Notes & Quotes from Pacman: My Story of Hope, Resilience, and Never-Say-Never Determination

manny pacquiao book quotesDate Finished: February 2018
Did I Like It? 7.5/10

The books Amazon Page

Manny Pacquiao is one of the most recognised athletes in the world thanks to his talent in and outside the ring. It doesn’t take long until you realise religion is a big part of his life, but he knows he has to work hard to achieve his goals. These goals aren’t only for himself but are for his people, those who live in poverty as he did growing up. This book is a shorter read and goes through his life up to the point leading into his first fight with Floyd Mayweather (2011). And so much has happened since! The editing in the book is a massive let down though…

Click here to the index of sports autobiographies.

What I Highlighted:

I don’t like to get hit. i’ve gotten used to it over time, and it is a product of the excitement i have created, but i really don’t like to get hit.

I need to create a war inside the ring. A war is far more exciting than a one-sided rout. i want to suspend the audience and captivate them—give them something to keep them on the edge of their seats. This is excitement. This is suspense. This is how I became someone that people talked about.

So i am a businessman because i’m a fighter, and i am a fighter because I’m a businessman. This philosophy goes hand in hand with everything i’ve ever done in my life, not just fighting.

There was only “less,” and I was introduced to a concept of living with less from the first day of my life.

I don’t remember the details as to how or why I started beating that tree, but I believe it all started after watching my first Bruce Lee movie. I recall being struck by the man’s speed and agility. I wanted to be just like him, so I spent hours imitating him, punching and kicking the tree. or so I tried.

A fight is a series of constant reminders to be present at all times and to focus every second.

Hunger and security are what drive me to succeed. It is where I get my physical and spiritual power. Even today, I feel that same base urge, as if I’m fighting to satisfy the hunger of my family and my country.

I didn’t win the fight because I was bigger. I won because I caught him at the right moment with my quickness. I guess some things just don’t change, as I still use my quickness to out-dance, out-punch, and out-think my opponents.

My mother’s roasting and selling peanuts taught me that there was always a way to make some sort of money.

I needed my profits to stay in business. The discipline and willpower those donuts forced me to develop have served me well all my life. This was the first lesson I can remember learning: Never give in to your immediate desires. They will make you want more. Later, I learned that this is called self-indulgence, and immediate pleasures could actually hurt me and hurt others around me. Patience is a virtue, especially when you are in survival mode.

When I was twelve something changed my life forever. It was 1990, and I had dropped out of school to help my family sell donuts and bread. I don’t remember where I was, but I was somehow able to watch a boxing match with uncle Sardo. It was the memorable match between Mike Tyson and James ‘Buster’ Douglas—the fight that Douglas won. That fight was my first encounter with a professional match. I’d heard that Mike Tyson was a tiger—an invincible, fighting, tank of a man, and I was fascinated to watch him in action. I was absolutely astonished when the grand Tyson lost. My jaw was on the dirt floor. How could he possibly not be the victor? It was then that I learned that even champions could never count on their wins, that they have to earn them every single time.

Though I was still harboring thoughts of becoming a priest, my life changed that day. I knew without a doubt that I would become a fighter. I knew that the underdog can, and often does, win. This was my first visual hope in life that I could be something or someone. I was the underdog, and maybe not even big enough to be a fighter. There was also the fact that I wasn’t from anywhere in the world that mattered, and I had nothing in my background to indicate that I could become a world-famous sports phenomenon. I had nothing to lose.

Even though he had no formal training himself, we both took this seriously and knew that we were going to be champions one day, why? Because we operated under the theory that the most devoted would be the most rewarded. Pretty soon my friends around the neighborhood would come by to spar with me.

I knew I would have to grow if I wanted to be the best fighter in the world. And the world was waiting.

Because I never accepted their kindness without working for it, most of the restaurant workers always treated me fairly and with respect.

Always work hard for what you get in life. As soon as you take the easy way out, you will continue to live the “hand me more” lifestyle, and life will only get harder for you. working for your food and shelter keeps you strong and builds character.

I do know that whatever I wanted to be, I just envisioned in my mind. I would see it all so clearly, and it was almost as if the thing I wanted was already in my grasp. It’s an intense exercise of focus and visualization: I would focus and visualize every single step of what I wanted to be, how I would get there, and what help I would need. Then I would imagine finding ultimate success.

All of this is born out of desire. You must have a passion for what you want to become.

What breaks you can always make you stronger as long as you look through your defeat to the victory that can lie ahead of it.

I tried to enjoy every moment. I knew this was a life-changing experience. I remember looking around at all of the different people walking by.

This proved to me that Freddie loved this sport as much as I did, and he had invested just as much as I had invested. In other words, he invested his whole life. That is why I felt comfortable putting my life into his hands and unconditionally trusting him while listening to everything he said about boxing and life in general.

I had learned not to press the action or give any indication of where I was mentally or emotionally. I’ve found that if people think they can talk you into what they want, they will press harder and eventually reveal their hands.

If you truly believe as I do, and your faith is so strong it cannot be shaken under any circumstances, then there is no reason to be nervous about anything in life. Faith and confidence go hand in hand.

Later, when I got back with my trainers and my friends, I was able to put into perspective that I was not the one who lost the fight. The warrior and the champion inside me did not lose. He was still in there and now he would have to come out and show a side I had never seen or felt before. I had to overcome defeat and believe in myself again. All these years of growing up, all I ever did was focus on other people believing in me, and now I had people who believed in me and were pushing me to believe in myself again, too.

I have learned that one of the best ways to keep from making the same mistake twice is to be surrounded by quality people. The truth is, we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with, both in life and in business.

Make sure the people closest to you in your personal and business life have the qualities you seek and make sure you can trust them. Be absolutely positive they have your best interests at heart and not their own. Everyday life is a fight in many ways. You need to rely on your cornermen to help you win those battles.

Find those who will help you become the person you are supposed to be and don’t let them go. Listen to them even when you don’t want to. Listen to them even when it hurts or goes against what you want to do. The truth is they can see what is going on better than you can.

Don’t ever stop forgiving, giving, growing, learning, and striving. Like they say, life is a journey, not a destination. It is in the doing that everything is possible.

The love of the fans is really one of the most incredible joys that I have in life, especially when it is unexpected. Sports fans are tough, and boxing fans are tougher.

And the more recognizable you are, the easier it is for the fans to relate and empathize with you. visibility is very important to a sport. It’s all about how well your fans can see you. The more they see you, the more they can become a part of you and a part of the sport. But there is a flip side to the adoration. When you have such a strong, loyal fan base, they can be particularly tough on the competition. Sometimes they will actually despise the competition, boo them, or make them feel unwelcome. So in the sport of boxing, generally speaking, your fans belong to you and nobody else.

I think it is important for the world to see what you are doing and the good ways you are trying to help your countrymen. I believe and hope it will motivate others to do the same.

With this fight, I had wanted to prove to the world, to my fans, and to the children in the streets that they only need heart to make it through tough times. Sometimes, that is all you need, sometimes that is all you have—just your heart. This cannot be measured by statistics, or what others tell you. Nor can it be measured by the opinions of others. It is what it is. It takes everything you have inside to just make it happen, no matter what.

People need hope. With hope, we can get through what we have in front of us today and press forward until tomorrow. Hope is as important as love because without one you can’t have the other. It is through hope, love, and the understanding of our purpose in life that we create happiness in ourselves and become the person God intended us to be.

In the ring, it is my job to do the best I can under those circumstances. That means winning and it means hitting people hard. It means focusing and concentrating every ounce of energy and strategy on that one individual—that one fight. It also means putting on a good show for my fans. I could not imagine disappointing my fans, because to me, that would be worse than losing. Before a fight, I always think of my fans, and this helps me prepare for the mental intensity I need.

The three things you need to instill in your life are goals, a system to reach your goals, and the discipline to maintain your system until you reach your goals.

I do try to change up my routine every day so that I won’t get bored. The key is always to challenge myself and to stay disciplined.

I have developed my body from the core so that my body can function efficiently and pull all of the energy from the strongest parts.

I gladly let them reach because it’s a sign of my love, and I believe anytime you can show love then there is no harm. So I let them reach for now, but I realize that love alone cannot be the long term solution. It has to be education.

For my people, we don’t have the luxury of time. Their tomorrow needs action right today, and my running for political office is the only solution for me to help them.

I reminded them if they truly wanted me to win then I needed them to go and spread the word and get more people to vote for me.

If life in the ring taught me one thing, it’s that you do what you need to do in order to be the last man standing.

I am not someone who takes no for an answer. I just knew I had to work harder, I had to be persistent and persevere and never give up.