When it comes down to it, everyone is a fighter in one respect or another. You may be fighting to become the next champion of the world or simply fighting for a better life. You may be fighting to get that next big promotion at work or fighting to improve your health. No matter what your particular pursuit may be, it has similarities to what a boxer encounters every time they enter the ring. That’s actually part of the allure of the sport and it can easily be seen as a great metaphor for life.
To make the most of your life, you have to prepare your mind and body... just like a fighter does. Using yuor head as well as harnessing your physical abilities go hand-in-hand. A proper education and putting your thought processes to work is a critical building block for success. Fighters do this in the gym, through sparring and through learning the ropes. In life, it may translate into ongoing education, betterment workshops, or something as simple as reading. Constantly learning and adapting is crucial to growth, and it applies to life inside or outside of the ropes.
The same goes for your health or general well-being. Eat right, eat healthy and you’ll have the fuel and foundation to go the distance. Feed your body a steady diet of junk food, fast food and processed convenience meals will lead to hard realities. Most fighters understand the concept of “garbage in, garbage out," as their livelihoods and careers depend on it. How you live your life and how you approach each second of every round will show up on the scorecards at the end.
If you expect to win the fight of life, you have to determine your game plan or strategy as you get closer to your main event. You have to know your competition, be able to size them up and figure out a way to be better than they are and better than your situation calls for. You have to impose your will or orchestrate a game plan that works in your favor, regardless of what or who you may be facing in the other corner.
Before the first drop of sweat is even produced, decide what you want and why you want it. A fighter would never enter the ring with an ambiguous idea of what they are there to accomplish. Once a fighter steps through those ropes, there are no questions of what their goal is - to win. By any means necessary, no matter what it takes, the ultimate and personal measure of success will be through winning. If you are at the fitness gym, your measure of success might be weight-loss, bench pressing more weight than ever before or just becoming more physically fit. In the office, it might be that next new job promotion or a raise in salary. In any case, you have to have a clear picture of what you're striving for. You don't have to have the exact path to get there or have all of the answers, but you do need to know with a laser beam focus why you are there.
After you've determined your focus, you have to put in the effort. There are no shortcuts to success. Natural ability will only get you so far. Success requires hard work and dedication. Winning in the office might require coming in early or leaving late. Or maybe volunteering for extra work, even when that is the last thing you need on your plate. Even a goal as simple as living a more fulfilling life requires effort.
Regardless of financial situation or life circumstances, a big part of fulfillment is just determining to be happy. You don't have to be content with your life, but you do have to appreciate where you are. You will never move on to the next level of success or achievement until you can find joy with what you have right now. Again, you don't have to be satisfied with your current lifestyle or circumstances, but if you are gracious for what you have (even if that's just your health), then are you energetically, mentally and psychologically ready for the next big thing that life has to offer you. Every day, every breath, every experience is a gift. You won't get another one while you are shouting "This isn't what I wanted!" That's just not how life works.
In life or between the ropes, you will be challenged and you will face obstacles. You will most likely have to learn something during the course of the fight or in your life, and at some point you will have to decide how bad you really want it. You may have to do some soul-searching when the going gets toughest, and you will be forced to either grow or give up. That ultimate test is part of the refining fire that transforms an ordinary human being into a champion.
There are rounds you win and rounds you lose, but what really matters is how you finish the fight. You will meet adversaries of all sizes, skill-sets and personalities. How you handle each one will tell a great deal about how your life story will unfold. The important thing to remember is that it is YOUR life and YOUR fight to win. YOU control the story of the fight and how it is told. YOU write the script. Every combination you throw is a paragraph and every round, a new chapter. How many words you use, how you use them and how you punctuate every line is what will allow you to close the show and leave the ring and this life as a champion.
Your life is your legacy, so fight the good fight and make it count.