Mike Tyson, 50, Talks Discipline And Shutting Down Your Fears

ELVIS MITCHELL: Do you feel like you’ve gotten past that old self mostly, or do you still feel bits of it?

MIKE TYSON: I work on it consistently. I guess I have more faith and confidence in myself now.

MITCHELL: So you’re talking about this combination of fear and discipline.

TYSON: Exactly. Discipline is doing what you hate to do but doing it like you love it. But with fear, it’s not so much about learning how to use it but how to embrace it.

MITCHELL: So you’re talking about this combination of fear and discipline.

TYSON: Exactly. Discipline is doing what you hate to do but doing it like you love it. But with fear, it’s not so much about learning how to use it but how to embrace it.

MITCHELL: Did [Tyson’s first trainer] Cus D’Amato help you recognize how to deal with that?

TYSON: Oh, 100 percent. I never knew anything about that stuff until Cus brought it to my attention—that it was healthy to feel fear. If you didn’t feel it, then you were either crazy or you were a liar. Because it’s unnatural to fight somebody who has nothing against you and never did anything to you or to your family, who never stole anything from you. And now you’ve got to go and try to dismantle this guy . . . It takes -discipline to do that.

MITCHELL: But sometimes addicts have a tough time not falling back into their addictions. Do you ever feel sometimes that you miss that rush of fighting enough to want to try to recapture it?

TYSON: Never. I have no idea what I’m going to do, to tell you the truth. I’m just embarking on this new life that I have an opportunity to live. Everything seems to be going well, so I’m just trying to stay on track. I just want do the best at whatever I can at this stage in my life. I’m just enjoying this—being happy. I haven’t been happy in a long time. And living with responsibilities, being responsible for my actions.

...

TYSON: Yeah . . . [pauses] I don’t even know what to say about that . . . But things happen . . . Adversity either makes the strong stronger or the weak weaker. To be weak in this world is just disastrous.

Interview via Interview Magazine

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