“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.
We still can’t get over Pacquiao-Marquez 3. Expected to be a one-sided affair, the fight turned out to be evenly matched. Pacquiao, the favored protagonist, was said to have underperformed. In contrast, “El Dinamita” Marquez gave his fans a memorable performance. I’m not going to talk about the judges’ decision – so many TV shows and articles have already given their take on the matter. But what I’d like to look into is the drive to innovate. Was this fight all about one fighter having the desire to reinvent himself against another who chose to be complacent?
Unexpected success can be overwhelming. When all the accolades come in, there is a tendency to rest on your laurels. Suddenly, one forgets the minute details that enabled him to succeed. Lifestyle changes set in – the hunger factor diminishes – and one tries to live in cruise control. In contrast, when one has so much to prove, the desire to give a good performance fuels innovation and passion. The key to remain on top is to keep the fires of innovation and passion alive so that one can remain on top.
This is what makes sports interesting. An underrated athlete can spring a lot of surprises. If the superstar athletes put their guard down, they can get hit. How many upsets have we had in our lifetime? Tyson-Douglas, Mavericks-Heat, The Miracle on Ice in hockey – the list goes on and on. Nothing is definite until the game is played. The result – immortality and recognition as the best in the world, or suffering the ignominy of being undone and falling short – depends on whether one is up to the challenge.
Never stop getting better. Keep on reinventing yourself. And keep innovation alive. The world is full of ups and downs. It’s nice to topple someone who is head and shoulders above the rest – just as King David did. To prevent that, ask yourself: how did I succeed in the past? Did I develop skills that weren’t there before? Did I move beyond my comfort zone? Now that I have a powerful left straight – would I need to upgrade my right jab against the next guy? What if he suddenly develops power behind his fists – must I upgrade my vaunted power too? There is no limit to the kind of imagination that is needed in order to foresee future success. But for sure, the Goliath who fails to innovate and becomes predictable will eventually be toppled down by the upstart with the heart and passion of a champion.
Manny was such an innovative athlete in the past. All of a sudden, he thought he was invincible. However, he may have gotten complacent. Now he’s back to earth. And now he has time to rethink his strategy. I’m confident that the Pacman will emerge a better fighter. He simply has to go back to where he once was – to a time when he can only dream of the riches he now enjoys.
Innovation is risky. It is also uncomfortable. But it is what makes us better. And in the final analysis, when we desire to be immortalized, we must never stop finding ways to be creative in this fight called life.
- Manny Pacquiao: A 4th Fight with Marquez Could End His Career (bleacherreport.com)