Life comes at you with a vengeance.
If it’s not your business on the rocks, it’s a family that’s needs your attention. It’s not just stress or lack of money or the pressure you feel to perform.
It’s dozens of little things throughout the day that add up to the challenge.
And if you’re not careful, you can feel beaten up pretty fast.
The harder you try not to lose, the more inevitable it seems.
And so pain gets more painful and hurt more hurtful.
Your fear of failing becomes all consuming.
You’ve forgotten how to be unstoppable.
And you’re not alone.
As Jim stepped out of the ring after 15 rounds of punishment, he could barely see out his swollen eyes and bleeding nose. But more then just the pain from several broken bones in his right hand, his defeat by Tommy Loughran was an all-consuming throb that pounded in his head.
It was maddening.
Jim had turned pro three years earlier just after his 21st birthday. Fighting as a light heavyweight, the Irish American boxer, born in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, quickly put together an impressive record of 44 wins and 2 losses. A boxing phenomenon.
But when it was his chance to fight for the title, he lost — by a single round. And not just lost. His fractured right hand would take many months to heal. The depression that descended around him would take much longer to heal.
When he began to fight again, Jim was anything but impressive.
Over his next 33 fights, his record was 11-20-2. As his family sunk into the biting poverty of the Great Depression, Jim was left homeless, jobless — begging for part-time work on the docks that required two strong hands when he really only had one that was usable. He would soon have to humble himself to accept government welfare to keep his family alive. It was a lesson he would never forget.
And then because he had lost so much already, he was expected to lose again.
In early 1934, promoters for John Griffin picked Jim as a stepping stone for their boxer’s career.
But instead of losing, John won. In fact, he knocked out the impressive “Ozark Cyclone” mid way into the third round. And his success didn’t stop there.
Jim fought John Lewis, the future light heavyweight champion — and won. This would be one of the most important battles of his career. And then came Art Lasky. The contender was the odds-on favorite to beat Jim; but instead he left the ring with a broken nose. Jim had again beaten the odds.
But was it enough for a title fight with the vicious Max Baer, who had punched two boxers to death in the ring previously?
On June 13, 1935, Jim entered Madison Square Garden as a 10-to-1 underdog against Baer. Throughout the fight, Jim took blow after blow from his furious opponent. Round after round he kept coming — frustrating the younger Baer who threw punches without abandon. He would be unable to stop Jim. When the final bell sounded, the judges would hand the unanimous decision to Jim.
Against impossible odds, Jim — better known as James Walter “the Cinderalla Man” Braddock – would become the boxing heavyweight champion of the world.
Many still call it the greatest fight of all time.
And it might not be a lot different from what you have to deal with on a daily basis.
And if a man like Jim can rise from the dust of a New York alley to become the greatest hero the boxing world has ever known, why can’t you?
Why can’t you become unstoppable?
In fact, here are four thoughts for you to think about.
- Keep throwing punches — You never start losing until you stop fighting. It’s really that simple. You can’t give up. All you have is your will to win. And that’s the difference in being unstoppable. No one can stop you when you decide that you’ll never quit.
- Never forget a hand up – Remember the kindnesses of those around you. You might need to take some help to stay on your feet. Never forget those who let you lean on them. Kindness is a force that makes you unstoppable. So is gratitude. Get good at both.
- Make your biggest weakness your killer move – Take what hurts you make it your biggest motivation. Get better. Clean up the sloppy parts of your game.
- Learn how to take a punch – Sometimes, what looks like brilliance is really guts. You can’t really get used to getting hit, but you can learn how to stand on your feet and wobble with class. No need to blink. No need to cry. You just take a hit and keep on standing. It’s hard to lose when you are still on your feet and scowling.
We make too many excuses for being fallible.
Life is what we make it.
And that means if you still have fight in you, you haven’t lost yet.
And perhaps that is the best lesson yet.
You already are the unstoppable force that you think you need.
As James Braddock himself said before stepping into the ring:
“Whether it goes one round or three rounds or 10 rounds, it will be a fight and a fight all the way. When you’ve been through what I’ve had to face in the last two years, a Max Baer or a Bengal tiger looks like a house pet. He might come at me with a cannon and a blackjack and he would still be a picnic compared to what I’ve had to face.”
That just might be the 1930′s way of saying “Bring it on…”
Popular speaker, business strategist, and ultra-runner — Dan Waldschmidt is at war with conventional business strategy. His Edgy Conversations© have turned hundreds of companies into rock-star businesses and the Wall Street Journal calls his blog one of the” Top 7 sales blogs” anywhere in the world. He’s on a mission to help companies all over world change the conversation in their industry and dominate the competition. For more information about Waldschmidt Partners Intl, go to www.EdgyConversations.com.