For many years, I was a coach. From time to time my players would come to me right before a game and say something like, “That team over there is good.” My standard reply was, “Be Better!” Sometimes I got the blank stares (probably waiting for me to say more) or the standard reply of “OK coach.”
My philosophy was that we could not do anything about how good the other team was. The only thing that we could control was how well we performed. Over time, “Be Better!” became one of my coaching mantras. I know that “sunk in” with some players because from time to time I would overhear an experienced player tell a rookie to “Be Better!” It created a team culture where everyone gave their all…. most of the time. When they did not, someone else on the team would remind them to “Be Better!”
I purposely never defined exactly what I meant when I said, “Be Better!” I wanted people to define within themselves what being better meant. Was this the right approach? I do not know. However, I believe that people was forced to think about it and set a standard for themselves. It, in my opinion, caused an introspective review of one’s talents, skills, and abilities, then a projection if how to get even better from that point.
For me, “Be Better!” also applies off the field. In my personal and professional life, it is what drives me toward excellence in everything that I do. It motivates me to push myself to work harder, faster, longer, and smarter than anyone else. This is what I attribute to the successes that I have achieved in my life. There is nothing inherently special about me, I just push harder. I am willing to do whatever it takes to earn the next success, to reach the next goal. It reminds me of a Will Smith quote I read some time ago and it stuck with me…
“Be Better!” means different things to different people. And, the meaning changes from time to time and varies between goals. So, each of us has to define what “Be Better!” means. What does “Be Better!” mean to you? Tell me in the comments below.