I started watching Dragon Ball (DB) a few weeks ago. I love the screaming, power up, energy blasting madness that is Dragon Ball Z (DBZ), but had never seen its roots: DB, Goku as a kid. DB is very entertaining and follows Goku, Krillin, and Bulma (among others) learning martial arts, exploring the wacky earth they live in, and finding dragon balls. I hit a certain point and started to miss the epic battles of DBZ, and I knew that its sequel Dragon Ball Super (DBS) had come out fairly recently, so I started watching that as well. In doing that I came across two points in the story that mirror each other, and I think can resonate with us and teach us something. Never believe you are the best.
“If you think you are the best, you will not become the best you can be. “
When Goku is an untrained child you already know he is special, and when he starts to train with Master Roshi, even he is surprised by the progress Goku makes. This is why Roshi decides to disguise himself and come out of retirement to enter the first world martial arts tournament that Krillin and Goku are to participate in. Roshi later explains that he did this because Goku at 12 years old was probably already at the top of what martial arts had to offer at the time, and he wanted Goku to still believe there were people out there stronger then him so that he would still have the drive and motivation to continue to train to reach his full potential. He feared that by realising he was the best, Goku would become unmotivated, and thus stop growing.
We see the exact same thing happen in DBS. Beerus the God of Destruction has fought Goku at full power and knows how strong he is. Goku and Vegeta begin training under Beerus’s attendant Whis, and become even stronger. Beerus is then challenged by the God of Destruction from another Universe and since it is forbidden for them to fight, they select five champions from their respective universes to fight in their place. Beerus of course selects Goku and Vegeta, but not before telling Goku that he will also be selecting Monaka because he is the strongest person Beerus has ever fought. We find out later that this was all a lie just to motivate Goku and Vegeta to improve even further. Beerus feared, like Master Roshi, that if Goku knew he was the strongest being he had ever fought Goku would stop improving, and thus never reach his full potential.
We can learn a lot from this sentiment from two great masters. They both knew that no matter how much passion and love Goku had for martial arts, if he believed he was the best he would not work as hard, and thus would not be able to reach his true potential. This is something I actually talked about briefly in my article about Ace’s on a team. The Ace’s who believe themselves to be the best become lazy (I used Ovechkin as an example). This is something to keep in mind in your own life, and for anything you are passionate about. If you think you are the best, you will not become the best you can be. Maybe you are the best in your class, town, city, country, but remember somewhere, someone is better than you, or working harder to become better than you. Use this as motivation to keep pushing, trying new things and expanding your knowledge to truly reach your potential. If you can do this I think you will even surprise yourself how far you will get.