5 Powerful Life Lessons from The Notorious MMA Fighter Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor is a name that virtually everyone in the world has heard of. This mixed martial artist who has a rag to riches story like no other sports star. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Conor McGregor’s early years were very tough. He had to hustle for every penny. There were nights here when he had to replace his dinners with an early night of sleep. Despite his struggles, Connor had a vision in mind that he always wanted to fulfill, and that was becoming a world champion MMA. Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to share with you 5 powerful lessons from the MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
Conor McGregor is an outspoken athlete who has built a multi-million dollar brand based on work ethic, determination, pure grit, and resilience, and a little trash talking.
Conor’s rise to the top is the stuff of legend. The son of a taxi driver in the poor Irish neighborhood of Crumlin, in Dublin 12, he grew up longing to fight his way to fame and fortune. Ireland had never had an MMA champion, and he was literally laughed at when he predicted he would one day be a UFC champion. He went from being a plumber to a king of combat. He’s known as approachable and very grounded, out of the ring, and dedicated to the hard work it takes to get good at something.
Whether you love or hate Conor McGregor one thing is for certain: Conor McGregor changed the UFC and the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).
If you look at the impact on global terms then nobody comes close to McGregor. In terms of character, McGregor will be remembered in terms of charisma, spirit, and mindset. And that is a big part of who McGregor is: He has charisma. Yes, Conor McGregor has a big mouth. But Conor McGregor always backs up his words with action. And that is why the world pays attention when he speaks.
Conor McGregor lives an extravagant and flashy lifestyle the likes of which the UFC has never seen.
He is often compared to Muhammed Ali and Floyd Mayweather due to his very boisterous and prevalent trash talking. Whatever your personal feelings on the man may be, one thing is certain: he has taken the UFC and pop culture in general by storm and despite his loss against Nate Diaz, it appears he’s here to stay.
One can learn many things from The Notorious. This article will include five life lessons from the MMA fighter, each of which aim at making you a better human being.
Considered by many the greatest MMA fighter ever, Conor McGregor is also one of the great success stories. Started from the bottom and now he sits at the top of the game. So you might be wondering, what exactly is the formula behind Conor McGregor’s success? Well, look no further, as mentioned below, are five powerful life lessons that you can learn from the notorious one.
Conor McGregor Lessons #1: Dedication and Commitment
You do not need a scientist to tell you how dedicated and committed Mcgregor is with his career. He is a newer and better version of himself with each passing fight. A big reason why only a couple of people have managed to beat him. Conor Mcgregor could have easily left the world of MMA and rested in ease for his remaining life, but his commitment to strive further turns any ambitions he has into a reality.
Even if you’re at the top of your game, you still need to be working to be better, to improve, to reach the next stage of your growth.
McGregor is truly an inspiration in terms of physical training, with varied routines and a broad range of exercises. He’s also deeply disciplined off screen, with a singular focus. Whatever it is you’re working on, keep practicing (and be glad that you probably don’t have to do tons of one-legged squats). He knew what he could do and he ran with it. He showed up everyday. He trained and trained and trained, if you like, call it practice, practice, practice. He had bruises, suffered injuries and much more but most importantly, he has a lot to show for it; he is popular in the world, he is influential and he has money; he is not broke anymore.
Conor McGregor attributes much of his success to hard work.
His confidence comes from his performance and he believes he is so much better than everyone else because he outworks them. He says it best when he says, “They don’t work harder than me and they don’t want it like I want it.” He has gone further in saying: “I feel that to be at the pinnacle of any game, you’ve got to be a little gone to it. You’re not all there. You’re almost insane to your craft. I pay attention to nothing else.” Start getting obsessed with whatever your big goals are and chase them until the very end.
Conor McGregor has said
Conor McGregor is undoubtedly a talented fighter, but talent alone doesn’t get you to a UFC championship.
It takes dedication, much training and discipline. For instance, if an individual wishes to get fit he or she must put countless hours in the gym, doing cardio, weight training, not to mention a healthy diet. Skipping days every once in a while won’t do much harm, but if skipping days becomes a habit, then all of your training will have been for nothing. The same goes for academic activities — missing one homework assignment won’t kill your grade, but if they pile up they will. Complete assignments on time, study for tests, and for God’s sake, go to class. In the end, all the blood, sweat and tears will not go to waste and sweet progression will be yours.
Dedication is important because it helps keep you going no matter how difficult the job or the task may be.
As long as you are dedicated to what you are doing, you will always find a reason to keep on doing it. When you keep on finding reasons to move forward, you will eventually find success. So, if ever you wonder why you aren’t doing as well as you should be in whatever you are doing, think back and try to see if you are dedicated to it. When you dedicate yourself more to it, you will eventually see why dedication can help bring you the success you have been aiming for. If ever you have found yourself losing any kind of motivation or inspiration in what you are doing to the point that you are thinking about stopping or even quitting, it could be a matter of a lack of dedication on your part.
Conor McGregor Lessons #2: Self Belief
At a time when no one believed Connor McGregor, his own self-belief is what got him to the forefront of the mixed martial arts world. This is also evident in his unusual fighting style. A style that looks borderline cartoonish at first sight; however, the self-belief involved behind it is what makes it work. Use the naysayers to push yourself further. McGregor has a fiery and sometimes controversial public persona, but it’s just that. Each wild statement is calculated, each social post designed.
When people doubt McGregor, it seems to further fuel his drive to succeed.
If people doubt you, prove them wrong. Don’t let setbacks — like one lost fight — derail you from your goals. Naysayers often have one thing in common: they don’t have a lot of confidence in themselves. It’s rarely about you, so if you catch shade, take it as a sign that you’re pushing into success territory that might be getting uncomfortable with your progress. Use it as fuel, and keep working.
Believe you are the best at what you do; you make the best product, you offer the best service and you have the best team around.
Don’t be afraid to showcase your confidence to your customers and/or peers. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but it’s never a bad idea to believe in yourself. During fights, it isn’t abnormal for McGregor to taunt his opponent. Even before his fights, Conor is constantly exuding confidence. He mentally believes that he beats his opponents long before they enter the ring with a war of words. He has even created a famous character known as “Mystic Mac” that goes on to predict when fights against his opponents will end.
Conor McGregor has said
Once you have the required skills, the next thing you need is bucket loads of self belief. Any form of self destructive negativity will only hold you back.
Sporting skills aside, the reason McGregor seems to turn so many heads is for his ability to big himself up, something that we Irish have never been very good at. No, we’re far more inclined to talk ourselves down for fear that we’d come across as cocky or over confident. And when it comes to taking compliments, we’d much rather reject it than say ‘oh thank you, yes I suppose I am great’ than run the risk of prompting the Mean Girls-esque ‘so you think you’re really pretty?’ reaction. McGregor, on the other hand, believes that confidence is essential in achieving your goals. He’s in a league of his own and he knows it. One step away from the world title, in what way would self doubt serve him at this point? It wouldn’t.
Conor McGregor is known for pushing his limits. He fights only the best fighters, goes for knockouts, and even pushes himself to move up in weight classes.
None of these things are easy; however, he gets them done. Why not go for easy fighters and collect his paycheck while never risking his record? The answer is because McGregor knows that the core of the human experience is pushing oneself towards excellence. Think of all the things you would miss out on in life if you never pushed yourself; everything from writing to walking to getting to college exemplifies this tenet. The bottom line is, you don’t really know how strong or great you can be unless you push the boundaries every once and a while. I’m not saying pick up some gloves and aim for the heavyweight championship, I’m simply suggesting that if you’re thinking about doing something new, don’t let difficulty deter you.
Conor McGregor Lessons #3: Who We Surround Ourselves with Matters
McGregor knows that he would be nothing without his team. His brand that he’s building is successful because of his work, but without his trainers, coaches and management, he wouldn’t be where he is today. The same applies to any business. Your team is everything, and every single person fills an important role that contributes to the overall success of the organization. When building your business, give every single team member the same respect and value their contributions equally.
McGregor hiring Tony Robbins as his coach gave him a different perspective than just hanging around yes men. Sometimes you need to be around people who will tell you the truth.
If you’re not surrounded by people who will challenge you and expand your capacity, you’re going to get into a rut and stop innovating. Because you’ll be the victim of your own hype. Even though McGregor is the one training hard and putting in the physical work and taking the beatings in the ring, he knows it isn’t a one man show, even though he technically is the entire brand. There are numerous people behind the scenes that don’t always get the credit, but are crucial to the success that Conor finds in the ring.
From the beginning Conor always knew he’d be the best in the world. And his girlfriend always believed in him too.
You will want to surround yourself with only the best people who support you, have your back at all times and will go to bat for you when the going gets tough. McGregor a lot of times credited his success to his girlfriend. I do not blame him because he had someone who encouraged him, motivated him and cheered him on to go get it. That said, according to press, his girlfriend is living large with that kind of McGregor’s money! Trust is a two-way street isn’t it?
Bigger isn’t necessarily better. A small, close-knit team will always be more efficient than a large, alienated one.
Identify the right environment in which you can thrive, and the people you can trust. The choice we make today shape our future and you become a product of those choices and the people you surround yourself with. Don’t surround yourself with negative and toxic people and re-evaluate the people surrounding you often eliminating the ones who distract you from achieving your goals. Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. We tend to believe our habits are a product of our motivation, talent, and effort. Certainly, these qualities matter. But the surprising thing is, especially over a long time period, your personal characteristics tend to get overpowered by your environment.
Your social support system is a network of people you trust and look to for guidance.
It’s hard to live in this world and achieve all the things you want to achieve. The best thing you can do is to make sure you have a lot of tools available to help support your dreams. This network of support can make all the difference in whether you succeed or fail. The very first on your ranking of support should be family. Family members are the number one method of support because they know where you’re coming from. They also love you and want to help you do everything you want to do in life. And if they don’t, they should! Having a support system is incredibly important if you want to get anywhere in life. You can only do so much on your own so you’ll want to make sure to surround yourself with others. You’re not limited in your options, so you’re sure to reach your goals as soon as possible.
Conor McGregor Lessons #4: Be Humble In Defeat
Though many would laugh at the idea of the Irish man’s humility, McGregor indulges in a kind of doublethink of being both the champion and the underdog: “I am #1 at my craft, but I show up every day as a white belt — as a Day 1 beginner.” Not only that, but when Conor has faced obstacles and losses, he has been humbled and shown honor towards his opponents.
Even if you have reached the top, you need to stay humble and grounded.
Being humble is what others will always want from you. When Conor McGregor’s lost to Nate Diaz by submission in the second round, this was a huge upset that shocked the world. Instead of making excuses such as “I had to move up in weight, he didn’t,” or “I was never supposed to fight him, I was under-prepared,” he in his own words “stormed in and put it all on the line. I took a shot and missed.” His humility was genuine and instead of leaving the ring in a fit, he congratulated Diaz and stayed for a quick interview in which he critiqued his loss concisely and accurately. The key point here is to not be a sore loser. You can’t win them all and complaining or making excuses just makes you look immature and less appealing. Analyzing your mistakes and congratulating your opponent will be much more beneficial and help you to win the next time.
Success is temporary. Success is a journey, not a destination.
When you become successful, don’t rest on your laurels. As soon as you take your eye off the ball, you risk losing your edge. Don’t let success go to your head. Be quick to apologize for your mistakes. You’ll never learn anything or impress anyone by making excuses and diverting blame. And a little humility will remind you that you’re human. Get off your high horse. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. You may be successful, but that doesn’t make you better than anyone else.
As a leader, when you fail, of course, you have to talk about it with your team.
You have to figure out why you failed, what went wrong, how people felt in the field, and figure out ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You have to encourage your team that no matter how good you are, you are always going to lose sometimes. As a leader, it’s important to remind your team that failure is part of the success process and that defeat is just a teaching moment that the whole team can learn from. Your team should feel comfortable being vulnerable in moments of defeat, so they can be completely transparent with you and the team about what went wrong, without fear of embarrassment, reprimand or reprisal.
Being humble and having humility doesn’t mean that you think lowly of yourself in a negative context.
Rather, being humble and having humility means that you recognize your position as a human in the global context. You recognize that who you are is no different than who other people are. All humans are having the same experience, just with unique circumstances. To have a low view of one’s self and to be teachable means you value of not leading an ego-driven life. Instead of being defined by external value, like money and social relationships, you place your value on being humble, on having humility, and learning. Humility is a value of learning to have humility and be more humble.
Conor McGregor Lessons #5: You Need To Have An Image
McGregor has a badass image, complete with the tattoos and the attitude. While many professional fighters have a similar image, McGregor takes it to the extreme and maintains this image across all of his brands. He posts pictures that portray the badass lifestyle and it is well received by his followers.
Part of his success is that he doesn’t drift far away from his established image. Why? Because it’s authentic.
He isn’t pretending to be someone or something that he’s not. He is a badass professional fighter and his image portrays that. Not only that, but he’s cocky and extremely loud, which is portrayed in almost everything that he does. His brand is clearly well-known and within your own business, you need to create an authentic image and stick to it. Keep in mind that a brand will never attract everyone, so don’t worry about the segment of people that aren’t going to connect with your image. Focus on strengthening your image to attract your core audience, because those are the ones that are going to end up converting into sales and cash. You will never appeal to everyone.
A persona and a story will take you a long way, but both need to be authentic.
The reason Conor gets so much attention — beyond his heart-pounding performances in the octagon — is because he is funny, he speaks well, and he is compelling to listen to. It’s safe to say he doesn’t exactly shy away from speaking his mind. In the world of UFC where each competitor has the personality of a puddle, Conor’s appeal shines unopposed. People want to hear what he has to say next. He also proudly leads with his Irish origins to capture the imagination of his home country. He talks about taking a stand and representing his fellow Irishmen on the international stage. If he was in any way inauthentic, this would be entirely transparent and he would be almost universally despised. But he is authentic. And for that reason, his persona is magnetic.
Conor McGregor has said
No matter how appealing, do not attempt to create a “character” to live up to.
If you try to brand yourself as a figurative Superman or Superwoman, capable of anything, you will wear yourself out trying to live up to it. Worse, people will see through or even resent this false persona. Instead, explore your values. Who are you at your core? Make a list of your strengths, interests and individual styles that set you apart. What positive traits and ambitions make you unique? Take your time, and pull them together into a clear, cohesive image you want to portray. It should be simple enough for people to have a sense of you quickly, but also one-of-a-kind and attention-grabbing.
Personal branding is your intentional effort to communicate your value proposition to others.
It’s instilled in the minds of the people with whom you interact. It’s based on their experiences with you and the actions and behaviors you’ve demonstrated around them. Always be yourself really does apply to your personal life and business. You can’t fake authenticity. We’re also definitely not saying to promote yourself as being authentic. It simply means that your words and actions should align consistently. Don’t try to fake it till you make it. Your audience will perceive your authenticity and appreciate you for it. Remember, nobody likes a phony.
Conor McGregor will continue to pave the path of destruction whenever he decides to return to the octagon. And there is no doubt that when he does, his army of fans will be right behind him to support him whether he wins or loses. Wherever you are right now, there are opportunities in your future that you haven’t caught wind of yet. Keep working, keep talking about what feeds your fire, and keep showing up. You never know where you’ll end up.
After diving into Conor’s work ethic and belief system, it’s been a hugely rewarding experience.
Prior to studying him, I knew very little about UFC or mixed martial arts. But watching him win his last two fights against Justin Poirier and Dennis Siver with such confidence and skill was mind blowing. It has given me a newfound appreciation for martial artists and MMA in particular. I’ve learned that regardless of whatever field someone comes from, there are lessons to learn from the top performers who don’t shy away from shaking things up.
This is what I love teaching my team. To look at failures as feedback.
Because life is always giving us exactly what we need in order to expand and grow. We’ve seen examples of McGregor over and over again, in business and in life. Your comeback is just around the corner. All you have to do is learn from your failure. Conor McGregor’s unshakeable certainty in himself and his mental toughness allowed him to overcome odds no one else was ever able to overcome. Though at some point ever fighter’s time on top comes to an end, few people will ever have earned the title of World Champion more than Conor McGregor.
Thank you so much for reading. Be who you want to be. God bless you.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.
Thank you for sharing these powerful life lessons from Conor McGregor. Your post was inspiring and thought-provoking, and it’s great to see how lessons from the fighting world can be applied to life. Much appreciated.