Overcoming Your Setbacks



“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” - Thomas Carlyle

It is the painful obstacles that hold most people back from achieving greatness. The great become great by figuring out how to overcome their mistakes, weaknesses and persevering through setbacks.

A fitting example of perseverance is found in the story of Lauro Salas. The Mexican born boxer challenged the world’s lightweight champion Jimmy Carter on April 1, 1952.

Few thought that Lauro Salas had any chance of winning against Carter. Salas was labeled a 4-1 underdog.

Salas never gave up in the 15-round fight.

Jimmy Carter, bigger and more skilled, landed punch after punch piling up points through the first fourteen rounds. Yet, Carter was overwhelmed by Salas in the 15th round. Salas unleashed an unrelenting barrage of punches that eventually sent Carter to the canvas for a four count. Carter would later state, “He never did hurt me, but I couldn’t figure him out.”

In the end, Carter won by unanimous decision. Salas’ stunning performance bought him a rematch.

Lauro Salas had conviction that he had won and was determined to make it a reality. In an interview afterwards, while bulking up eating sundaes at an ice cream shop for his next fight, he said in broken English, “I beat him last time, but don’t got it.” To demonstrate his feelings he flicked his cherry squashing it against the back bar, and proclaimed, “Just like that I crush Carter.”

The public thought Lauro Salas’ initial performance was a fluke. The odds of Jimmy Carter winning in the rematch, on May 14, 1952, were 10-1. That did not matter to Salas.

Jimmy Carter would again torment Salas with his annoying lefts and snappy right hooks. This time Salas fought back like an infuriated animal. He almost knocked Carter out in the 2nd round and took numerous punches up until the 11th. By then gamblers were betting 15-1 odds for a Carter win.

Lauro Salas dug in and provided an early surprise attack that caught Carter off guard. Salas maintained dominance, racked up points, and cut up Carter’s face.

Lauro Salas’ perseverance and willingness to try new tactics won the rematch by split decision.

When you are thinking about giving up on your investment, business, or goal, remember Lauro Salas’ story. Stick it out. Fight it. Remember that all intelligent fanatics had to overcome painful obstacles.

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