The Fight

Associate yourself with people of good quality,. It's better to be alone than in bad company.

If you hang out with five millionaires, you will be the sixth.  If you hang out with five geniuses, you will be the sixth.  If you hang out with five knuckleheads, you will be the sixth.  We are the average of the five people we hang out with the most.  Are those people positive, successful, talented, of good repute? Because if they aren’t there is a good chance that your life is being affected negatively by them.

We are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing your hopes, goals, and dreams for the sake of dragging someone along with you to your detriment.  Sometimes the “fat” needs to be trimmed off of the life we are living. The people we surround ourselves with are either the wind in our sails or the anchor in the mud holding us back.

I have made my living by seeking out and finding the people I want to surround myself with.  Do you need to take a harder look at your inner circle?  Do they share in the hunger for goals, like you?  Do they support you through the good times and the bad?  We all have positive influences in our lives we wish we were closer to…I challenge you to make a call or send a text to them today and deepen that relationship.  Your success depends on it!

Happiness is a choice...

Now I will be the first to agree that this may be the most “easier said than done” statement of all time but the truth still stands – we have a lot more control of our happiness than we would like to admit. We cannot control what is going to happen to us in this life, but we can control how we respond to what happens to us. You can choose to let your knee-jerk reaction be your norm or you can start looking at unexpected challenges as a certainty and choose to respond positively.

One thing I like to do is think of the most even-keel person in my life and start looking at myself more like them. I tell myself “I have his poise, I have his maturity, I have his demeanor, and I have his love for others.” There are negative aspects of comparing yourself to others, but not when you are coaching yourself to be more like a role model or positive influence in your life.  If that person can have those desirable traits, why can’t you?  There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to model yourself after someone successful and confident.

Lastly, try to plan that bad things are going to happen every now and then. There is a fine line between cynicism and planning your response when something goes wrong. Expect great things to happen but expect yourself to respond maturely when they don’t.

What Inspires You? #INSPIRATION

This picture is from my personal cell phone on a day when I went back to the Mizzou (University of Missouri) Wrestling room for practice. The reason it is significant is because of WHAT Mizzou wrestling means to me, and what it represents in my life.

This Mizzou wrestling room is where I truly became a man.  Between these four walls, I have felt emotions ranging from total and complete bliss to agony, anger, and sadness.  But the thousands of hours in this pressure cooker is what I am most thankful for.  It reminds me of how hard I have worked and why I deserve great things.  It also inspires me to see all these young men working their tails off trying to chase what I was chasing!

The question I have is – what inspires you?  Where can you draw true inspiration from and how can you insert yourself into that situation so that the inspiration you experience can fuel your success?

I go back to this wrestling room numerous times a year just to hit the “reset button” and to get that reminder of who I truly am.  Inspiration is out there and all around us, but you can’t wait for it to land on your doorstep.

We all know which situations, places, people, and roles get us fired up about the lives we are living.  Places and people that remind us how great we can be and how much potential we still have inside of us. Start today by being proactive about getting yourself around those situations.

Go out and actively pursue them…your goals depend on it!

Michael Chandler fights to regain his Bellator lightweight championship on June 24 in front of his hometown fans in St. Louis, MO. Chandler will face Brazilian contender Patricky Freire at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis as part of Bellator 157 on SpikeTV at 8/7pm Central.

I am prepared to lose. I am prepared for the pain and anguish that go along with falling short. I am prepared to look back and have regrets. But I have never been more confident that I am going to win. I have never been more ready to be locked into a cage with another man in front of tens of thousands in an arena and millions watching on Spike TV. But in order to seize the glory and accomplishment what I desire, I must dare greatly. Only by accepting the possibility of failure can I truly give myself permission to let go and fight my fight.

In order to finish this work I started years ago, I must chance the negative possibilities and embrace the uncertainty of the situation. Most of us are battling the same battle in one way or another. Some of us refuse to put ourselves out there because we’re afraid others will make fun. Some of us are so afraid of failure that the paralysis of constant analysis stops us in our tracks and caps our potential. But is it not more admirable to dare and fail than never to have dared at all? Is it not an accomplishment in itself to charge headfirst into challenges even though you might fail? Is the person who has been a lifelong sideline spectator not marred by the regret of knowing neither accomplishment nor failure because he refuses to dare?

What is it you’re afraid of? When I approach a fight, there is a lot on the line. My health, my record, my bank account, my family’s future, my ego, and much more could be at stake to some degree…yet I fight anyway. I don’t ask this to gloat, but why is it that I am willing to risk public humiliation and possible bodily harm? I’ll tell you why: because my life isn’t defined by wins and losses!

Win or lose, great performance or horrible one, my God still loves me. My family still loves me. And I still love myself. Isn’t this what it all boils down to? When you strip life down to the nuts and bolts, if you have those three things, what do you have to lose? With this perspective, the fear of losing pales in comparison to the freedom of enjoying the opportunity to pursue things you never thought possible. Liberation from the pressure of believing that losing is the end of the world produces the best version of you.

Can I say I am fearless going into a fight? Absolutely not… but I sure am excited. Because win or lose, my God still loves me. My family still loves me. And I still love myself.

To Your Success,
Michael Chandler