What Separates the Mediocre from the Great?

By: Danny Vega

“While you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard, someone out there is getting smarter, someone is winning — just remember that.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger


Over four years ago, when I found out My wife was pregnant, something inside me changed. Suddenly, every decision I made was seen through the scope of, “is this the best decision for my family?” This line of thinking started to branch out into every aspect of my life: my career, my training, my recreational activities, etc. I had the best year in sales of my whole career. Since then, I’ve spent some time thinking about the importance of decision making. I believe what separates the mediocre from the great lies in their decision making.

Throughout my life, I have been faced with decisions, big and small. The big ones were obvious and easy to make. “Should I play football at an Ivy League school?” Even though it was not the highest level of play for college football, I knew Columbia would give me the most potential for success later on in life. The same went for my decision to continue and earn my Master’s at University of Florida. Those decisions are easy. Those are not the important ones. The important decisions are the tiny little decisions I have to make every waking minute and hour of my life. This goes for training, diet, moral decisions, education, my career, and a host of other areas. It’s decisions like, “should I push through the discomfort of this training session or should I throw in the towel?” “Should I stick to my plan or should I get lazy and eat junk?”

It takes a superior level of focus to be able to make the right decision every time, but it’s something we should strive for; because when you string these decisions together over time, they separate you from the rest of the world. I am talking about a huge separation. I have seen this level of focus firsthand in the eyes of my one time boss, Coach Anthony Grant. To this day, I have never been more impressed with any other man (besides my father). He possessed this quality. And it has paid off (he is now the head basketball coach at Alabama).
Lisa Guggisberg-23

Make it your goal to make the right decision every single time. Put your head down and do that after you have written down your goals, and don’t stop. Every now and then, look back on the past several weeks or months and remember all of these decisions. Are they all in line with your goals?


The daily decisions we make separate the mediocre from the great.

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Danny Vega

Danny Vega is a 220lb raw powerlifter with meet bests of 640 squat in wraps (610 raw), 400 bench, and 700 deadlift. A native of Miami, Florida, Vega received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University in 2004, where he was a member of the football team and a three-time Dean’s List recipient. Vega earned his masters of science in human performance from the University of Florida, where he worked with the national championship men’s basketball team along with women’s basketball, tennis, and golf programs. He then went on to become the Strength & Conditioning coordinator for VCU basketball. The Rams were 2007 conference champions and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
1 Comment
  • Pingback:Flipping the Switch | Power Rack Strength
    Posted at 09:25h, 28 June

    […] be great at something, it takes consistent focus—not only in the big decisions, but in the more mundane decisions in life—over a long period of time. In powerlifting, for instance, those who are great are the ones who […]

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