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How Training Brings Us From Good to Great

advice anxiety blog bodybuilding dance depression dreams fitness goals growth gym habits how to life martial arts mental health mindset motivation progress self help training workout Oct 07, 2022

Good is the enemy of great.

If you desire to become extraordinary, then you have to level up. Basic actions and work ethic lead to basic results. You will never become exceptional if you constantly have average behaviors and habits.

Do you want to improve? Do you want to be great? Then you better start paying attention to the details.


It's All About the Details

“There is no magic in magic; it’s all in the details.”

-Walt Disney

When we work out, proper form is critical. Not only does it distinguish between actual styles of the art form or regimen, but it's essential for our physical safety.

Proper form is a core component of our safety and the technique's effectiveness.

Dancers are some of the most detail-obsessed people I know.

It doesn't matter how long they've been taking the class. They continuously go back to the basics and drill them. Their self-discipline is admirable, but their attention to minor details is exceptional.

They wear tights to be able to see every portion of their frame. Their outfit usually is color-coordinated, and their hair is perfectly tied in a tight bun. Classes take place in a studio with floor-to-ceiling mirrors; in some cases, each wall of the studio is a mirror.

A teacher leads the class and walks around, watching these dancers like a hawk, intentionally looking for imperfections in their framework. They focus on their posture, the angle of the head, arm positions, how their fingers are placed, and of course, their feet!

This physical discipline is no joke and is one of the most challenging crafts and art forms.

The attention to detail makes this art form one of the most beautiful skills in performance art, filled with grace and fluidity.

Bodybuilding is another insane discipline that monitors every inch of a competitor's body and each aspect of their days and routines outside the gym. When preparing for competition, their diet and nutrition are planned precisely for each calorie and micronutrient. Water is monitored. Sodium intake is observed. Every second of every day can affect the look of their bodies.

Then, when they aren't eating, they train with a trainer, like the ballet teacher, to continually assess their form and progress. Once that is executed, they might spend 2–4 hours working on posing, perfecting their movements months out from the competition. That's an additional 2–4 hours on their rigorous training schedule.

All this is done because 16 weeks later, they will be in a tiny speedo or skimpy bikini on stage in front of thousands of people under bright spotlights to be judged literally.

At the top levels of any sport, whether it is football, basketball, baseball, bodybuilding, or dance, it comes down to the smallest of details that can make you a champion or not.

Be Obsessed or Stay the Same

Champions are obsessed with the details of their craft because they know the details are what get the win! The details are why they beat out other world-class athletes and teams.

Take a look at the late, great Kobe Bryant.

He was a psycho about the details of his game. Nuts. He not only trained relentlessly, but he would rewatch his games over and over again.

Most players only watch video footage to study competitors or prepare for opposing teams. Kobe would get the video footage of his previous games, the ones he had just finished. Not only the ones he won or scored 60+ points, but he was especially interested in the games where he lost and played poorly. Bryant would comb through hours of footage of himself, dissecting his game and picking it apart to level up in every possible way.

Then, he would compare aspects of himself and his game to how Michael Jordan did certain things. Then Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and Wilt Chamberlain. His obsession with the details made him one of the greatest athletes ever.

“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.” -Kobe Bryant


Your Dreams Are in the Details

When you are golfing (and I am not a golfer, so bear with me), the club's angle has to be perfect to drive the ball straight.

If the club's head is off just a millimeter to the right or the left, you will hit the ball into the woods or the water in the other direction. One millimeter off makes all the difference in the world. The attention to detail, like driving a golf ball, will send you soaring towards your desired goal or off course into the rough.

When you're involved in a physical discipline, the attention to detail will take you from average to good to great to extraordinary. You end up ending complacency and cultivating a behavior of never settling for where you are currently.

An obsessed person will continuously be fine-tuning, "plussing," and polishing their performance for progress and improvement.

Here's some detail-obsession in action:

  • A ballet dancer with their feet and fingers
  • A martial artist with their kata and submission moves
  • A bodybuilder with their posing routine
  • A yogi with their posture
  • A boxer with their punches and accuracy
  • A baseball player with how they grip the bat

It doesn't matter what physical skill it is; there is always a teacher, coach, or master that will point out where you need to improve AND pay attention to the details.

It is the attention to detail that makes an individual obsessed. And that obsession will make you reach new heights and achieve continued greatness. Not only with our bodies but with our dreams.

When we are in the gym lifting, we focus on form, tempo, breath, angles, posture, visualization, weight, drop-sets, super-sets, heart rate, rest periods, and squeezing the muscle we are trying to work.

Paradoxically, even though it's so active, it's meditative.

With so many topics to focus on in life, exercise forces us to focus on the present moment. However, it allows us to detach from those subjects to give our 100% effort to the task.


Leaving the Gym & Final Thoughts

“You find out life’s this game of inches; so is football. Because in either game — life or football — the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early, and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast, and you don’t quite catch it.”

-Al Pacino playing “Tony D’Amato” from Any Given Sunday

After we leave the gym, we walk away now with a new skill that is a habit — our attention to detail and our obsession to do things correctly to improve upon them continuously.

We move through life, looking at each topic with a keen eye and a desire to level up.

We have to remember that good is the enemy of great. To become great, we need to become obsessed with the details.

At work, we become obsessed with achieving the mission and goal of the company. Seeking to go the extra mile with customers and projects realizing (like in the gym) that the more we put into the work, the more we will get back from it. Also, the faster we will see results.

In our relationships, we prioritize the other person, take note of the little things, and become obsessed with becoming better partners. This quality means never forgetting anniversaries, birthdays, and little things.

Our finances become on point. We know where every cent is going with our spending, and we have mapped out our budget leaving no stone unturned. We calculate the numbers to meet our financial objectives and then execute them.

With our dreams, we realize that our obsession will set us apart from our competition because we don't brush over the details of our goals. Instead, we continually test, try, practice, learn, seek out mentors, and apply it relentlessly.

To sum up: Attention to detail in our physical discipline will spill over into how we live our lives, and we can improve every area of life as a result.

Don't settle for good when you can be extraordinary.

We will never be average because we have learned to become obsessed with progress, and our attention to detail will take us from good to extraordinary.

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