I am closing in on my 28th birthday rapidly, and I have just learned what could quite possibly be my most important lesson yet: Life, when lived correctly, is like being in a boxing match with a world champion fighter. We walk into the ring because it represents we want. It holds our dreams, our passions, and our purpose. In a perfect world, the bell would sound, and we’d win with a first round knockout. Our arm would be raised, people would cheer, and we’d become exactly what we wanted to be; however, that’s not life.
Life in the ring is a series of left hooks and upper cuts disguised as disappointments. It’s a jab and a kick masked as a broken heart. No amount of training could prepare you for this. It’s 12 rounds of taking hit after hit; yet, that’s the way it’s truly supposed to be lived. It’s when you’re bloodied, bruised, and lying face down that everything becomes crystal clear.
Only when you’ve hit the bottom and are battered and beaten do you truly see what matters to you. If a dream or goal means enough to fight 12 rounds for, getting up after every hit, you’re going to get it. Those who take one punch and leave the ring will never have the life they “want.” A true winner is never deterred by the fight in front of them. A true winner can block the hisses from the doubtful crowd. A true winner knows that his/her will is stronger than any deterrent placed in front of them.
So, fight. Fight because the struggle for the life you want is much less frightening than sitting in the stands because you’re too afraid to take a hit. Fight because it’s your life, and you get one shot. You’re going to be disappointed many times. You won’t get the promotion you wanted, or you won’t win the grant you had your heart set on. This is not what defines you though. What defines you is how you react to the losses, setbacks, and detours. Don’t become jaded or lose your spark when tested or turned down. Stand up, dust yourself off, and get back in the ring. Your worth is not determined by anyone else but you.
I am currently fighting for my dreams. I am only in round six even though it feels like I have heard the 12th bell ring. This is harder than anything I have ever faced, and today I am picking myself up after the latest hit. This one hurt more than the others, but I know I have what it takes to win, and so do you. Get up and start swinging.
Go be great, EP
I will leave you with a great clip from a recent Rocky movie that sums up what I am trying to say perfectly.