Last week my three daughters and I went to see Taylor Swift in concert. Initially, I was only going to accompany Alexandra and Emma, my two younger ones. Although Alexandra's at an age where she can start attending these types of events with friends, Emma is too young, yet, to go on her own.
This isn't the first time I accompanied my daughters to a concert. Believe me, I have been to my share of Hillary Duff concerts, as well as the Jonas Brothers. While these concerts were entertaining, and I was far from wishing the time away or even begging for ear plugs to remove the collective shrieking of thousands of teenage fans from my ears, I found myself entranced by Taylor Swift's show. Her stage setup was a very feminine work of art. Her show very professionally polished. But it was the music and lyrics, and, most of all Swift's appreciation for her fans that came straight from the heart.
The following day, I saw a quote from Colorado Rockies relief pitcher, Huston Street, in Kristin Armstrong's blog entitled "The Process." Street said "I believe there is a universal truth to the process of doing things right." Along with Kristin Armstrong, I'm sure there are a lot of people that can identify with this quote. It applies to us all, regardless of where we are in the world, or what we do.
I can hear mothers around the world talking to their children after a test, or after a game with their sports team. When they come home and say they didn't get a high score at school, or their team lost that important game, we tend to say, "as long as you did your best and had fun, that's the main thing."
But what is doing your best? In order to do your best; to put the greatest effort into what you are doing, it has to be heartfelt. You honestly need to fully intend to give it all that you have got.
In my battle with cancer, I can look back over the past three (almost four!) years since the mastectomies, and say that I truly fought with my most heartfelt efforts. A nasty thing was happening to me, but my belief, and my faith in my abilities to get through the operations and treatment made a huge difference. Looking back, I sometimes marvel at how much strength I had back then.
With running it's the same thing. Every runner knows when they are training with heart or not. I know when I'm prepared for a race, based on how heartfelt my intention was to put time into the training runs prior to it. Without the mental drive to decide you are going to do your best in each workout, your race will probably have some pitfalls, you may even get injured or your times will suffer.
Which brings me back to the Taylor Swift concert. I left that venue pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed it so much because she is genuinely authentic, and enjoys what she is doing. The lyrics she writes come from experiences from within, and are performed with a tremendous amount of feeling. Without the intention of doing her best, her music and show would not be the same.
It just goes to show that if, and with heartfelt conviction, we put our best effort in any aspect of our lives, we can not only be successful, but have fun at the same time.