A fighter must learn to be quick on his feet, but slow to speak.

As boxers, we must be able to make very fast, in-the-moment decisions. We’re in combat after all, so being quick on your feet and ready to react is a moment-by-moment necessity. A lot can happen in even just half a second, and there is much to be lost – or gained. But while this snap-decision mentality is key to surviving in the ring, it isn’t always the best trait to take with you in your everyday life. In the real world, a decision made too quickly can cost you a lot more than a blow to the face or a few points – if that decision turns out to be wrong, that is. The trouble is, very few quick, impulsively-made decisions are the right ones. So while it’s not easy, learning to control your reactions and to reflect before making important decisions is a crucial life lesson.

I have noticed that my colleagues in the sport tend to be impulsive, and it isn’t doing them any favors in life. It isn’t necessarily their fault – their brains are trained to move fast. One minute is a lifetime in boxing, and I understand that all too well. But let’s slow down for a moment and realize that maybe it’s best to leave that mindset in the gym and in the ring. This can be challenging, especially for the quick-witted and sharp-tongued fighter. But hear me out.

Quitting your job because you don’t like something your boss said, or snapping at a stranger or even at your girlfriend because you lost your cool – are impulsive decisions that can have long-lasting, negative consequences. So can failing to manage your anger and the outbursts that may accompany it. Think back to a time you lost your temper and said something you wish you could take back. Or worse – did something you wish you could take back. Was it worth it?

There’s a quote by the great living philosopher Jordan Peterson that I choose to live by, and I hope you’ll ponder it. “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.”

Be a good man.