“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

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The legendary (ex-)boxing anti-hero Mike Tyson has always had a touch of the philosopher about him. Back in is early 20s when he tore through the heavyweight division like a hormonal tornado, he worshipped Jack Dempsey and talked of throwing “good punches with bad intentions.” Years later, after he’d done time for rape, converted to Islam, been declared bankrupt and lost his daughter in a tragic accident, he spoke of his love of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo and his sadness at being “old too soon and wise too late.”

Tyson’s now 47 and he’s been battling drug addiction and money troubles for many years. He’s clearly an intelligent bloke but he fucks up on a depressingly regular basis. In a recent interview he sounded near to rock bottom, talking about being “close to death”. Having followed his career and life after boxing closely, I’ve always wondered how he lurches from one tragedy to the next without seeming to glean some wisdom from the wreckage and put together a plan for survival, some form of stability, even happiness. But he answered that conundrum for me with the brutally insightful quote at top of this blog. He was talking about why no-one had been able to beat him for a long time in his early career. But I wonder if he might have also been subconsciously referring to the bitter failures of his later life.

I’m a very focused person but the idea of being knocked off course resonates with me. Tyson’s quote reminds me that while it’s great to be focused, it’s also important to be prepared for the unexpected – whether that’s getting punched in the face by a heavyweight psychopath or sustaining a bruised ego during the rejection of a creative idea – and to have a plan B, C and even D. Because the thing that often hurts most about a plan going tits-up is that, just like a lightning right hook from the young Mike Tyson, we don’t see it coming.

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About antmelder
Creative Partner at DDB Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

5 Responses to “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

  1. Rob Hatfield says:

    You gotta roll with the punches, baby. Nice post. Merry Christmas!

  2. Ant Melder says:

    Absolutely Rob. “You’ve gotta take the crunchy with the smooth” as the big-nosed Bard of Barking, Billy Bragg, once said. Happy Christmas and all the best for 2014.

  3. David Polayah says:

    Happy belated Christmas to you.I loved this pos so much, I downloaded to book and having been reading over Christmas.You’re an inspiring bloke – don’t go changing.Good luck in Aus.Dave.

    David Polayah Senior Art Director Site: cargocollective.com/davidpolayah Mob: 07971 102 147

    Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:23:52 +0000 To: davidpolayah@hotmail.com

  4. roberthackett@me.com says:

    ‘Set your goals in stone, but your plans in sand’. Love your work.

  5. antmelder says:

    Thanks for the kind words Dave. Happy New Year! And cheers Rob…great quote. Glad you like the blog. I may not be saving lives but at least I get to put some positivity and inspiration out into the world…

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