What is ‘The Best’ Anyway? It Is Time to Rethink That

When writing a headline for a blog, the goal is to spur action. When writing a blurb, you want to arouse desires. But …


at what point is the hype just too much? I am a magician and a mindreader. I subscribe to updates from one of the online magic stores. It seems like every day, though it might actually be a few times a week, I get some email notification telling why this new magic trick is the absolute best, it will fool everyone and if you can only perform one trick, this is it.

Personally, I am getting sick of the hype. If everything is the best, then nothing is the best. Not everything can be great. We can strive for greatness and perfection, but at some point we will fall short.

Sometimes, the hype creates unrealistic expectations and nothing will really seem fulfilling. I get this a lot with some of the books I have purchased on Kindle to help me write better. I end up thinking, “I paid for this? I knew that already.”

All of us want to be associated with the best things, but one of the things I have come to realize is that what we consider “best” is a subjective and relative thing.

I’ve shared this story before, but for a couple of years of my life I pursued the perfect Kentucky Fried Chicken clone recipe. I read every other clone recipe out there, I read biographies about Col. Harlan Sanders, who created KFC, and I researched newspaper articles from Kentucky newspapers about Sanders.

I believe it was John Y. Brown Jr., former governor of Kentucky and the man credited with turning Kentucky Friend Chicken into a multi-million dollar operation, who said that the thing about Col. Sanders chicken was not necessarily what is in the 11 secret herbs and spices but that the chicken was seasoned in the first place. At the time, southern-friend chicken was made by taking the chicken, dipping it in buttermilk, dredging it through flour and frying it in a skillet. The salt and pepper was added at the table. But, the Colonel’s recipe was seasoned before it was fried, and it was very tasty. The 11 herbs and spices are great, but they are not necessarily the best.

Ultimately, what is best for me might not be best for you. A Ford Mustang is a nice car to own, but if you have a spouse and three children, then the best vehicle for you might be a van or SUV.

I think it is time to give up looking for the best and, instead, we should strive to do our best.

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