I love watching the reality show The Ultimate Fighter.
Where in Hollywood, the common assumption is if you are a handsome guy with a greek-god like physique and with one month of training, you can take on 20-fully-armed-overly-muscled ugly looking bad guys with one single punch, in this show, you get to see the reality of life, the not so romantic, spartan & regimented life of a fighter. In a world where the common misconception of the life of a fighter is that of a man who loves to smash & bang anyone and everyone in sight — in this show you will get to see insights into the lives of these extra-ordinary human beings; human beings who have dedicated their lives to one of the toughest sports in the world.
Through this show, in each and every episode, you get to see the lives of these fighters, listen to their thoughts, get a peek into their belief systems, become part of their hopes & dreams and understand their struggles in making this dream of theirs — to become the next UFC fighter with a 6-figure contract.
However, what really turns me on are the lessons that I have learnt from watching these realities shows — lessons which are rather strange & not what you would normally expect.
So here are the 5 lessons I have learnt from watching these realities shows:
- EVERYONE IS THE SAME BUT……
Everyone believes they have a chance to win, hopes in god, wants to do good for their family, has good intentions, has a good side to them, has a family with either a son, daughter, mother, father, husband or wife — In other words — they are exactly like you and me. But that doesn’t mean anything in the real world. What matters in the end is — do you have the skill to succeed & did you get what you want?
- IF YOU ARE NOT A PERSONAL BRAND, NO ONE REMEMBERS YOU
We remember the controversial ones because they entertain us, we remember the good ones because we connect to them, we love to hate the bad ones because we despise them but in the end — the ones who are ordinary and average — are always forgotten. If you are in doubt — check each and every character.
- IN SUCCESS, LUCK PLAYS A GREATER ROLE
So many times I have noticed that during a fight, the fighter with experience, with amazing skill and incredible talent — still loses the fight. Why? Because the opponent who didn’t have that much experience, didn’t have so much skill and didn’t have so much talent — got to the next round with one punch, one kick or one moment that changed the fight completely. And this unexpected event which changes peoples lives forever, is what I call — Luck
- YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I SCRATCH YOURS
The entire show, the contestants, the audience, the production staff, the producer, director, creative team — every single person in the reality show — wants something and gives something back in exchange. If you are of no benefit or purpose — you are removed from the show. There is no free lunch here. So ask yourself — what benefit are you to anyone?
- YOU HAVE A GOOD HEART? SO WHAT?
Just because you have good intentions, a good heart and a good character doesn’t mean you will automatically succeed. In the real world all this ‘goody-goody’ stuff doesn’t work.
Don’t believe me?
Ask Donald Trump.
As I watch yet another episode, I see the losers cry, I observe how people break down when they realize they have lost a chance to their dreams because of an injury or bad decision by the judges, I watch the unexpected twists & turns that life pulls on these people…. And entertain myself with the highs & the lows of these characters — almost everyone whom I will never meet but remember as yet another player in the game of life. Its funny how easy it is for me to judge them. But how hard it is for me to contemplate being in their shoes. Seriously speaking, I would never want to be in their shoes. I cannot for the life of me imagine how I would take all this physical put-down, pressure & pain every single day, every single hour and every single minute of my life. In fact, I sometimes wonder — how do these people cope up with life during their old age — when their are no longer able to fight, when their health is no longer able to cope up with this regiment, when their joints, their muscles & their bodies are completely damaged due to the wear & tear of excessive usage. What will they do next?
I shudder to even think that far….
I’m just glad I am not a fighter but just a spectator where this show is concerned. However, I know for a fact, I am not a spectator where my own fights, struggles, hopes and dreams are concerned. That is one area I cannot escape, I cannot fast-forward and I cannot switch off. I have to go through the grind, I have to figure out the solutions to the problems and yes, I have to ensure every episode is as entertainingly positive towards me moving forward to achieving my dreams. And where this is concerned, I just know one thing — there are no excuses, there are no justifications and there is no use for explanations over why I have failed. I just have one acceptable answer — Success at any cost. Because that is how I have lived my life — by myself.
Luck or no luck, end of the day, I will make my shit happen.
And that is my Ultimate Fighting Championship.