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Win or Learn Summary – August 2022

Author: John Kavanagh

Short Summary
Win or Learn (2016) is a detailed account of the life of John Kavanagh and the explosion of MMA in Ireland and globally. His journey starts from training people in a shed to owning a training gym that attracts all the fighters globally. While narrating his journey Kavanagh also portrays one of the world’s famous fighters, McGregor.
win or learn
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

In Win or Learn, John Kavanagh gives detailed insight into the early days of his gym and MMA in Ireland and the career of Mcgregor. Win or Learn shows that learning every day is more important than focusing on how many times you have won and how many times you have lost. The book explains the journey of Conor McGregor and his rise as a person of charisma, attitude, and work ethic. Conor McGregor is not just a wealthy athlete. There is a much-detailed history of his successes. The reader of win or learn also gets to know things from the perspective of the coach John Kavanagh who was bullied and lived a broke life. From training athletes in a broken shed, this guy went to training some of the best athletes who wanted to master the arts of combat and that is an inspiration for all of us.

Win or Learn Key Points

Dream Big and Make it Happen

You might have heard people making fun of those who have big and magnificent dreams. A child says, ‘I am going to be the president or a friend says, ‘I hope I get to become an astronaut and see space’ and as a response, we laugh at them and give a sarcastic reply. But John Kavanagh in Win or Learn advocates for dreaming big. He spent a childhood where he was frequently bullied. Later on, he had to take financial help from his wife for a while to sustain his living. His earliest gym was under a shed where a tree was growing right in the middle. 

 These hard years and struggles did not diminish his morale. He always dreamed big and knew that he would become a world champion. Not only did he believe in himself, but he was also mentally preparing himself to be who he wanted to become. That is why just like him if you want to be successful you need to believe that you are destined for what you want to be. Embrace your dreams long before they turn into reality.

Growth Mindset Will Allow You to Achieve Great Things in Life

A growth mindset directly affects your cognition and your actions. If you tell yourself, that you are here to learn and grow and not fake perfection; you will learn a lot in life. It promotes and pushes you as a person. As Wallace Wattles would say that the very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself. You must be thinking that surely this is simple and can be easily incorporated into our lives. But this is not the case. There are several reasons why most people cannot implement the growth mindset.

To begin with, growth happens at the bottom. When you say you will adopt the growth mindset you are admitting to being at the first beginner stage and that is not comfortable to admit for most people. Secondly, beginning things might sound cool on one hand. But on the other hand, beginning means struggling, imperfections, and multiple fallbacks.

 Imagine a skilled painter asking you what you are doing these days. You reply you are learning to paint. At this moment they ask you what medium you use and you answer with water paints or acrylics. Now water paints and acrylics are used by beginners because they are easier to master. The artist replies to your response as oh, yes, it is always hard at the beginning, do not worry you will get the hang of it, or something like this. At this moment you will feel degraded but you need to remember that everyone starts at the bottom. It is not about winning losing or perfecting. It is about growing and learning each day. Just like the author who was not disheartened by his poorly conditioned gym.

Passion and Calling

Most Self-help gurus and personal trainers believe that every human knows deep down in their heart what he is destined to do. What he wants to become and how he wants to spend his time and energy. In fact, they call having found one’s passion one of the biggest blessings in life. Imagine spending your whole life doing something that is not truly aligned with who you are. Sometimes we pursue things because we want to look good in the eyes of others but we forget that we are the only ones who have to live with the consequences of the decisions we make. Others might give you advice and push you to do something, but they will not be here to face the hardships and downfalls.

So, if you are someone who has found their passions just like Kavanagh and McGregor; work hard on nurturing them. It will pay off. Everything requires hard work, sweat, and blood. It is better to fail and improve at something that you love rather than working hard and feeling out of place and miserable. Nurturing and working towards your passion will pay off.

Win or Learn Quotes

“When you have confidence in the physical side of things, you become more confident in the non-physical. You” ― John Kavanagh

“He often says that you need to have a darkness inside you to compete at a high level in any sport. If you can’t tap into that dark side, you’ll quickly come unstuck.” ― John Kavanagh

Win or Learn Review

The book is inspirational. I will recommend Win or Learn to athletes, coaches, and trainers. It is a dense read but if you are somewhat of a sports enthusiast you will enjoy it.

To Whom I Would Recommend Win or Learn

  • To the fanatic and avid MMA and UFC fans.
  • To the eighteen-year-old aspiring athlete who wants to take inspiration from the best athletes out there.
  • And to anyone who wants to know how to follow a dream and stay persistent.
Win or Learn Summary - August 2022

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