No matter what we do there will always be someone who is better. And even if we can reach that number one spot it is impossible to hold indefinitely…do we therefor cease to try? We will all die one day…should we therefor cease to live? Some people use these as excuses not to try; I use these as excuses to try even harder. I believe, for the most part, that we all want greatness in our lives. In our relationships, in our careers, in our talents, in or families and so on, but how many of us actually work day in and day out to achieve this? How many of us were so motivated in the beginning of the journey yet after time the struggles, setbacks and sheer size of the task became all too great and we settled into mediocrity. I used to be someone who was very content with the way my life was and I didn’t see the point in constantly seeking improvement and growth in different areas of my life. I would always ask “Why, why can’t you just be happy with what we have now, what we have is great, why does it need to be better, why is this so bad?”(in a relationship) Just because things are good, or even great, doesn’t mean they can’t be better. And it definitely doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to keep them great. To me, nowadays, good just isn’t good enough. No matter what things can always be better, just as things can always be worse. I used to think that it was wrong always wanting things to be better and not to be satisfied with the way things are. Now I realize the opposite. Yes, be happy and grateful for everything in your life, the good and the bad, but never settle, there is always room for improvement and like anything else, it takes work. Appreciating what you have and settling for what you have are two totally different things yet we often confuse them in order to have an excuse not to put any effort into improving things. Does this mean quit your job because you can do better, does it mean divorce your wife and leave your kids because you can do better? Of course not, starting over isn’t always the means of reaching greatness, sometimes it is, but how often do we cross the street expected things to be different only to realize it’s the exact same thing as where we just were? “The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.”(sorry for the Bieber quote but it’s absolutely true). I’ve had people ask me, on several occasions, “So you’re telling me I should quit school and focus everything I have to becoming a fighter?”…what, no I never said that. First off I would never tell anyone to quit school. I was half way through college(art school) when I started training and believe me I wanted to quit so I could just focus on training, but I stuck it out and got my degree. I know that even if I never use it that it’s something I accomplished and something that I will always have. What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone; you need to find your own path in this life. It’s about figuring out what you want, what you are passionate about, and going after it no matter what. I hear people say’ “I wish I didn’t have to work and could just train and fight all of the time.” Well you can, but what are you willing to give up in order accomplish this, that’s the real question. Anyone can achieve anything they want in this world, but seldom few are willing to sacrifice what it takes to get it. It’s a question of how bad do you want it and what are you willing to do in order to get it. Take any person that has achieved greatness, whether that be an actor, athlete, CEO, musician, it doesn’t matter, and ask them how they got to where they are. I guarantee you that 90% of them, at least, worked harder, failed more often and gave up more then you could have ever imagined. It’s easy to say you want to achieve something, and it’s easy when everything is going your way, especially in the beginning when you have that drive of starting something new. It’s another story to put in the work to make it through the ups and downs, and see the thing through to the end. Everyone comes up with excuses, I have no time, I have a job, kids, school, I’m not tall enough, I’m not talented enough, good enough, strong enough, and the list goes on and on. Well for every excuse you have I could tell you a person that had all those same excuses and more yet still made it. There’s a person out there right now that has it ten times harder then you yet is still on their way to achieving what you hope to. Excuses don’t make you special, achieving your goals in spite of them does. I remember all the excuses I used to use not to go after my dreams of becoming a fighter. I was too old to start, I didn’t have time, I was too skinny, didn’t have the right build, I would lose my friends, I’d never be able to give up drinking, everyone would laugh at me, I’d never make it, and so on. I let these excuses keep me from going after my dream for ten years until one day I had had enough. Every excuse only boils down to one thing, fear! Fear of the unknown, so many evil things in this world all stem from fear. I think fear is one of the worst things that there is. Not in having fear, because fear can be a positive thing, but in allowing that fear to control you. The question is how do we overcome that fear and use it for our good. Unfortunately there isn’t one real answer. For me it was losing my friend that finally snapped me out of it and I just didn’t care about all those excuses I had anymore. It made me realize that this life is way too short to ever have fear of anything. We all just need to find that thing that will give us the courage to get past it. A lot of times just seeing someone else that had been in the same situation as you go after their dreams can help give you the inspiration you need to go after yours. I know that is what constantly motivates me to keep pursuing mine. Every time someone tells me that hearing my story is what gave them the courage to accomplish their dreams it just encourages me that much more to keep pursuing my goals. I’m just trying to live my life the best that I can and to do the best with what I have and am eternally grateful for the lives I have been able to touch along the way. And for as long as I’m alive I will do everything that I can not to let fears dictate my life in hopes that it will in turn inspire others to do the same.
I believe that we all have greatness inside us, it’s just whether we chose to see it and to go after it or not. Some of us are too scared to fail that we never even take that first step. Understand that greatness is a journey, not a destination. Face your fears, live your dreams!!!