A toast to the underdogs

I’m swiping this underdog-themed Versus commercial from Kru Joey’s Facebook page (hat-tip to Lee). I often feel like I’m the underdog in many situations, and I’d venture to say that you do as well. Everyone is the underdog at one point or another; that’s how life works. I was going to use the phrase “for better or for worse,” but it didn’t feel right. Why not for better?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LccxeBMLibY&fs=1&hl=en_GB&rel=0]

Being the underdog can be mentally exhausting. That’s why you’ll often find people who have given up before they’ve even started. But being the underdog can also be the X factor that pushes you to achieve more than you ever thought possible. I don’t mind having underdog status because it enables me to focus more on personal achievement, rather than external rewards. In that case a loss is sometimes a win, and a win becomes something much more special than a trophy, promotion, or a passing grade. It makes you appreciate the symbolism behind such rewards.

Check out this video that’s been making the rounds on MMA blogs this week. It’s a fan-made documentary on Ikuhisa Minowa, a Japanese mixed martial artist and pro wrestler who started his career in 1996-1997 with only 1 win and 1 draw in his first 10 bouts. He didn’t let that deter him and instead of quitting he rehauled his training and continued fighting, changing his own luck and amassing several five fight win streaks.

In 2009, more than ten years after his lacklustre debut, Minowa shocked everyone by winning the DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix. He was the smallest man in the tournament, but like all the great underdogs in history, he had the largest heart.

(Language warning.)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTCQhjbaTMc&fs=1&hl=en_GB&rel=0]

In what situations in life are you the underdog? Does that make you feel defeated? Or does it fuel your drive?

Just some thoughts for the new year.

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