But, was it the Most You Could Do?

It’s easy to do your least…


How often do you hear (or say), “It was the least I could do,” in response to someone’s gratitude. Rather than saying, “You are welcome,” or “It was my pleasure,” the gesture’s value is minimized, since it was the least we could do.

It’s easy to do the least. The least amount of work to keep our job. The least amount of studying to ace (or merely pass) the final exam. The minimum exercise to stay in shape (or close enough). The smallest charitable donation to show our support. The minimum level of quality to pass inspection.

The challenge is in defining the most. What is the most you can do?

How about putting in a level of effort and commitment to not just keep your job, but to redefine what your job can be? What’s the level of effort you can put into your studies to not just pass the exam, but to master the topic for your lifetime? What are the limits of your strength and endurance, and where can those limits take you? What can you do to not only support your favorite charity, but multiply your support by engaging others?

When was the last time you focused on the quality of your work, even when you knew few (if any) would see it? The truth is at least one person always sees the work you do. You.

If something is worth your time and attention, treat it that way. Maximize your involvement. Contribute the best version of yourself to the cause. Go all-in, every time.

When you always bring the best version of yourself, the definition of “your best” continually improves.

Author: Bob Dailey

Born and raised in Southern California. Graduated from (and met my future wife at) Cal Poly Pomona, in 1988. Married to Janet for almost 35 years. Father of two: Julianne and Jennifer. Grandfather of 7. Held many positions in small, medium, and large companies. Trail runner, competitive stair climber, backpacker, camper, off-roader, world traveler, sometimes writer.

2 thoughts on “But, was it the Most You Could Do?”

  1. I Love this post. I never understood the expression and certainly don’t ever use it myself. I hope I am never the recipient of it either because it would be hard to hide my thinking about hearing that for the exact reasons you have detailed here.

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