I’ve been doing a series of articles on some of my favorite quotes. Perhaps one of the coolest is a quote from financial guru Dave Ramsey. It’s probably not his best known, so here goes.
“You have to punch that one thing in the mouth repeatedly until it goes down.” He was talking about applying gazelle-like intensity to paying off debt.
In case you missed them a couple months ago, here are Dave’s first three Baby Steps:
1. Save $1,000 as fast as you can for a starter emergency fund.
2. Take your debts, smallest to largest and knock them out one by one.
3. Once you’re debt free (all but the house), start your fully funded emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses.
According to Dave, you have to take the first three steps one by one, until you knock each one out. Then you hammer the next one. As he said, “You have to punch that one thing in the mouth repeatedly until it goes down.”
Concentrated effort gets you traction. It lets you build momentum so you can actually finish something. But if you try to do too many things at once, you won’t make much headway in any of them.
Dave’s idea works pretty well in fitness too. If you have a big goal, you have to get after it and stay after it. When you need to lose a lot of weight, it’s going to take a sustained effort, especially when it gets difficult.
Make a commitment, get started, and “punch that one thing in the mouth repeatedly until it goes down.” Repeatedly. Until, it goes, down.
Now let’s talk about the obvious self defense applications. I’ve taught martial arts for over 25 years and have never advocated picking a fight. But if one is picked with you, and you can’t walk away, you’ve got to deal with it.
If it’s a determined attacker, and you know it’s on, you can’t let them dictate what happens. You have to act quickly and decisively to get control of the situation. You have to continue until the threat is neutralized. Only then can you stop.
I wouldn’t actually punch them in the mouth, though. There are lots of better options that won’t break your hand or get it gashed open on some goofball’s teeth! Some training and experience will go a long way here.
Finally, in an actual Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) cage fight, the highest goal is to win the fight by submission or stoppage, i.e., knockout. So if you get the chance, that’s what you do. Boom!
Whether you’re trying to knock down some debt, knock off 50 pounds, or need to knock out an opponent, it’s going to take a serious effort. “You’ve got to punch that thing in the mouth repeatedly until it goes down.”
Words you can live by. Even if you don’t ever plan on punching anyone!