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There's hardly a single lesson I've learned in life that didn't come the hard way. So I know that life can sometimes seem like a big hole, and that you have to be pulled up out of it from time to time. But I also know you can pull yourself out. I say this as someone who read his first whole books at the age of sixteen; who was married and divorced four times and found the fifth time to be the charm; who's the oldest person ever to hold the heavyweight boxing title. I know from experience that you should never give up on yourself or others, no matter what. Everyone in life goes through a hard time sometime, but you can't let that define who you are. What defines you is how you come back from those troubles and what you find in life to smile about.
I grew up the fifth of seven children in the toughest neighborhood in Houston, and I didn't have a lot to look forward to in life. At least I didn't think I did. I was hungry all the time; I dropped out of school in the eighth grade; I relied on my size and my fists to make my way. I became the world heavyweight champion against Joe Frazier in 1973, only to lose the title I'd worked so hard for a year later in my fight against Muhammad Ali. Imagine losing everything you think matters to you in ten seconds. For a long time in my life, I was so full of rage, people couldn't wait to get out of my way -- just like when you see a Doberman pinscher and cross to the other side of the street.
I see a lot of tough guys come into the George Foreman Youth and Community Center in Houston who remind me of myself when I was a teenager. Just like my old friend and boxing coach in California, Charles "Doc" Broadus, did with me, I always put them in the ring against the smallest guy there who knows how to box. The big guy comes out all bluster and swinging this way and that. And the little guy doesn't even hit him, he just moves out of the way until after a while, the big guy is completely out of breath. That's usually about the time he realizes that the smaller guy could have killed him with a few well-placed jabs and that it's how you fight that counts.
This book is about fighting smart for all the things that really matter in life: yourself, your relationships, and your kids. I have done some crying while doing this book. I have gotten some old bones out of the closet, brought back memories I needed to refresh myself with, and reminded myself of some valuable lessons.
As the father of ten children, I am often called on for advice, and I always try to make my kids understand that any advice I offer is a gift. Just as with any other gift, once you give it, it's no longer yours. It belongs to those you've given it to, and it's theirs to do with as they see fit. That's the spirit in which I hope you read what I have to say.
Copyright © 2002 by George Foreman
Chapter One: Don't Take My Advice
I got an e-mail not long ago from one of my grown daughters who lives far from home telling me how lonely she sometimes is; and that there is no one in her life right now to look to for advice. I know how she feels; I've been in that same place. Because no matter how blessed you are to have loving relationships with family and friends, there are times in nearly everyone's life when you feel the same way, when you say to yourself, "Who should I turn to?"
The answer is simple: you. The real answers you are looking for are inside of you. The hard part is being able to hear them. Listening to yourself is no different than being able to listen to what someone else tells you. Say you're in a relationship that you really want to work but deep in your heart you know it's not right for you. Your friends can tell you it's bad for you, that you've got to get out of it. But you're not going to make a move until you're ready. It's the same whether you're telling yourself to leave or someone else is telling you.
Wisdom is nothing more than a covenant with the truth. I made a pledge to myself long ago that no matter how much the truth hurts, I would accept it and hold myself to it. That is all wisdom is. To be able to see a lie or an injustice, you have to first look inside yourself, searching every corner of your mind, looking to clean every bit of your conscience. If you do this from day to day, the gift is complete: You can take advice from yourself.
Even if you have never found yourself without someone to turn to, your parents or your spouse or your best friend might not always be there, just as I won't always be there for my daughter. One day, you will have dreams, hopes, and disappointments so personal that you will not be able to tell those folks or anyone else about them. These you have to figure out for yourself.
Another reason it's so important for you to be able to trust yourself is that long after anyone else gives you advice, they will have forgotten what they told you. You're the only one who will have to live with the decisions you made. There is one person who has to look out for you always with the greatest intentions. That person is you. You will no doubt meet many people in this life, as I have, people who will love you, who will try to provide for you and instruct you along the way. But even if other people are there to love you, it's important to remember that, ultimately, they are just like you. They are human beings, with all their own fears, trying like everybody else to make it through each day. No one has all the answers; otherwise, why would people have so many fears?
Who you take advice from says a lot about who you are. I have been a few different people in my life, but I now have a person who I respect and trust: me. And until you reach that place in life you are at the mercy of fate.
Copyright © 2002 by George Foreman
Don't Take My Advice
There's Always a Reason to Smile
Life Is Short
Think Before You Speak
What Goes Around Comes Around
Don't Be Afraid to Change
Why Life Isn't Fair
You're Never Too Old to Fight
The Usable Past
Feeling Your Pain
Never Give Up
The Kiss of Death
Say Something Nice
Love and Marriage
Keeping Love Alive
The Only Sides Kids Should Have to Choose Are in Sports
What's in a Name?
Love Your Kids
Let Your Kids Be Kids
Tell Your Children the Truth
When Life Knocks You Down
Posted April 19, 2008
'george formans guide to life' is a very remarkable book. each chapter has a very special principle from his own experiences and years which makes somebody elses life alittle better. he is a bestselling arthur,a minister, and a gold medal winner. the 2 principles that I liked the most were:self esteem and never give up. this book can be a big help for lots of people cause so many people give up. great gift idea for a friend or family member.
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Posted May 28, 2011
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