Rich Franklin on Life, Struggle, and Why Failure is a Good Thing

Rich Franklin, former UFC middleweight champion, and current Vice-President of Singapore based One FC recently sat down and wrote a column about some of his fighting experiences. He walks through some of the struggles, and failures he has experienced in his life as a fighter and how it carries over into every day life.

I remember the first evaluation I received from administration during my high school teaching career. Although I received a passing evaluation, it was below my standard. While I felt like I failed my students, I also failed myself.


My standard is excellence in everything I pursue and anything less than excellent is subpar. Although disappointed, I attribute my ability “to overcome”, to my involvement in sports my entire life.


You must first realize that failure in any endeavor is inevitable.




Franklin then goes on to explain that if we never fail at what we do, then we are cheating ourselves. If we never fail, our expectations are too low. We’re taking the easy way out when we try to avoid failing. For example, if we are choosing a skill level in a grappling competition that doesn’t challenge us, then why are we competing at all? Go where you will be pushed.

Being challenged is what allows us to thrive.

Franklin then goes on to say,

The athlete understands the importance of preparation. I spend over eight hours preparing for every minute I spend fighting in the cage. Let me say that again – eight HOURS for every MINUTE.


Whether you are putting together a presentation for work or a meal plan for the week, preparation is the foundation your life is built on. A poor foundation will only yield similar results!


We are all fighters, whether we are fighting cancer, struggling to feed our families or closing a business negotiation. Sports appeal to the mind, body and soul triune nature of man and help us achieve balance in life.

And there you have it. If you can learn how to prepare yourself for competition, you can learn to prepare yourself for the rest of life. Part of that preparation comes from challenging ourselves. If you decide to take a tough MMA fight, or to compete a bracket up in a Jiu-Jitsu tournament, you have to prepare yourself beyond what you normally would.

Source: ESPN

It’s impossible to skip preparation and expect to win within the combat sports. So it goes for life. Drifting through life day-by-day without any real plan is not preparation. It is a self-inflicted set-up for failure.

As human beings, we are built with a natural desire to overcome challenges. Meeting a challenge in a controlled environment, such as a combat sport, allows individuals to recognize their capabilities. It allows people to see how they handle pressure and how they cope. If their preparation is honest and dedicated, even a loss moves them forward.

Even Dan Gable, one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live, suffered a loss. Instead of allowing it to cripple him, he used it to propel himself forward and improve more. Loss reveals weakness. Loss reveals what we need to fix. Loss shows us where to prepare. Embrace it.

Success depends on previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucious

Original column from Yahoo




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here