ever seen a great champion boxer like manny pacquiao? with his speed, agility and power, he has conquered lots of other great boxers of the twenty first century. in between fights, he keeps his training regime and intensifies it when another fight approaches.
just like a boxer, we, too come face to face with many opponents in the arena of life—problems and difficulties. the bad news is, we don’t really know when our bouts with these opponents occur—no posters and promotional tv commercials; no pre-fight press conference and weigh in to make sure that we measure up to our opponent; and there is no pay per view coverage.
here are several reasons why you should train yourself for success like a champion boxer!
you don’t practice in the arena, that’s where your skills and your abilities are evaluated. this also means that you don’t practice solving problems and developing yourself when problems occur, you prepare yourself to face them long before you actually face them.
talent is good but training is even better. back in college, one of my classmates in political science did not bring any textbook or notebook in our classes; he just listened and participated in discussions. what i didn’t understand was how he became a magna cum laude! apparently, he was gifted with a great memory and analytical skills. in short, he was talented.
if you are talented, you probably need less preparation and training time in facing life’s challenges. but for people who are endowed with talent, training and learning becomes even important. avoid the lazy person’s maxim: “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” why wait for your roof to leak in the rainy season when you can fix it right away.
training enables you to gain intuition and reflexes. malcolm glad well, in his book outliers, said those artists, athletes and anyone who wants to be successful, need 10,000 hours of practice to become really great. with constant practice and training, you hone your body, your mind and your heart and gain the intuition and reflexes of a champion. same thing is true in life.
without training, you will mess up. without training, you will not be able to anticipate how your enemy will hit you. you will trip at that hurdle. your knees will buckle before you hit the marathon’s finish line. you will lose control of your race car after the first lap. with training, you lower the likelihood of these accidents
winners train. if you want to win, train yourself for it. you may be a lucky person and you can win a race, or overcome a problem at first try. but if you do not train, your victory may be like a one-time lottery win, which you cannot capitalize on over the long run. and you become fitter and more capable of finishing the race.
keep in mind that training is borne out of discipline and perseverance. even if you encounter some setbacks in your training regime, if you keep at it and persevere, you will soon see results in your life and when problems come, you will be like the champion boxer who stands tall and fights until the final round is over and you’re proclaimed as the champion!
if i had my life to live over……i would have talked less and listened more. i would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was strained and the sofa faded. i would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. i would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. i would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. i would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. i would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life. i would have gone to bed when i was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding patter if i were not there for the day. i would never have bought anything just because it was practical，would not show soil or was guaranteed to last a life time. there would have been more“i love you”……more“i‘m sorry”……but mostly，given another shots at life，i would seize every minute……look at it and really see it……live it……and never give it back.
we all know that money can’t buy happiness … but many times we act as if we’d be happier with a bit more money. we are conditioned to want to be rich (when we know the rich aren’t happy either); we are trained to want the latest gadget or style that television tells us to want; we want to earn more money because then we’ll have the good life.
but none of that will bring us happiness. no matter how much we earn, no matter how much we have in the bank, no matter how nice our clothing or cars or toys, none of it will make us happier. and the sad thing is that it could take us decades of pursuing wealth and luxury items before we realize this.
so what will bring us happiness? luckily, it’s three things that don’t cost a thing. these three things have been proven by research — surveys of hundreds of thousands of people about what they have, what their lives are like, and how happy they are.
here they are, the three secrets to happiness:
1. good relationships. we have a human need to be close, to be intimate, with other human beings. having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. action steps: take time, today, to spend time with your loved ones, to tell them what they mean to you, to listen to them, and develop your relationship with them.
2. positive thinking. i’m obviously a big proponent of positive thinking as the best way to achieve your goals, but it turns out that it can lead to happiness too. optimism and self-esteem are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life. action steps: make positive thinking a habit. in fact, this should be one of the first habits you develop. get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. instead of “i can’t” think“i can”. it may sound corny, but it has worked for me, every time.
3. flow. this is a popular concept on the internet these days — the state we enter when we are completely focused on the work or task before us. we are so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. having work and leisure that gets you in this state of flow will almost undoubtedly lead to happiness. people find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. action steps: find work that you’re passionate about. seriously — this is an extremely important step. find hobbies that you’re passionate about. turn off the tv — this is the opposite of flow — and get outside and do something that truly engages you.
you’ve been given the three secrets to happiness. don’t waste them!