Two Lessons From Iron Mike

Mike Tyson is my favorite boxer. Obviously this has something to do with his in-ring feats, sure, but everything that’s interesting about him comes from his mind. He has one of the most interesting and powerful minds on earth. Seriously.

All the more so because he agrees with one of my more ridiculous beliefs: there’s no such thing as the good ol’ days. Everything’s better today:

“They would be tough for anybody to fight. I know people hate to believe this but they’re tough for anybody. Sometimes we don’t want to believe it. We’re stuck on apple pie in our era. We like Chuck Berry; we like Elvis Presley. People get better as men from the cavemen to now. We are supposed to get better. From the 80s to now we’ve got better. We’ve got more technology, more people are made, we get more money, the world is bigger, and we become better. So these guys would be difficult to beat for anybody who came before them.”

And, next, knowledge and wisdom can sometimes be a burden:

Tyson is a changed man. Gone is the bristling machismo, and sparks of aggression. “I wasn’t ready to know all this back then [as champion of the world]. I am now. If I’d learnt all that then I probably would never had been a good fighter. I’d have been too docile and meek then. At that particular time it was suitable for me and now that’s not too suitable for me.”

I like that lesson. Sometimes a deep understanding hinders success. I would argue that’s because knowledge is often illusory. In other words, mostly we’re all full of shit. Stop talking. Do stuff.

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