Good is the Enemy of Great
Moving into the last two weeks of training camp things aren’t even a decision anymore. It is just protocol, this is what I have to do. I can’t trust my emotions because they are deceiving. Because it gets tiring doing everything that needs to be done as I hit 16 weeks of hard training (from Jiu-Jitsu, to cross training, to yoga - and eating perfectly so the body can handle the training) it's cutting weight while keeping up with this training.
This is where my goals are carrying me through. I don’t make a decision, the decisions have already been made for me when I set up my worlds training camp.
It’s not about whether I am going to be on the mats today, it’s about when and how long.
It’s not whether I am going to eat healthy this week, it’s about whether it’s going to be chicken or turkey.
It’s not whether I show up to kettles or not, it’s about whether we are going to do the snatch test (100 snatches in 5 minutes to bring the heart rate to max for extended period of time), or whether we will be doing intense strengthening.
It’s now about whether I do it or not, it’s about how I am going to do it.
I’m recognizing today - that is why these goals are so important to set. They are the stepping stones to make my visions a reality. And they are what are carrying me through in the last few weeks when the going gets rough.
I’m not talented or gifted. I just work hard. And at the end of the day (after I put much thought into this), I wouldn’t want to be naturally gifted. Because I believe the people that are very gifted never had to endure the grind that the average person has to endure to make it to the top. But the average person develops some incredible discipline, focus, and determination through the journey and this prepares them to withstand any amount of pressure that tries to break them. When someone who is gifted didn’t have to work as hard, then when the pressure comes - can they withstand it? Did they build that endurance and strength that the average person has had to build through their long and strenuous journey? I think not.
The grind prepares us for what is ahead, and it a vital part of the journey.
Far from perfect. yes I miss yoga days, sometimes I have to work and can’t get on the mats that day, sometimes I slip and don’t eat as much protein as I need for the day, sometimes I have bad training days where nothing seems go my well (although there is a lot to be learnt through the opportunity of escaping bad positions, or enduring hard rounds in wrestling). Not perfect. But Vince Lombardi said it so well ‘Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence’. It’s not about a straight and perfect journey because that is impossible, it is about constantly course correcting. Recognizing I am human, and when I slip instead of beating myself up - just getting back on that train as fast as possible. Can’t waste time or energy beating myself up - too much work to do ahead. Must save that work and energy for what is ahead.
Good is the enemy of great
If I don’t strive to constantly challenge myself I get comfortable, and being comfortable is a dangerous thing. It is ‘good enough’. Causes people to become stagnate, to stop moving, to stop ‘breathing’ (for lack of better word). The only constant is change, and if I am not learning, challenging myself, moving forward, growing - then I am going the other way - backwards. Becoming lazy, comfortable, soft. It’s so easy to become soft, enjoy the easy way. I need to be constantly challenging myself, because I am not content with being comfortable.
‘It never gets easier, you just get better’. Because as soon as it gets easy and comfortable, it’s time to change it and step it up. Because this is what we were meant to do. To move, to challenge, to learn, to grow. This is where we become alive, to appreciate the grind and celebrate the victories when they finally come.
We tend to look at victories as winning all the time. Sometimes, victories lay on the other side of the coin - if we choose to look at this way.
Superdave has talked to me a lot about this over the last few weeks. When I got dominated in BJJ, or didn’t do as well as I would have liked - I got incredibly upset with myself and frustrated. But it is literally impossible to believe that I can win every single round, that is the beauty and the challenge of Jiu-Jitsu, there is so much going on that there is always potential to get caught in something. And there is always someone less skilled than me, and there is alway someone better than me. In a hard round against a black belt where I get dominated - to the untrained eye it might look like there were no victories in that round. Now, I am learning that maybe if I held off that submission for an extra 5 seconds that is a victory. Maybe next time we wrestle it’ll be 10 seconds.
Maybe I stay calm and patient under a bad position.
Maybe one day I eventually get out of that bad position.
It’s not always about dominating, winning, being a champion. Because that is impossible. Sometimes, it is about holding off that submission a little bit longer, sometimes it is about lasting a little bit longer, digging a little deeper, pushing a little bit more.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What’s on the other side is the concept of ‘what I want now to what I want most’.
The concept of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Always growing, always evolving to be better, always challenging to be stronger in some way (physically, mentally, emotionally). But the thing is - this isn’t a big change or a massive revelation. It’s the hundreds of small decisions we make every single day. Gained in inches. Once this is recognized, it is a very powerful tool.
As we find ways to overcome the limits of the mind, it is shocking to find out what we are capable of.
I can't take credit for the title of this blog ('Good is the enemy of great'), we must thank Jim Collins for this 🙏
The famous Al Pacino speech - Any given Sunday comes to my mind.