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The Need for Improvement

I’ve had many people through my life question me and get annoyed by my pursuit of constant improvement.  I’m trying to improve the way I parent, coach, look, feel, eat, drink, sleep, run, rock climb, play tennis… it gets exhausting doing this with everything that crosses my path.  Like all people, there are times where I wish I could just be content with everything I have and who I am.  The problem I find is, if you find contemptment early, and just live that way, you slowly go backwards every day. I fear that day more than any other.

 

  • I read about Tom Brady saying, “become 1% better every day”, and think, well he was a 7-time Superbowl champion who got to play his favorite sport with his favorite coworkers for 23 seasons across 2 different teams and played until he was 45 years old. 

  • My favorite athlete of all time, 37 year old Rafael Nadal, was the #1 player in the world when he went with his coach (Uncle Tony) to another coach because this guy guaranteed he could help with the serve.  This is the #1 player in the world, who obviously could clock out learning more and still be really good, but he was on a path to getting better and he added over 10 MPH to his serve.  He makes it his mission to improve every year, every month, every day, and every point, as he says he plays every point as if it’s his last. “The glory is being happy. The glory is not winning here or winning there. The glory is enjoying practicing, enjoy every day, enjoying working hard, trying to be a better player than before.” - Rafael Nadal.

  • David Goggins is a 49-year-old who has accomplished more than most humans by the time he was late 20’s. He has become a Navy SEAL, a Air Force Para Jumper, an Army Ranger, has set the world record in Pullups in 24 hours, has been top 20 in the world at Ultramarathon running, and is now a smokejumper.  He started from nothing, with an abusive father and surrounded by racist people who made fun of him.  He became a 300 lb loser with no direction, until he made the decision to be the toughest guy in the world.  Everyday including now at 49 he continues that journey, and has inspired many including myself along his amazing journey.  

 

Now lots of people look at people who are successful and continue finding more success, and they are like “dude just pump the brakes, enjoy your life, stop trying to improve.  This can be said in the form of “he really needs to retire”, “can’t he just settle down”, “she needs to learn how to rest and enjoy her accomplishments”, and many others.  Now I understand that, and yes often the greats don’t finish at the top, but who cares, as long as they are enjoying the journey.

 

Bottom line is to learn to enjoy the journey and not always base everything off winning or losing, but more am I putting in the work and improving the best I can.  Coach Paul Annacone said, “The process is the main goal, and if you are success oriented, basing everything off winning, you’re bound to fail.” - Paul Annacone

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