George Foreman knows what it's like to get knocked down -- in the ring and in life -- and he knows how to get back up again. Two-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, he knows what it takes to succeed. He has a wealth of life experience to share, and in George Foreman's Guide to Life: How to Get Up Off the Canvas When Life Knocks You Down he does just that. Here's what George has to say about:
TAKING ADVICE: "The real answers you are looking for are inside of you. The hard part is being able to hear them." BEING AFRAID OF CHANGE: "Be afraid to stay where you are in life. Stepping out...is what makes you good, better, and even the best at what you're doing." GETTING OLDER: "Old age is not something that happens to you; it's a choice you make. You can look in the mirror and cry...or you can look in that mirror...and dream another dream." LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES: "I try to let the past stay where it is and let today speak for itself....Learn from your mistakes but don't be chained to them." DETERMINATION: "There are always others trying to get to the same goal you are, only they decide to stop halfway down the road. And when they walk away, they leave the road paved for you." MARRIAGE: "Let every day be like the first day you fell in love. It's about trying to put your best self forward, not just to others but to the one you've pledged your life to." CHILDREN: "I believe how you teach your kids life's lessons is as important as what you teach them. You've got to love kids into another gear."
Chapter One: Don't Take My Advice
I got an e-mail not long ago from one of my grown daughters who lives far from home telling me how lonely she sometimes is; and that there is no one in her life right now to look to for advice. I know how she feels; I've been in that same place. Because no matter how blessed you are to have loving relationships with family and friends, there are times in nearly everyone's life when you feel the same way, when you say to yourself, "Who should I turn to?"
The answer is simple: you. The real answers you are looking for are inside of you. The hard part is being able to hear them. Listening to yourself is no different than being able to listen to what someone else tells you. Say you're in a relationship that you really want to work but deep in your heart you know it's not right for you. Your friends can tell you it's bad for you, that you've got to get out of it. But you're not going to make a move until you're ready. It's the same whether you're telling yourself to leave or someone else is telling you.
Wisdom is nothing more than a covenant with the truth. I made a pledge to myself long ago that no matter how much the truth hurts, I would accept it and hold myself to it. That is all wisdom is. To be able to see a lie or an injustice, you have to first look inside yourself, searching every corner of your mind, looking to clean every bit of your conscience. If you do this from day to day, the gift is complete: You can take advice from yourself.
Even if you have never found yourself without someone to turn to, your parents or your spouse or your best friend might not always be there, just as I won't always be there for my daughter. One day, you will have dreams, hopes, and disappointments so personal that you will not be able to tell those folks or anyone else about them. These you have to figure out for yourself.
Another reason it's so important for you to be able to trust yourself is that long after anyone else gives you advice, they will have forgotten what they told you. You're the only one who will have to live with the decisions you made. There is one person who has to look out for you always with the greatest intentions. That person is you. You will no doubt meet many people in this life, as I have, people who will love you, who will try to provide for you and instruct you along the way. But even if other people are there to love you, it's important to remember that, ultimately, they are just like you. They are human beings, with all their own fears, trying like everybody else to make it through each day. No one has all the answers; otherwise, why would people have so many fears?
Who you take advice from says a lot about who you are. I have been a few different people in my life, but I now have a person who I respect and trust: me. And until you reach that place in life you are at the mercy of fate.
George Foreman is a two-time former heavyweight champion of the world, an Olympic gold medalist, a revolutionary in the grilling industry, and an ordained minister, in addition to being a best-selling author. He lives in Houston, Texas, where he founded the George Foreman Youth and Community Center.