How To Think Like A Champion

You can never be too great. The problem with us is that we always want a little bit more and a little bit more.

There’s this quote that’s always bugging me. It goes, “A small thing that you do well is a great thing. A great thing.” That’s so true. When you do something well, you never hear the end of it. But a small part of you doesn’t like to hear what you done well. You can’t wait for people to acknowledge it because you haven’t done it as well as you wanted. It’s true. A small thing can become great. A tiny act of kindness can transform your life. I have found this to be true and I’m willing to bet that it will be true for many of you.

One of my heroes from childhood was the Japanese wrestler Hakushi. He wrestled the lion-hearted Takashi Sugiura, and Hakushi was a fierce but kind person.  I remember when I first fell in love with him. Hakushi was so full of energy. He was constantly running around fighting, making moves that were awesome but also looked pretty foolish, all while keeping a cool and serious facade. When you don’t give a fuck what people think about how you look, you look damn cool, which was what I wanted to be at that moment in time.

I always thought Takashi Sugiura was a cool dude and he did a lot of cool things. But in our minds we saw the facade that was Hakushi and didn’t see the hidden inner fire, and when you don’t give a fuck how people perceive you, that can transform your life in a way where all of a sudden, your life becomes completely different. We all have good and bad days, and when we’re tired, when we’re hurt, when we have a big day at work or when we’re having a terrible day at home, when we’re having no luck or when we’re going through a rough time in our lives, as a small part of us can never give a fuck. We can just keep moving, keep moving forward, and that’s what we do when we don’t give a fuck.

So, let’s do this. Let’s keep moving forward.

One step at a time.

There’s a saying about how the first step in doing something is admitting that you don’t know how. I believe this to be so true about the wrestling business. When I started wrestling in the 90s, I was a really young wrestler and I didn’t know what I was doing. I was really, really young. I didn’t know anything about my character or the business. This was my first big step in this business and there I was and I was scared. I had no idea what to expect of wrestling. When I got into rings, I was being pushed by many guys who were more experienced than me in my age group. Most wrestlers that you hear from don’t talk about wrestling being their first real step in life and saying that they were “the best.” “I was the best that I knew how to be.” And I was getting pushed the wrong way by an industry that taught me the art of being someone who wasn’t really me. That is my biggest lesson. To be the best you can be, as an individual, so long as you listen, respect, and value everyone around.

I remember being on a flight coming into the big city for the first time. I was a new star, a new kid and I was so scared. All I wanted to do was take that big step and I didn’t have any idea where it was. I was on a big new ship in this city at this time of my life and I had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on because I didn’t know how to look at myself. I thought that I was this weirdo who didn’t know anything about the business.