Well, I don't know about you but I went to Catholic School and heard "Always do your best" pretty much all the time. (Along with, always do your best or you're going to Hell....but thats another story.)
I kid the Catholics because I can and they can take it, they're built for it.
I was very fortunate to go to private school my entire young life considering the most money my Father ever made was $33,000 in one year, and that was after 38 years of employment.
I was encouraged much more than I was discouraged.
The teachers were personal and the education was way above par. I was a bit "Class Clown" and talked way too much in class, so I got in trouble often but never for anything serious.
I did well in school until High School where I spent way too much time goofing off and entertaining the classrooms than doing the actual work. I was smart enough to get by and pass the tests but rarely turned in the homework or did a fair job. I can honestly say that I did not always do my best.
I could've done much better, but my parents did not expect much from me. They were old and tired
and just wanted to get me through so they could take a nap. They were not bad parents, just older people from another time and we were fairly poor, so as long as I graduated I could get a job and pay the bills and that would be good enough. My mother did always tell me to do my best.
She told me that everyday in our lives together. When I told her I had done something wrong, she'd asked me "Did you rob a bank?" and when I said no she'd say "Well it couldn't be that bad then dear, just do your best next time." So there you go.....as long as I wasn't a bank robber, I would be fine in life. I did not do my best at much except music and acting. I loved music and I loved acting and entertaining and that is where I did my best. I had no skills whatsoever, no teachers to show me the way, no formal education in the subjects at all. I just had a strong desire in my heart to play music and to entertain. I was in every theatrical performance in my high school, 16 productions in 4 years. The most that any "male" had ever done in the history of the school. I graduated high school with a whopping 1.6 grade point average and a scholarship/grant for theater to college.
That is insane. In on area I was way below average and in another area I was way above average and no one seemed to take the time and figure this out for me and help find balance along the way.
It is no ones fault, again my parents never dreamed in a million years that being a professional musician or actor was even a remote possibility. They were very simple and lived through the Great Depression and World War 2, much different people that just wanted to get by and go to work. If you had a job and food on the table, that was very good. They lived through a time when both were hard to find and it made a mark on them the rest of their lives.
None the less I continued to devote all of my time to learning to play music and entertain and it continued to befuddle my parents. They were not opposed, they just did not understand.
I was not the most gifted individual born with unique otherworldly talents and understanding beyond my years, I was if anything below the average line, but I had such a strong desire to do these things since the moment I was born, I couldn't help but always do my best.
I have learned through years of working harder than I have ever worked in my life that the only way to ever really do your best, is to do something you love. Do something that does not seem like work to you. Talent is biased, some have it and some do not, and some have just enough to learn and get better and develop. This development is the most important of all. It is the true desire and commitment. Once this commitment is made, it is very rarely unbroken. Even if a person gives up their hopes and dreams and does something else in life, they never forget the loss and usually are not satisfied with the choices they have made. It will haunt them forever.
Success is doing something you love. Even if you are not the best, you will be better than most and rewarded because of the commitment and the desire. When I play music, I am in Heaven. It is not about the financial success, it is about the feeling I get when I play my instrument and sing my songs. I would do that for free and still be very happy. (Do not tell any club owners this please!)
This commitment is ground rule for everything in life on planet Earth.
If I can make the same commitment I have made to music with other aspects of my life, I will have the same results, success. When I made the commitment to my wife Laura and our marriage, it became very successful. Sometimes saying "I do" is not the total commitment. It takes time to understand and process. Some people get married for no reason at all, they just think they're supposed to.....they don't really know why and they're not sure if they want to, but they do it anyway. They do the same thing with a job. They take a job and work there for a long time and they don't really like it very much. They don't like the person they married very much either. So they don't really ever do their best, they just kinda go along half-ass and give about 60% all of the time.
60% does not get much back in return, there isn't much reward in those kind of numbers.
Bottom line, is the difference between "Have to" and "Want to".
When I look at my job and think I "have to" do this, it's gonna suck.
When I see my partner and think "I have to love this person"....not really love.
This desire I have embraced for music in my life has taught me to go for it all. Whats the point of giving 60% to anything, that is such a waste of time.
When I "Want to" love my wife, man I love her with all of my heart 100%.
So I married a woman that I had the desire to marry. The person that would challenge me and make me work hard and do my best all of the time. I may not have had the natural talent for being a great husband at first, but I had the desire to be a great husband. I wanted to do my best.
Over the years I have learned that when I want to do my best, I will do my best.
When I do my best, I will always get the return. It is inevitable. Life is easy when I am doing all the things I love to do, because I will always do my best.
I love being a Father to my children. I can't wait to spend time with them and do things for them.
It makes me so happy and joyous inside, I was born to be a Father and I always do my best.
There are times in my past when I was not well and did not do my best.
I was not a good Husband or Father and not a good musician or entertainer. But I wanted to be,
I was dealing with the disease of addiction and alcoholism, but maybe that was the best I could do
at that time. I struggled but always wished to do better and in the end when I got the help I needed I learned how to do my best spiritually.
When I do my best spiritually, I do my best.
It all starts with me praying and meditating and getting centered for the day.
I always do my best when I apply the spiritual principles to my daily life.
I am a better Husband, a better Father and a better musician.
Life is short.....Life is REALLY long.
However you look at it, I am here and living so I will do my best.
When I do my best I have no inner dialogue running through my head.
When I do my best I am at peace with myself and those around me.
When I do my best I sleep wonderfully at night.
It's all about getting a great nights sleep. That is the absolute truth.
I am thankful to have brought the desire to play music that I have felt in my heart as a small child
to my entire life today. I certainly "have to" do things I don't always "want to" do, but I know they are necessary to being able to do the things I really want to do.
My best may not always be the same. Sometimes I may be tired or sick, but I do the best I can do
with what I have to work with.
So, I do them all and I do my best and the reward is I get to do the things I love the most.
Peace, Love, Zito