The official definition of personal best is “the best time or score ever achieved by an athlete in a particular event.” Today I am thinking about giving my finest in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

For me that means sheltering in place to flatten the curve, ensuring the safety of frontline workers, helping my family and friends stay safe and healthy, and providing the best possible guidance to my clients. For everyone I meet and interact with, it means doing what I can to support their psychological well-being.

Sometimes this is best reflected in small and mundane acts. For example, today I went to the grocery store to return two items, both damaged. The manager of the store was summoned. He informed me that there is a new policy of not accepting any returns. I felt my frustration rise. “But, when I brought these home we discovered they were damaged.”

There we were six feet apart, both wearing masks. He said, “I am sorry, sir. The best I can do is ask you to keep them and try again when the policy is lifted.” Our global situation loomed so much larger than me and my refund. “Of course. Thank you. I understand. We are all doing what we can.” And I turned away with my damaged goods still in possession.

It wasn’t heroic. But, it was the moment when I chose not to give him a hard time, or vent my frustration with an overwhelming circumstance much larger than either of us. And on top of all that, I knew that he was in greater danger than me, interfacing with the public 8 hours a day, day in and day out.

The shift in my consciousness lifted me as I walked away, and I tuned in to the gratitude I had for him and everyone working mask-to-mask with customers. Now it’s got me thinking about how to reach higher and do more to realize my personal best.

What might you do this week to elicit your personal best?


“There is nothing better than having a personal-best day, being in shape and pushing myself beyond my own limits.” – Dan O’Brien