The Boxer. The Real Man. Your Dream Body. Your Dream Life.
Success is not glamorous. It’s riddled with blood, covered in sweat, and filled with tears.
Those who deny this won’t see it realized. Those who fail to accept that life, success, and greatness is a fight. Will be beaten, hurt, and broken. They will accomplish a fraction of what could have been.
Boxing, in a more literal sense, is the same. When we order a pay-per-view, we see the million-dollar paydays for the best fighters in the world. But we fail to see the agony that preceded them. We ignore the quarts of blood that are literally given to the sport in every fighters journey. We are ignorant of the pain, both physically and emotionally, that every fighter goes through en route to his payday – if that payday ever comes.
Business is no different. We see the millionaire business man and we see the money, the lifestyle, and the possessions that we so dearly want to have. But we – often purposely choose to – ignore the perseverance and sacrifice that the success is a result of because we’re not willing to put the work in ourselves.
Training is no different. We see the guy with the six pack abs and we think “genetics”. The training and the discipline are downgraded and diminished and replaced with the idea that his success is something he’s born with.
Well it isn’t.
For every Mayweather and Pacquaio, there are hundreds upon hundreds of warriors who fought for survival. They gave their youth, and sometimes their lives, to a dream that was never fully realized. With each fight, their willingness to die for a cheer, an applause, or the chanting of their name.
The key to success in our businesses, lives, or training doesn’t exist in a magic potion, pill, or “golden rule”. It can only be found in the mind of a fighter. In the relentless pursuit of something we love so great that we’re willing to risk everything for a chance at living it.
The Road Less Travelled.
The warrior that enters the ring is – in many cases – no more physically gifted than you or I. What separates him is the decision to never quit. His iron will and perseverance that pick him off the mat time and time again separates him from the ‘common man’. Almost without effort, done out of reaction, as if it’s the only option.
If every one of us brought this attitude to our work, and our training, we’d be unstoppable.
Instead of looking for a quick fix to be successful or build our ideal body, we’d understand that success in anything is a long road filled with twists and turns, defeat, failure, and tribulation.
To put ourselves in a position where greatness is possible, we have to be ready for a war. A war among the likes of Gatti vs Ward, Hagler vs Hearns, or Corrales vs Castillo. Where the majority of us fail is in our failure to prepare for failure. To accept that getting our asses beat down time and time again before we finally succeed is a part of life. A part of the journey that builds character and weans out those who are undeserving. A part of a journey that molds us into the men we are to become.
Does some success come easier for others? Of course it does. Breaks do exist, but they’re created, they don’t simply fall into one’s lap. Just like a great fighter doesn’t walk into the ring thinking a win “could happen“, we shouldn’t walk our journey as if our success will happen. It might not be easy, but we’re going to win.
Understanding the Struggle
There may be no greater song ever written than ‘the boxer’, by Simon & Garfunkel. Like no other does it get into the mind of a man. His spirit. It just so happens that this man is the fighter that we’ll never hear about. A gatekeeper. The man who gave his life to a dream and to the only method of survival he knew.
What better way to hear this beautifully written masterpiece, than from the mouth of a true warrior, Ireland’s Seamus Patrick McDonagh. Have a listen, but more importantly pay attention to the eyes of the man. The emotions that the words conjure up.
I am just a poor boy
Though my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station running scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know
Lie la lie …
Asking only workman’s wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there
Lie la lie …
Then I’m laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Where the New York City winters aren’t bleeding me
Bleeding me, going home
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains
Lie la lie …
Live Like A Fighter
Mentally prepare for your workouts as if they’re a fight. Get nervous. Realize how important each and every workout is to your success.
Treat your workout routine like that of a fighter’s routine. Get up early, drink a glass of water, perform exercises, then get down to business. Discipline and perseverance are the things that separate the good from the great. Choose which one you’re going to be, don’t wait for it to happen.
Know that failure is a part of the journey. YOU WILL FAIL. But it’s not the end. It’s merely a lesson learned that will shape the man you are to become.
Hear your big, audacious goal daily. Read it aloud as if it’s already accomplished. Just like a fighter always has his eye on the prize, the title, have your eye on where you’re going, don’t get discouraged by where you are. It’s temporary.
Life will beat you up. It will drop you to your knees. It’s those who continually get back up and fight that do great things.
Ignore those who tell you that you can’t. They’re limited by their own view of what’s possible. Let them limit themselves, but never let them limit what you think is possible.
Be a warrior. Do that which you fear. It’s when we’re outside of our comfort zones that we’re really alive. So live.