Last Saturday I had the opportunity to see UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Not only were the fights fantastic, but every time I watch a big event I try to learn something from it. Although there were many takeaways from this event, there were just a few that truly impacted me.
My biggest takeaway came from the bout where champion Cody Garbrandt took on former champion, T.J. Dillashaw. This was a fight that has been building up since the summer, since these two were coaches on the show “The Ultimate Fighter”.
There was certainly a lot of bad blood between these two and when they walked into the arena you could absolutely feel it.
The fight began and was just as fast and explosive as everyone thought it would be. Late in the first round T.J. was knocked down by a right hand from the champion and was almost stopped. However he managed to scramble back to his feet as the round ended.
In the next round T.J. sparked the crowd by knocking Cody down with a kick to the head which Cody recovered from. Shortly after T.J. then caught the champion with a right hook directly on the chin, which dropped him and led to the fight being stopped.
We have a new champion! And from this fight I learned a few things…
There will be times in your life where you get hurt, whether physically or emotionally. There will be something in your life that occurs and puts you down.
But that should never define the outcome of your fight.
Your personal battle may be in fitness, business, family, relationships or anything else that’s important to you. At some point bad shit WILL happen and can derail you from making strides towards your overall goal and happiness. However it’s not about preventing the bad shit from happening, it’s about how you respond to it when it does.
The last place in the world that T.J. wanted to be was lying on his back after getting dropped by the champion in a world title fight. He was derailed from his goal, but only for a moment.
He could have simply given up, but he didn’t. He battled through the challenge he was faced with and in the end came out victorious.
And I believe that there is one big entity that enables us to accomplish something like that, which takes us to my next point.
Lesson # 2
Over the last 12 years I have worked with many people. When I reflect on those who I’ve come across I realize that many of them have goals, but very few of them know why achieving that goal is important to them.
For instance some people have a goal of making more money, but when asked why they want more money they don’t have a real answer. They say stuff like “so I can buy a nicer car” or “so I can buy a bigger house”. If your why is only to buy more stuff it’s going to be hard to put in the massive amount of work it will take to make the money you want.
There has to be a bigger purpose as to why you want to achieve something. When your why is strong enough, there will be a significant amount of emotion tied to accomplishing your goal.
Failing to have a true why leaves you with a sense of insignificance and lack of fulfillment. I truly believe that is a huge reason why there is so much depression and a need to medicate ourselves in this country.
When you look at the Cody vs. T.J. fight what you saw was an unbelievable amount of passion and emotion when T. J. got the victory. It was so intense that I could actually feel it from my seat.
If T.J. Dillashaw didn’t have a true why, and was simply in that cage going through the motions, he would have never made it out of that first round. The raw emotion was so incredible that you know there was a greater purpose for T.J.
And it’s unfortunate that so many people will never know what it feels like to have such implausible emotion about something that you literally roar in victory when your target is met.
And you don’t have to be a professional cage fighter to feel that. If your why is strong enough then you will feel a similar sense of emotion by accomplishing whatever you’ve worked so hard for.
You may even break down in tears when that goal is achieved.
So my advice to you is to find out what makes you tick. What is something that you would die for? What is something you believe so strongly in that you would defend it at all costs? Take some time to think about your answers because within them, you may be able to find what you are truly capable of.
When you tie emotion to a goal you can literally become unstoppable. You will work harder and won’t let the day to day bullshit prevent you from taking action on your dreams. You won’t care what other people say or think because your why will lead you to a razor sharp focus that cannot be blurred.
I feel that there are many overlooked lessons that we can all learn from world-class athletes. Next time you’re watching a big sporting event, think about what it truly takes for these men and women to achieve these incredible outcomes. Think about how much work is required of them to succeed and how strong their driving force must be.
Then realize that they are human beings, just like you and me. And if they can accomplish incredibly hard tasks, then why the hell can’t you?
The answer is inside each and every one of us, so reflect on why your goals are important to you and you will get closer to achieving them.
I hope this post helps you on your path. Be sure to drop a comment below if you have any questions.
I’ll catch you guys next time.