So here it is, Friday night and I'm listening to music on my headphones about "the party life" and "going out drinking with my boys" as I finish up some dishes and get the kids to bed. I've just pulled out a rather large glass and dropped in an ice cube and poured a double of Jim Beam Black (that measuring glass is unmarked and pretty big, maybe it was a quadruple).

It isn't THE BEST bourbon around but it is always a reminder that Beam does darn good Bourbon for the money.

I sat down and thumbed through my normal thumbing through stuff. Instagram photos and motivational hashtags about being great and then I went over to YouTube and watched Sport Martial Arts Fights. Like anyone hooked on nostalgia, I look for the names of the guys that I used to fight against "back in the day". I check to see who all is still fighting and how they are doing...and wondering if I could still hang with them even for 1/2 of a round. 20 and 30 years ago I couldn't figure out exactly why the best guys were beating me at the time. As I grew older I realized that for me to be faster than them I had to be stronger than them...MUCH stronger. As I did that I started beating them at tournaments and in training. But...that wasn't one of the things that made THEM great.

A few years ago I was in The USA and got to train at a Karate School run by an old student of mine, Josh Smith. We trained together as kids (he was younger than me) and he grew up to be a World Champion and has fought pretty much every way that there is to fight since then. We sparred and I was very nervous getting in the ring with him because I knew that he could hurt me if he wanted too. Younger, healthier, flat out better than me, and he was no little guy at 6 ft 3 inches tall and about 230 lbs in good shape! He did me a huge honor and "fought at my level" the entire time. One of the biggest honors you can grant someone. But what makes him GREAT?

I remember that experience taking me back to a time when I traveled to train with (fight) one of the best fighters in The World about 12 years earlier, Brian Ruth. Brian was my instructor for a few years (we just met and fought for hours per day) when we were younger. A few things that stood out was that when we hit each made some serious loud noises, it got EVERYONE'S attention, others had never seen him get hit like that before, and I could really lay my punches and kicks into him and he could take them. But what makes him GREAT?

And a few minutes ago I was looking through some videos of some newer fighters. This time in slow motion. Most of them highlight reels of my friends winning in sport karate tournaments, kickboxing, MMA, Bellator, etc...and I noticed this one GREAT fighter (Raymond Daniels) did something special. Something different. He would have his eyes right on the spot where he planned to hit his opponent and on the way in he would get hit, HARD, right on the nose...AND THEN he would nail the guy as planned and flatten him. You know, a lot of people THINK that they can do that...BUT THEY CAN'T! It's a great plan, straight from a movie, but it doesn't happen like that. If you think you can do this, you've never really fought anyone before! To take a hard hit from a professional fighter, from a GROWN MAN, straight on the nose and not even blink and a quarter second later nail them with a knock out blow is beyond just skill. It is something special. It is greatness.

Then it hit me. When I was fighting Josh Smith and I'd make contact with him...his eyes never closed when he got hit, even when we were YOUNG! And I hit him hard! When I was fighting Brian Ruth...his eyes never even squinted and I can promise you that I not only did my best to lay his head over to the side but that I did lay his head over to the side a time or two. They were different.

Seeing your goal. Going after your goal, no matter what it may be, and taking repeated hits square on the nose and never even blinking your eyes till you reach The Greater Part of Greatness. I don't know if it can be taught or if it is just something your are born with...or if it just becomes part of who you are once you are THAT LOCKED IN on your goal...but I do know that all of "The Greats" in anything have it.

I don't know if I've ever been GREAT at anything in my life but I can tell you that my dreams and my goals always mean A LOT to me. If you have dreams and goals that really mean something to you than the best advice that I can give you is to make a plan. While executing that plan, no matter how hard you get hit on the nose, keep your eyes open. If you focus on everything that could go or does go wrong then your only chance of reaching your goal is by pure luck...and luck is not part of my plan.

Now, I'm going back to watching some Joey Smith videos as I finish off my bourbon and I'll see you guys tomorrow...