After watching the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight I couldn’t shake the feeling I would always remember their match as an important event in my personal history -even if it proved underwhelming.
It’s not just because I’m Filipino. I’ll admit that I initially started watching because for some reason it’s expected of us (Filipinos) to root for Pacquiao and hate on Mayweather. While I did root for Pacquiao, spending time hating doesn’t appeal to me -even if that person seems terrible. So when watching their match, I couldn’t see the rivalry between Money and Manny. Instead I saw two exceptional athletes, each of whom a genius in the art of fighting.
I was inspired by their physical strength and the way they’ve transformed themselves into human weapons. They seemed to have such an abundance of it I couldn’t help feeling as though watching them made me stronger too. Whenever Pacquiao would punch Mayweather, I felt my body convulsing and moving with him -similar to the way Dragonball fans un/consciously lift their hands up to help Goku form a Spirit Bomb. But, while I was impressed by the physical aspect of their achievements, I was more inspired by whatever it was they had inside them that gave them the energy to succeed as they have. What was it? That special something that separated these men from the rest of humanity, forcing us to recognize how much stronger their power of will was compared to our own.
The first thing I thought of was hunger. That insatiable want to do more, be more. The kind of hunger that brings out the primal ferocity in otherwise ordinary individuals and giving them the willpower to become extra-ordinary. But anyone can feel this way -and I’m sure many do-, which shows that this feeling of ravenous wanting alone isn’t enough to achieve what Pacquiao and Mayweather have.
In order for hunger to turn into strength there has to be an element of genius. But what is ‘genius’? Surely it isn’t just some elusive “It factor” only a lucky few are born with. Genius is everywhere. From the guests who were able to afford the exorbitant ringside seats (each being a master of his or her own art of business, showmanship, etc), to those who were able to enrich themselves by convincing high rollers that such an event was worth the price of admission. If these people can turn their art of being into masterpieces why can’t everyone else?
As a joke, Giann told me genius was having “The Eye of the Tiger“. The phrase struck me as silly at first but it actually made a lot of sense with whatever it is “Genius” evoked in me. This is what I feel about that stimulating word: Genius is that special kind of internal energy that moves you even when you have nothing left to give. It amplifies the power of hunger and generates strength but continues to exist and flourish despite their absence. Genius is having a vision of something greater. But it’s not enough to see that “something greater”. You need courage too. Genius is having the courage to make your vision a reality, especially when it seems like you’re the only one who can see that vision. It’s daring to believe that impossible is nothing because the word itself says “I’m possible”.
Pacquiao lost and Mayweather was booed. But this strikes me as irrelevant when compared to what they’ve accomplished in their careers. All this being said, I expected more ferocity from Pacquiao. During the last round of the fight I kept hoping he’d pull out that extra bit of strength that separated him from the rest of us. He didn’t. When asked what happened to his ferocity, he answered “I thought I won”. The insight I derived from this is that there’s never room for complacency. Not if you want to achieve greatness. You have to keep pushing even when you think you’ve conquered the forces that oppose you. Even when you think you’ve done all you could possibly do to ensure your success. Even when you think you’ve won. Because genius dares you to believe that nothing is impossible, including the possibility of your defeat. Which is why you give it everything you’ve got and more to make sure your vision of greatness wins over whatever challenges it.
I suppose I was especially moved by the match because I find myself in what I imagined was Pacquiao’s position. I thought I was doing enough in my life. And although I’m still proud of my progress thus far, I know now that I can do so much more and that I shouldn’t be afraid to push harder. Because I know genius is attainable for those who aren’t afraid to do whatever it takes to make their vision of greatness a reality.
So let’s make it happen!