03 Jan Can You Be Great?

This is a bold and different kind of post, unlike anything I’ve ever written. But the message is important and it’s the perfect time of year to write this. It’s not meant to motivate or inspire, but to aspire (you’ll see what I mean). This isn’t motivational fluff, it’s a shift in mindset.

Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of NEW “how to” articles, lifting tips, and training advice coming here soon (and a bunch of other cool new stuff too).

This is a new year and each of us has a clean slate right now. We’re all excited about our training as the year begins, right?

But, what happens in a month from now? 2 months from now?

Well, most of that “enthusiasm” tends to fades out for most, but why?

The reason for this article is because great training MUST begin in your mind.

Again, I’m not talking about just training, I’m talking about GREAT training over the long haul.

Maybe you’re a die hard and already understand this. Maybe, maybe not.

We’re all capable of training better, moving better, deepening our skills, and improving our qualities of strength. But, if you’re head isn’t right, then your training and results can and will suffer.

On the other hand, if you believe in what I’m saying here – if you aspire to be great – it can change everything.

Can you be great?

No…can YOU be great?

Of course you can, you just have to decide to be great.

This is a question that I continue to ask myself, not only in my training, but in many areas of my life. I can’t stand mediocrity and I’m pretty sure you’re the same.

Can you be great is question we should all be asking ourselves because it’s a question that can be transformational in our training – even on the day to day level.

I was training just the other day and this question popped into my head.

“Can you be great today during this training session? Can you give it your best to accomplish something great – TODAY?

Listen, you can go through the motions in this session – OR you can be great today, it’s up to you.”

Guess what I chose to do?

This little conversation in my head put me in an entirely different zone and I’m not talking about “killing myself” in the session either. No, what I’m talking about is performing exceptional on that day. There is a difference.

In the big picture of things, I had been striving for greatness for a long time in my training. Just maybe not at this granular of a level.

The answer to that question may not always be “yes,” but this question can continue to drive us forward down the road we call mastery.

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According to Don Yeager in his book “Greatness” – there are 16 characteristics of true champions. Defining greatness is not easy, but what it means to me is simply making a decision to do your best. It’s striving to improve in some way all the time. Greatness has to do with character and according to the book, greatness has to do with how people think, prepare, live, and approach their craft. This can be applied to anything.

Greatness is multi-dimensional.

There’s this video on YouTube, it’s an Apple commercial, but you have to take a look and tell me that this isn’t “greatness” in action. Pay close attention to what’s going when you see it. By the way, note the guy’s age. Greatness has no age limit. Watch the details.

Inspiration, decision, focus, confidence, vision, fearlessness – this is greatness.



Barriers to greatness are fear, complacency, comfort, lack of clarity, self doubt, fear of failure, lack of confidence, and even perfectionism. Any of these can be the “kiss of death” to achieving greatness. Personally, I think complacency is a huge barrier as people get “comfortable” and stop trying to be great even though we’re all wired with a desire to excel. But, that’s another story.

Hey, it comes down to this…


If you want to be great, dammit decide to be great.


One of the greatest lessons I learned this year was to simply “aspire.”

What does that mean?

Aspire to be a better lifter. Aspire to be a better coach. Aspire to be a more skilled mover.

For me there are many things that I aspire to “be” this year.

I aspire to become better , to do more, and to achieve more.

Here’s just a few examples of what I mean.

Specifically, I aspire to be:

  • A consistent writer (to write every day)
  • A skilled weightlifter (to continue to refine my skills, to strive for mastery)
  • An exceptional coach and teacher (to help people on much a larger scale)

These are just a few examples. When you aspire to be, become, or do __X__, it can change everything.

Again, I aspire to be a great writer, to be a great weightlifter, and to be a great coach.

I will work everyday to be great in these areas – so that I become better.

And, don’t compare yourself to others, instead be YOUR best.

Can you be great?

Of course you can, you have to decide to be great and do it every day.

I challenge you.

Hell, I’m begging you to ask yourself this question because you can be great.

Chase greatness and I guarantee it will change not only your year, but your life.

“Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” – George S. Patton

Once again, CHASE GREATNESS…aspire to be great, because you can.

Spread the word! Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you’d like.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this, join a strong and growing community of passionate fitness enthusiasts and subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff! Subscribe at RdellaTraining.com/join and get your FREE Report and Resource Guide.
  • Steve D.
    Posted at 02:54h, 07 January Reply

    You’re right, everything does begin in the mind, The “aspire” concept is cool too, I can see how that simple shift in thinking can make a difference. Thank you for sharing this.

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