Develop a Boxer’s Heart Towards Overcoming Adversity

The courageous Arturo Gatti showing his heart and will against all odds

You maybe asking, what has boxing got to do with self improvement, wisdom and overcoming adversity?  Well, assuming the guise of a boxer in life brings with it many virtues that any would be philosopher will be proud of.

Who wouldn’t envy a person who has in their possession; courage, determination, and strength of will?  These form the beneficial qualities of a champion pugilist, and are what is needed to stand up against the many difficulties we face daily in our lives.

Difficulties in life can happen to all of us at the best of times due to unforeseeable circumstances and through our own ignorance. Many of these difficulties can be endured or even avoided if we had the heart and foresight to deal with them.

We can learn many a wise lesson from boxing, and can apply both the wisdom of mental focus and a warrior’s spirit to our own lives.  So let us develop a boxer’s heart to withstand the devastating blows of life towards coping with whatever fate chooses to use to dent our unbeaten records.

Thank the heavens for the fighting spirit that can be inspired from movies,

“Never stop fighting till the fight is done!”

~ Elliot Ness from the movie ‘Untouchables’

A true champion is one who, despite being knocked out in defeat, gloriously and bravely comes back stronger to take on his former conqueror.  We must have the heart and willpower of a champion to erode fear and to dull the pain so that we can face any difficulty that stands in our way with equanimity.

Although we can initially be defeated by adversity, the most important thing is how we react to it, and must find the determination to come back from any devastating loss,

“He that fights and runs away, may live to fight another day.”

I’ll leave the final inspirational words to none other than movie Heavyweight Champion of the World, Rocky Balboa,

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”

~ Rocky Balboa

Follow these wise steps towards dealing with adversity:

  1. Always prepare yourself mentally (be philosophical) for the worse before it actually happens – it will soften the blow.  Life is unpredictable and you must understand that both good and bad can happen.
  2. Most difficulties are caused by our own ignorance or impulses.  Develop your mental focus (consciousness and reason) so that you can make the right decisions and to choose as simple a path as possible when negotiating life, which will avoid much difficulty later
  3. If an unforeseen disaster should happen, develop your strength in heart (spiritual motivation) by accepting the situation immediately.  One thing you must remember is that you are still alive and have the opportunity to overcome the present situation towards making a brighter future

You can be a World Champion in your life – and don’t you forget it!


  1. Socrates says:

    GREAT post, wonderful advice, and excellent metaphor, my friend! Life certainly does seem like one big boxing match at times…

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Thank you, my dear Socrates!

    We can learn much virtue from gladiatorial sports, where the mind is very much important as well as the body.

  3. Reminds me of what your buddy, Marcus Aurelius, said about life being like a wrestling match. It’s necessary to be able to take the blows and being philosophical, as you say, really helps. With the right training, one can even learn to smile at adversity.