From the desk of Victor Pride
Subj: An effeminate fat kid turned himself into the most feared fighter who ever lived
I've been reading Mike Tyson's biography Undisputed Truth. It's an extremely interesting book, one of the most interesting I've ever read.
Most people know that Mike Tyson was a typical ghetto kid. He was in and out of juvenile detention, had no father, no money, his mother was on drugs. His life was stealing and robbing.
What maybe you don't know is that Mike was a very shy, effeminate, scared kid. He would rob people's houses then neighborhood bullies would beat him up and steal his plunder. Mike was always too scared to fight back.
He used to watch one of the neighborhood kids shadowbox. The kid would try and get Mike to shadowbox with him but Mike was too shy to join, so he'd just watch.
Eventually Mike found himself in his first fight ever. He had to fight because a neighborhood kid hurt one of Mike's pigeons. Not knowing how to fight, Mike just mimicked the guy he had watched shadowbox and he knocked his opponent out cold.
Not knowing what else to do, and knowing the shadow boxer would skip during his workouts, Mike started skipping after he knocked the kid out. I read this on a quiet airplane and started laughing out loud.
Mike found himself in juvenile detention at 10 or 12 years old. It was there that he met a former pro-boxer who taught Mike a few things about boxing. The former pro took Mike to see legendary boxing trainer Cus D'amato.
Cus saw something in the young kid and knew he was going to be champion of the world one day. Cus started training Mike, both mentally and physically, in the ways of the warrior. Mike eventually moved in with Cus and his family in Catskill, New York.
In a television interview Cus confessed that the only reason he was alive was because he found Mike Tyson. If he hadn't found Tyson, Cus said, he would have died a long time ago. The only reason he was staying alive was to see Tyson become heavyweight champion of the world.
It was this part of the book, the time Tyson spent with Cus, which I found the most enjoyable. The time just before his avalanche of success. The time he spent preparing for his opportunity. The time before he became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
The time right before the avalanche of success is much more interesting to me than what someone does with 100 million dollars. It's more important to find out what champions did to become champions, not what they do once they get the top.
Below are the top 5 Mike Tyson quotes from Undisputed Truth
…and all 5 quotes are from the time Mike spent training as a gladiator with Cus D'amato.
Mike's quotes are in bold and the Bold and Determined commentary is below the quotes.
#1 “My life depended on succeeding. If I didn't, I would just be a useless piece of shit”.
Success is the purpose of life. Success in your chosen field.
The opposite of success is what? Failure. What's the opposite of a winner? A loser. What's another name for an average guy? Nobody.
You have one life to live, so if you don't make that one life a success what is it? A waste. A useless piece of shit.
#2 “The way I looked at it, I was born in hell and every time I won a fight, that was one step out of it”.
Emasculated males tell you it's wrong to be angry, to feel angry. Don't take advice from the eunuchs.
Anger is the most powerful tool in the toolbelt.
Put it to use and fight like your life depends on it.
#3 “When all the other fighters would leave the gym and go out with their girlfriends, Cus and I went back to the house and devised our scheme…Cus would say, ‘No' will be like a foreign language to you. You won't understand the concept of ‘no'”.
Preparation is key. Morons talk about “luck” like luck means anything.
The successful become successful because they did something to become successful.
- Work towards success.
- Become obsessed with achievement.
- Ignore outside distractions.
- “Sacrifice” all the bullshit that isn't important.
- Focus totally on one goal.
#4 “Cus was all about manipulation, psychological warfare. He believed that 90 percent of boxing was psychological and not physical. Will, not skill”.
All the skill in the world means nothing without the mindset of a winner.
Skilled men fail everyday because they don't have the eye of the tiger or the mindset of a winner.
#5 “Cus was a strong believer that in your mind you had to be the entity you wanted to be. If you wanted to be heavyweight champion of the world, you had to start living the life of a heavyweight champion…
Always training, thinking like a Roman gladiator, being in a perpetual state of war in your mind, yet on the outside seeming calm and relaxed. He was practicing and teaching me the law of attraction without even knowing it”.
There's a saying called “fake it 'til you make it'. But here's the reality, a winner knows, a winner is certain of victory. A winner's mind is unbreakable.
So it isn't faking, it's simply taking the initiative and knowing beyond doubt what your future will hold.
Mike Tyson knew it, Cus D'amato knew it, and every other winner on earth knew they were winners before they had proof.
Fake it 'til you make it? More like do everything in your power to make it, don't accept “no”, don't accept failure and don't let fear drive you away from success.
Until next time.
PS – We all start somewhere. Here's Mike Tyson with Cus Da'amato, before Tyson was even Tyson.