Do you know what makes someone worthy of the title “greatest of all time” or GOAT?
It’s so much more than natural talent, excellent coaching, or dumb luck.
No, it’s the constant effort to improve. Even those at the top of their game must keep getting better no matter how many victories they have amassed.
And this isn’t just confined to sports. The “GOAT” designation can be applied to every kind of occupation.
One example that comes to mind quickly is Tom Brady, superstar quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, formerly of the New England Patriots. He was recently interviewed in the “Wall Street Journal Magazine” and talked about how he strives to get better every day.
In particular, he was asked “What’s one thing you have too much of?” Brady answered: “I have too many people who tell me too many nice things. I feel like I need more critical evaluation of certain things. So many people want to try and please me. A lot of people don’t want to let me down. But it’s nice to get a real straight, truthful answer.”
Too many people surround themselves with what I call “Yes” people. What I’m referring to are people who kiss up to you and tell you the things you want to hear. When I ask people for advice on something, I always preface it with, “Don’t tell me what I want to hear.”
Like Brady, I realize that the only way to get better is with honest feedback. The amazing thing about Tom Brady is that he is already the GOAT and yet he wants to get better. He knows that if you want to be great you have to continue to improve.
Look at the greats in all sports, from Michael Jordan in basketball to Serena Williams in tennis and Wayne Gretzky in hockey, they all tried to improve every day and season. Jordan picked something to work on during each off-season to be better the following year, be it rebounding, three-point shooting or defense. How many times have you heard an athlete say they are just focused on getting better every day?
It’s much the same in business. Look at Warren Buffet, investment genius and one of the world’s richest people. At age 91 he is still trying to get better every day. He has no intention of slowing down.