How to nurture a fighting spirit

‘Look around on a train – why are so few people smiling? I truly believe it’s because they’re tuned into the negativity of today’s society. It’s a shame, because there’s so much goodness out there. You have to look for it. Just us being alive is amazing – the fact our hearts are beating.’
How to nurture a fighting spirit
May 9, 2016   |    DAVID HAYE


I’m a former two-weight world champion. But I’ve spent my whole life being the small guy in the fight. I know what it’s like to fight someone who’s a foot taller than you. I know people have won and lost fights before the first bell actually rang. Because your body can only do what your mind allows it to. Your heart, your will to win, is a mindset.


The way I see it, our minds are a kind of engine. You need to rest them from time to time. The real world is a constant flood of information. And very, very seldom is that information we’re getting pumped with good for our soul. Even when you’re asleep, it drifts in subconciously.
If you take on that negativity, you become negative. And you will not prevail. I meditate to turn my mind off and focus on positivity.


There’s nothing wrong with having fear. It activates your nervous system which makes you sharp. It’s something a fighter needs. Realise fear isn’t a negative thing – it’s a superpower that gives you strength. When you realise that, you harness it. You click into this freakish power. Everybody has it. Put yourself on the line. Let your adrenaline start flowing and you can do so much more.


If you’re knocked down, does that mean you’re not going to be great? Or does it mean: This was a lesson on the way to greatness. I know why I lost fights. I had to go through these experiences to learn things nobody else could tell me. Sometimes it takes a hiccup to get to that next stage. So it’s all about not looking at a loss or a failure the wrong way. Look at it as learning. Think: I am a better person now.


‘When I’m boxing, I tune into a higher state of consciousness. I realise I can keep myself in that state most of the time. It takes a lot of focus and dedication. Some people will never understand it. But the world you live in on a daily basis can be different to 99% of the rest of the world.’

Over the years, I’ve filtered out the negative people and these days only have people around me who understand the journey I’m on.


Get quality rest. A lot of people are walking around tired. But even just a 20-minute nap can really help to rejuvenate you.


1) Relax
Set a timer on your phone for five minutes. Get your back straight. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath.

2) Box thoughts
When things drift into your mind, which they will, open up a box. Put them in the box. And close it.

3) Breathe…
Go back to your breathing. Nice, deep breaths. Keep oxygenating your blood.

4) Spread positivity
Think of good things: spreading healthiness to your organs. Think about your body working with the universe.

5) Keep going
Every week, do five extra minutes. Continue long enough to feel the energy of the world.

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