Here is a list of the four key components for massive success. Out of all the sports out there Boxing is the closest to real life. You don’t metaphorically get knocked down or have your back up against the ropes or are backed up into a corner and have to fight your way out. In Boxing that is the actual situation you can find yourself in! Therefore the lessons learned in the squared circle, the lessons I have learned there as well, can be perfectly applied to success at anything in life. I hope this article inspires you to make a change for the better and gives you not only the knowledge, but the drive to do it. Let’s become a Champion.
1. Extreme Preparation
In order to be a success in the extremely painful, challenging and rewarding sport of Boxing or Life you need extreme preparation. Amateur Boxers train hours a day, week after week just to do six to nine minutes of work in a fight. The ability to discipline yourself and put in the important and more often than not mundane work is the wall you must climb in order to raise your arms in victory.
Many people who are not in the hustle of boxing or life, that live as spectators believe the stories the media sells of overnight successes. And yes there are people who have better strategies and better mind sets that achieve what took one person 10 years and they do it in 1 year. The difference is oftentimes the person that succeeds at something in one year eliminated all the unimportant things, broke down their life or their goal into the most essential parts and did only the things needed for success. They stayed disciplined, consistent and persistent in their actions.
If you want to succeed in ring or in Life it doesn’t matter what you do every now and then or what you do for a week or a month. It’s what you do year in and year out that compounds your skill and your ability, which in turn feeds your confidence so that you can push yourself harder, take larger risks and achieve higher success. You are rewarded a Championship Belt only after you have practiced for years in private, away from the lights and away from all the glory. Top Boxers and Top Achievers in all areas of life might receive millions of dollars for mere minutes of work, but what they are really being paid for is for their thousands of hours that provided no guarantee, no assurance they would ever receive any notoriety or reward, it required great faith that the work they were doing would reap what they sowed.
Everyone knows when you lose focus in boxing or in life is when you can get caught and put on the canvas. This is very true and that’s why you’ve heard it so much, but once you decide to commit to extreme preparation in order to achieve success in the Ring or in life, just being focused isn’t enough. Because what you focus on is what you get.
When I was boxing I experienced this and all these lessons first hand. I could always take a great punch before I had a career ending injury, but from one simple thought that I let invade my brain it changed everything. After sparring I was getting a little pain behind my eyes and on the front of my forehead, this worried me and I began to have thoughts of “am I getting damaged?”, “Is that my brain hurting?”. Once these thoughts got created in my mind they started to grow like weeds. What the result was once they grew was me being hesitant about getting hit and honestly feeling like shots that hit me rocked me more and were harder than before. That thought affected my aggression which was one of my best quality as a boxer and that lead me to getting hit more because I was only focused on not getting hit.
I came to my Father with the problem who was my coach and is also a PHD in neuroscience, he told me, “Son, it’s your sinuses, you can’t feel the brain really hurting. As long as you aren’t getting dizzy or weak and the pain is behind the eyes like that it’s just your sinuses”. Once I heard the truth of why I had some pain I was able to change my focus from, ” I’m getting hurt” to “I’m going to give the hurt”. I have seen this as a coach in Athens. One of my boxers sees a guy knock someone out in one round and therefore believes that boxer is a big puncher. Then my boxer ends up fighting that boxer and my guy is overly hesitate, overly fearful and expects to get hit with shots that will feel like bricks. That very same boxer has fought people who are knockout artists in the past, but they hadn’t seen that opponent fight before and therefore had no belief that they were going to be hit by big punches. My boxer walked through that opponent’s punches to victory because he believed he could.
Same thing in Life, if you overly focus on the failures of the past and the possible failures of the future you will unknowingly steer yourself right into oncoming punches. Now, obviously the complete opposite isn’t true either. If you know you have a hard opponent to fight in life or in the ring and ignore what needs to be done to properly prepare you are going to fail. The ideal focus in the ring and in life is to see the problems for exactly what they are, not worse than they are, then focus on how to beat the problem. You’ve heard, “Where there is a will there’s a way.” and if you focus on the way and are willing to constantly change your approach if necessary to make a way, you will achieve tremendous success.
3. Have a Good Corner
In order to succeed in the ring and in life you’ve got to have a good corner. In boxing a corner is comprised of your coach and possibly a cutman and one other person to help put the stool in and lend a hand. Your Coach is your guide and in many ways your mentor. They are the person that knows how to get you to where you want to be. In the ring and in life we need someone like this. Getting the right person or persons to give you advise, guide you and call you out on what you’re ignoring is essential for success. The right coach or mentor can save you decades of trial and error that could of been minimized with their guidance.
You need the right people in your corner of life and Boxing to push you and inspire you. It’s been said that 95% of our success in life can be determined by who we spend our time with. If you’re a fighter and you spend your time with a bunch or losers you will adopt their psychology and actions and become, if even by just a little bit, a loser. Small things if ignored over time compound upon each other and in the short term you don’t notice them, but years down the road you will be shocked by their impact on your life.
You have to have a good team even if it is just one other person. A fighter in life and in the ring needs that outside perspective and that is often the most accurate. You ever listen to a person talk about an issue they are having and you think, “That’s an easy problem to solve just do this….. ” ? You were able to do that because you weren’t in the middle of their battle and therefore you were able to have a better view of the whole picture and not just the issue that person feels is unchangeable. Looking at problems from only the inside often leads to overlooked answers.
4. Be a Good Finisher
Every truly great Champion in boxing could last a whole fight and fight as hard, if not harder in the last round as they did in the first. Almost anyone with a little time can show up for 60 secs in a fight or 60 days at a new endeavor and look like a champ. The real deal people can start hard and finish hard. Have you ever know someone who is guns blazing when they start a project, they talk and act like they are going to conquer the world with it, but after a short time the flame fizzles and they go back to doing the same dead end activities they were doing before? I know so many people like this and I have been this person… we all have. But where true success in the ring and in life comes is not how you fight in the 1st round, but how you fight deep in the fight, in what is called the championship rounds, the 11th and 12th. If you have any lacking in your preparation, this is where it can be seen. If you have any lapses in proper focus, this is where it shows up and if you have been spending time with the wrong people and have the wrong corner, these rounds are the rounds that will do you in.
Every Champion in the ring and in life felt the fatigue you can feel in the last rounds before your reach your goal. When you feel the strain and pain of fatigue as you grind out the final rounds to achieve what ever it is you want, remind yourself that you are at that very moment on the frontier that all great people have been. This frontier is where some get slaughtered and others find Gold. Keep this ever present in your mind when you think of quitting because you are tired or everything seams to be going wrong, remember that you are now, finally, on the precipice of greatness!
The Final Bell
The greatest fighter in the history of combat sports is Sugar Ray Robinson. At one time he was 127 wins and 1 loss and that one loss he avenged successfully 5 times. He said, “A champion is someone who believes in themselves when nobody else does”. In order to do anything great you have to believe in you. Very few people will believe in you when you start an endeavor and some will criticize you for even trying. When they do that they are really only talking about their own failures and disappointments, about how they feel about themselves or they are trying to justify why they haven’t done anything. They aren’t truly talking about you. In order to make it through all the challenges of success it requires real confidence and belief that you are not only capable, but worthy. Now don’t just read this and then go back to doing the same old same old that has brought you to where you are now. Create an objective, make a plan to achieve it and begin taking massive action to get it and become a Champion in your own life.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win!” -Gandhi