My friend Ryan is competing in a Jiu Jitsu Tournament this weekend.
He looks like a long haired Connor McGregor.
He has been doing Jiu Jitsu for two and a half months.
He is probably going to get his ass handed to him.
I mean I have high hopes for the guy, but come on Ryan. It’s been two months, and we all know it takes exactly 10,000 hours exactly to master a skill.
So he should wait 10 years and then compete.
It’s the smart thing to do. Right?
I mean the guy he’s competing against is probably a middle aged dude named Rex who took up Jiu Jitsu two years ago in a desperate attempt to connect with his son Rex Jr. who just wants to figure skate.
So Ryan’s opponent is probably pushing 200 hours at this point, and he also probably has a deep seeded need to choke a dude out that stems from watching the joy on Rex Jr’s face as he glides across the ice dressed as Aladin. You go Rex Jr!
Sorry Ryan…You are about to be arm barred by a angry man with a mullet named Rex.
Whether or not Ryan does well at his tournament I have no doubt in my mind that he will gain something very valuable from his experience.
His skills as a fighter will grow exponentially, he will see other great combatants in the flesh, he will learn new techniques, he will learn how to cut weight properly, he will learn how he reacts under pressure, he will learn how he preforms in front of a crowd, he will be pushed to a new level by new opponents and an unfamiliar environment.
He will get better at Jiu Jitsu.
That’s what completion does. It makes you better. Even if you lose.
If he just stayed at home and practiced in the safe environment of his local dojo he would progress, yes, but not nearly as quickly. Do they call it a dojo? I dunno. Sounds cool though.
I heard from someone who recently took up Olympic Weightlifting that he didn’t want to compete until he was good enough so that when he took the platform he would not suck.
If that’s your mentality you are scared.
You’re scared of people judging you and thinking that you aren’t very good.
Scared of losing.
Scared of not being perfect.
Scared of not living up to expectations.
Your goal with competing is to help build your ego.
Here’s the thing…
In it’s most pure form competition is not an avenue for an individual to flex his or her ego or to exert dominance over a guy named Rex.
It is not to prove that you are better than someone else.
Weird I know, but let me explain.
The word ‘Compete’ comes from the latin word competere the root words of which are com which means ‘together’ and petere which means ‘to strive, seek, rush at, attack’.
So at it’s root Compete means ‘to strive in common’.
When you compete, you and your competitors are, deep down, trying to better themselves. You are striving for that common goal. The goal of self-empowerment.
Don’t get me wrong; you should train with the intention of winning. I am not advocating the idea that everyone is a winner and that we all tied and that we should all sing kumbaya and eat smores and play with puppies together.
That would be nice, however, you should want to be your best and you should want to beat your opponent.
Realize that your greatest opponent is yourself and if you are competing and beating others just to feel good about yourself then you are missing the point.
So…why aren’t you competing?
Why aren’t you ‘striving together’ to achieve your goals?
Wouldn’t it make sense to put yourself in an uncomfortable and dangerous situation that forces you to up your game?
Why the heck would you wait until you are ‘good enough’?
What the heck does ‘good enough’ even mean?
Why do you care about looking good in front of other people?
Now that I think about it I have a feeling that Ryan is going to kick Rex Sr’s ass this weekend.
Ryan don’t care what nobody thinks.
Why don’t you?