Do you remember the momentous boxing match that occurred at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on February 11, 1990? The one where underdog Buster Douglas defeated then undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson? Yes? No? Maybe?
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a little background of the fight according to Wikipedia–
Going into the fight, Mike Tyson was the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He held the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles. Despite the several controversies that marked Tyson’s profile at the time, such as his notorious, abusive relationship with Robin Givens; the contractual battles between longtime manager Bill Cayton and promoter Don King; and Tyson’s departure from longtime trainer Kevin Rooney; Mike Tyson was still lethal in the ring, scoring a 93-second knockout against Carl “The Truth” Williams in his previous fight. Most considered this fight to be a warm-up bout for Tyson before meeting up with then-undefeated number 1 heavyweight contender Evander Holyfield (who was ringside for the fight. Tyson was viewed as such a dominant heavyweight that he was not only viewed as the world’s top heavyweight, but often as the number one fighter in the world pound-for-pound (including by Ring Magazine), a rarity for heavyweights.
Buster Douglas was ranked as the #7 heavyweight by Ring Magazine, and had met with mixed success in his professional boxing career up to that point. His previous title fight was against Tony Tucker in 1987, in which he was TKO’d in the 10th round. However, a string of six consecutive wins gave him the opportunity to fight Tyson. In the time leading up to the fight, Douglas faced a number of setbacks, including the death of his mother, Lula Pearl, 23 days before the fight.
Douglas, a 42-to-1 underdog, had done the seemingly impossible: He had beaten the unbeatable Mike Tyson. But how or should I say why did this happen? The reason Buster was able to defeat Mike Tyson was because he had a “Why.”
23 days prior to the fight, Douglas’s mother, Lula Pearl, died suddenly of a stroke. His mother seemed to be the only one who believed in him and his ability to beat “Iron Mike.” He didn’t want to let her memory down. His “Why” was so great that it didn’t matter that he was up against then undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. It didn’t matter that he was the underdog. It didn’t matter that the only person that believed in him was his mother. What mattered was that the only person who believed in him was now gone and he didn’t want his mother’s belief in him to die also. Buster Douglas knew his “Why” for winning.
The following video, narrated by Eric “ET” Thomas, motivational speaker, author and minister, gives an awesome overview of the “Why” Buster Douglas had and how it motivated him to beat Mike Tyson.
We can all take a lesson from Buster in that knowing your “Why” for living, working and raising your family will also give you the momentum and drive to do and achieve more than you could ever imagine.
Les Brown, motivational speaker, author and former television host, says if you know your “Why” for living it will give you a reason to keep pressing forward when times get hard.
So what’s your “Why?” Why do you get up early every morning before anyone else does? Why do you keep pressing forward in a business that hasn’t taken off yet? Why do you want to get out of debt? Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to go back to school?
Once you know your “Why,” you have found your reason to keep going. And your “Why” doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s.
Maybe the reason you get up early is because you want to read and spend time with God before starting your day. Maybe your why to keep pressing forward with your own business is because you know God has placed this desire in your heart and it keeps burning and pushing you forward to succeed. Maybe your why to getting out of debt is because you want to own your own home and you need to save the down payment. Maybe your why to lose weight is to live long enough to see your grandkids or even great-grandkids. Maybe your why to go back to school is to start a new chapter in your life.
No matter your why, once you find it…You will become unstoppable!