately try your best.

Remember that your best has to be good enough…it is all you’ve got! The peace that comes from the extra effort is, whether you succeed or fail, easily worth it.

If you have any thoughts or questions, email me at

Bruce Burke is president and founder of One on One, specializing in personal fitness training in State College.