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“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. Thats the essence of it.” 
―Vince Lombardi

I have often wondered why there is so much talk about intentions, hopes, dreams, goals, and visions, but so little to show for it. Ever since I was ten years old, it had been my wish to become a boxing champion. I decided to take up the challenge, when I was fifteen. I am glad I did because the experience taught me many lessons.

The journey of life is like the long road to a boxing championship in finding strength to get by, struggling to make the grade, rising after being knocked to the ground, surviving family tragedy, failing to get a job or losing one, or just stretching to accomplish something big.

While life’s challenges can overwhelm you just like a big, tough opponent can in the ring, you have the potential to overcome. Even if you are unsuccessful over and over again in the pursuit of a specific purpose, you still gain strength of character, a good starting point for future power and triumph. Effort and practice are what bring forth strength.

Here are five tips to help you get up again when life knocks you down:

  1. Positive self-talk. Do you ever talk to yourself about your thoughts and actions? Do you criticize more than you encourage or congratulate yourself? Well, negative self-talk can only undermine your confidence and potential to perform effectively. Tell yourself, and believe, that ‘you-can’. It will increase your motivation and raise your expectation. Just like athletes psyche themselves up before they compete, tell yourself that you can overcome, you can achieve your goal.
  1. Create your future. Life is full of twists and turns, and the future will always be unpredictable. To be able to master your destiny, even in extreme environments, dream the possible by creating a personal vision – a picture of a realistic and attractive future. A clear vision creates a higher purpose and will energize you, inspire you, remind you, and guide you.
  1. Sharpen the saw. You are your own greatest asset. You are the only instrument you have to deal with life, to perform, and to contribute to society. You are, therefore, the most critical investment that you can ever make. How regularly do you take the time to sharpen the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional dimensions of your life? Be on the upward spiral of growth and continuous improvement.
  1. Strengthen your core. Core values – those beliefs and convictions that guide and direct our behavior – tell us what we ‘ought’ to do in any given situation. They are a moral compass that directs our motivation, decisions and actions. They define who we are (whether we are conscious of them or not). Having well defined core values by which you live your life will help focus your decision-making during those challenging times.
  1. Be determined to overcome. When the going gets tough, as it may, press on, regardless. Accept full responsibility of your situation and do whatever it takes to get back on track. Imagine you had the good fortune of reflecting on your life in the last ten minutes before you die. How would you answer to the question: “Did you use all the talents that God gave you to do all you could have done?

Next time you get knocked down, don’t despair. Instead, get back up and fight on. In God’s eyes, you are a winner.

Copyright ©2014 David Waweru. Adapted from the book Champion: Achieving with Excellence.

David Waweru

Author David Waweru

Writer, entrepreneur, trainer and consultant. Founder of Booktalk Africa and Will to Win Global. Member of the UNESCO Expert Facility on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Director at the Sports, Arts and Culture Sector Board, Kenya Private Sector Alliance.

More posts by David Waweru

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