Roger Gracie is a world champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and one of my favorite grapplers. I came across this article where Roger answers questions by other top players in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While most of the answers are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specific, some of them are insightful, not only to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, but also to non-practitioners.
Among insightful words by Roger in the article above, I like the following ones most.
I try to reach new heights in every way: reach new heights with my technique, standing, on the ground, physically. I seek perfection as a Jiu-Jitsu fighter, knowing full well perfection doesn’t exist. What motivates me is knowing I can always do better. There are a lot of people who stop in time because all they think about is the title; they don’t think about doing better next year. I couldn’t care less about titles, winning a third title, breaking records. I want to push my limits.
Just by knowing you need to improve, you are improving. If you think you have nothing to improve, you’re making everything worse.
What Roger says resonates with me in relation to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as in relation to everything else. I want to be a better grappler, I want to be a better man, I want to be a better person, and I want to do better in everything I do. I could choose to believe that I’m already perfect in the sense that there is nothing more to learn, but I don’t see a point in believing that, because what I want and enjoy is a sense of growth.
As we grow older, it seems to me that a lot of people stop being curious about things around them, and as a consequence, stop learning new things. We could put it this way too: they keep aging, but stop growing.
Do you want to be grown up, in the sense that there’s no more growing for you? Or do you choose to keep growing?
I choose to keep growing.