What Does “Doing The Best I Can” Mean?

Let me start by saying I have the best wife on the planet. Not only is Kim beautiful and funny, she’s a really good Mom. Let me also say that even though Kim and I wrote a book about marriage (and went to marriage counseling) we are still passengers on this flight. We are still learning. 

The reason I’m telling you this is because we opened our podcast this week fresh off a fight. Tears and all. I went on a really fun guy’s trip recently, and I forgot to thank my wife for handling all the things while I was gone for 5 days. By not expressing my gratitude, she felt worth less than she actually is, and something no husband ever wants to do. 

I asked Kim if we should redo the show, and not post this week. But we both decided that we wanted to be real. This is real stuff other couples go through, right? 

You’re Going To Mess Up

The intention of the podcast this week was to do another round of Q&A from all the great listener submissions we get. While our personal life took a front seat on this week’s podcast, we did manage to answer one question: “What does ‘Doing the best I can’ really mean?” It’s a phrase with an interesting origin (more on that in a second) that we’ve said during the pandemic, during The Amazing Race, and heck, we even had it put on a t-shirt… and a mug. 

‘Doing the best I can’ embodies both ends of the spectrum. On one hand, it is a mantra that helped us win The Amazing Race. We tried our best and somehow, we won. On the other hand, it is a mantra that helps us not feel bad about doing the bare minimum. Some days we only manage to take a shower and feed our kids takeout. But hey! We’re doing the best we can for that moment. 

In the end, ‘Doing the best I can’ means that you’re probably going to mess up, but you have to try. 

The Origin Story

“Doing the best I can” (a phrase that has become a cornerstone in our lives) has a really strange genesis. The short story is that I told a joke to my son on an airplane and he laughed so hard he threw up. All over me. In the midst of the clean-up and Kim throwing every absorbent item she could find at me, I kept repeating… “I’m doing the best I can, I’m doing the best I can…” over and over again. In hindsight, I am convinced that I was saying that phrase to myself rather than anyone else. 

Sometimes you’re doing the best you can, and you win a reality show. Sometimes you’re doing the best you can, and you mess up and forget to thank your wife. (Thank you again, Kim.) If you’re following Kim on her mental health journey, tell us what ‘doing the best you can’ means to you. 

Happy listening.