1IQ #3: Mike Tyson’s Mantra

Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth

Mike Tyson

Ever been punched in the mouth? Like, boxer-punched in the mouth?

Whatever plan you may have possessed goes piiiing!

All you are possessed of is a ring in your ears, a rush of images, and a distinctly metallic taste in your mouth.

What consciousness you retain is severely compromised, simplified. You enter a survival mode; memories aren’t made, life isn’t lived.

Being “the baddest man on the planet” didn’t stop Mike Tyson getting punched repeatedly in the mouth by life.

After fighting himself to the highest of heights, he was punched off his peak to the lowest of lows; losses in his career, bankruptcy, imprisonment, vilification, the tragic death of his young daughter.

This one-liner is curt and off the cuff, yet captivating; echoing the old proverb, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

But a natural catastrophe, a financial disaster, a death in the family – that’s not plans gone awry. That’s life punching you in the mouth.

Plan, but plan in the knowledge that life reserves its eternal right to knock you flat before it, when you least expect it, without rhyme or reason.

The best boxers take their punches without looking hurt, feigning invincibility when most vulnerable, swinging for the fences whilst sagging into the ropes. That can definitely be said for Mike Tyson. Now he is decades removed from his pugilistic prime, hosting his own podcast, lispily pontificating and puffing on a spliff. He’s earned his vulnerability.

His advice to us is plain and simple: plan away, but prepare to take life’s punches, wearing a mean-ass poker-face (face tattoo: optional), and always be ready to get up and go again.

For it’s not if you get punched, it’s when you get punched; and most importantly, whether you get up again.

1IQ (1 Idea/Quote) is a series of short and sweet pieces focussing on a single idea or quote. This blog is only read as much as it is shared by you, the reader, so if you enjoyed the piece or know someone who would, please consider sharing it on social media. 

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