Getting back up

November 4, 2021

By Jeff Becraft


One of the most significant quotes I have ever heard comes from the former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

On one occasion, I had the opportunity to speak to a church on a Sunday morning. The first thing I asked was, “How many of you has life been different than what you thought it would be?”

Almost every hand went up. And it seemed that the older the people were, the higher their hands went up.

At some point, all of us will get punched in the mouth. Usually for me, the most difficult times aren’t the punch itself… but the shock or disillusionment that the punch came at all or how it came or through whom it came. It is getting over the unbelief, “Did this really happen?”

For most of us, we probably believe we should be able to go through life and not get punched. That would be a place called heaven.  But in this world, we will face punches, challenges, disappointments, and obstacles. We will be let down. The punch, however, isn’t the final word.

I think the best and most dangerous teams are a team with one loss. They know what it is to face defeat and rise up for the next game. They know what it is to get punched in the mouth.

How often have we seen an undefeated team go into a game and get upset by a lesser team, a team that is not as good and does not have the same amount of talent? What happened? The undefeated team had simply rolled over their previous opponents… and then they get punched in the mouth. They still are the better team and they still have more talent, but they are now having a hard time dealing with the mental and emotional shock of getting punched in the mouth.

Getting punched is part of being in the ring, of being in the fray, of being involved, of actually caring and loving. A champion gets hit… but they also get back up.

It is a cliché but it is true: it’s not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up.

It’s a great day to keep getting back up!


Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives.  Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].