The Secret of the Underdog

“I feel like quitting every day, but if I am not continually giving everything I have, then I am not doing it right. To master your craft, you need to understand the inner nature of it.”

Chris Gardner, Micky Ward, and Jackie Robinson; what do these three men have in common? Each one of them knew what it would take to succeed. According to a study done by Marcel Schwantes ‘Founder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core’ twenty percent of all people fail to achieve the goals they have set, whereas only eight percent have the will to get back up and continue. “When setting goals, you have to know where you’re headed. When writing down your goals, make sure that you understand the path to your final destination. After all, a goal without a clear roadmap is just a pipe dream” (Schwantes 2018). Nobody is willing to put in the work, they see a dream in their head and expect to be handed it instead of earning it. The chances of you being born are one in four hundred trillion. So why should you settle for mediocrity in your life? People settle for less because they have nothing to compare their own life to, hence resulting in people living at the bare minimum; of life. Welcome and embrace adversity; let it mold you. “Every year you age, you get wiser, even if you don’t feel it, or see it. You might be 30 and still lost, you might be 22 and think your life sucks. You have a choice, literally, to choose to be happy. To choose positivity. The one thing you have control over is hustle. If you want it, hustle, get it” (Gazibara 2016). Everyone in life has a choice to be better. Look at the situation you are in; if you aren’t happy, then make a change. Nobody said it was going to be easy. There is no handbook for life, but if you can take it one step at a time and keep pushing, then you will find success. I firmly believe that people have a choice, and if you are okay with your situation then you, accept defeat. From the words of Charles R. Swindoll, “We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Endure, learn, and overcome a three-step process to life. Al Pacino once gave a speech in the film ‘Any Given Sunday,’ which continues to resonate with me, “The margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it.” The inevitability that you will fail is almost so certain, that you should welcome it. You will fail every day but keep pushing because all you need to do is succeed once. According to The New York Times, it was found that the transition from nineteen seventy-five to nineteen eighty brought a tremendous rise to the poverty level. From twenty-six million to nearly twenty-nine in one year, “The new study of poverty and its characteristics in 1980 found that 32.5 percent of the nation’s blacks lived below the poverty line, as against 25.7 percent of Hispanic people and 10.2 percent of whites.” Unfortunately, this meant bad news for twenty-seven-year-old Chris Gardner along for his toddler son by the same name. Today Chris went on to accumulate a net worth of over sixty million dollars by becoming a stockbroker and founding a brokerage firm. Being trained by his addicted brother Micky Ward had continually lost each boxing match of his career, however, his family had a shot of redemption after Micky’s separation from the family. Eventually, he went onto become a WBU World Champion. Jackie Robinson not only became the first African American to play in the major leagues, but he revolutionized how we saw racial barriers in the late nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties. The hardships endured by Robinson changed his views on the world, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion, you’re wasting your life.” Challenge yourself and make a change, don’t just sit on the sidelines and let your life pass you by. A veteran named Christian Gaspard, when asked about what he thinks the secret of the underdog is, he simply put, “I feel like quitting every day, but if I am not continually giving everything I have, then I am not doing it right. To master your craft, you need to understand the inner nature of it.”