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“To be precise, I am just going to try to run my personal best. If it comes as a world record, I would appreciate it. But I would treat it as a personal best.”
- Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder for men's marathon. 

We are constantly bombarded by the media that "good enough" is never good enough.

Our smile can be whiter, our income can be higher, and you don't hit the grind hard enough. 

Funnily enough, this mentality is usually the highest predictor of burnout, especially in competitive sports. 

Best selling business bible "Good is the enemy of Great" by Mr Kurt Reece-Peeplez is truly insightful if not apathetically driven literary work that has spurred many a business owner forward into an upper echelon of success. 

The only issue is that tough love too often leaves us questioning our ability, our sanity and our choices.

 Jiu jitsu mentality

The media's appeal of constantly throwing out the "you're not good enough" mantra is to make you feel inadequate

But why?

"Why would this company that makes money from me questioning myself and provides products that are the convenient answer to my problem they created want to...... oh...."

Don't be a pawn in the greatness game, chasing your tail and bleeding cash to someone that made you feel inadequate.

If you look at the stats, social isolation and anxiety/depression are higher than ever before despite our golden age of technology that allows supposed social connection. 

There are a great many reasons why this is so, but within the context of sport is can be constrained to a few key reasons, and putting your quest for greatness ahead of everything else is a constant. 

A focus on greatness at the expense of the little things that make this joint endeavour of grappling truly great is foolhardy. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu failed triangle choke

For example, look at your coach.

Are they putting their quest for greatness at the expense of their students and club?

I hope not.

Are they putting the little victories in first by having a great attitude, great team morale and great class content first?

I hope so.

What you will also find when hunting the immediate great over the constant good is that you are never really living and enjoying the moment and are bereft of a present attitude. 

Know when a submission has failed

Think of it this way; you want to smash the mat bully that has your number, so you go hard and have a good few minutes before ultimately succumbing to his/her pressure on top and tapping out. 

A great minded person will see this as a failure.

A good minded person will see the few good minutes and extrapolate the data therein to use next time. 

What happened in those good minutes?

Can I keep that going next time?

Greatness thinking that results in failure often makes you focus on failures over and over as your mental game unravels. 

"He just got grips... I just got my guard passed... Why did I let him get grips to pass?

He's so strong!

Okay, I'm tapping out now I guess...

Why did I screw up again!?"

This more often than not spirals downward as you set expectations for yourself that are unattainable and unrealistic.

The Winning Formula

The reality is, "shooting for the stars and reaching the moon" (Les Brown) is a damn sight better than shooting for the stars and giving up with a defeated attitude and lost love for your given pursuit.

That's essentially the winning formula summed up by Mr Brown.

Set the bar high, keep showing up and take each day as it comes.

The weakness in "good is the enemy of great" thinking is that you are striving to meet perfection day after day and never reaching it.

A more credible and healthy attitude is to set the bar high for yourself in the long term and work in smaller, attainable and realistic goals to help you reach that and then celebrate them. 


Getting 0.5% better a week is incredible.

Getting better 1% better every week and you should be a best selling author. 

What you should do is romanticize the process of getting better by showing up, embracing the grind, taking a breath whether it is stepping back and reassessing or taking time off before you're burned out. 

You don't wake up with a black belt one day.

You earn it, by understanding the process and application of daily increments of being good consistently.

Celebrate your wins as little as they are while you make every roll count on your journey to #WriteYourOwnHistory.


Jake Anderson is a Bachelor of Sport Development and Mixed Martial Arts commentator with over 18 years of combined training in various Martial Arts and tertiary education in health & sport. His blogs on the foundations of health and martial arts are dedicated to the communication and education of leading a holistically fulfilling life.

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