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Today is the 28th birthday of Irish-born UFC champion Conor McGregor.

This week also marks the one year anniversary of Conor's triumph over Chad Mendes, giving him his first taste of UFC gold, winning the interim featherweight championship.

'The Notorious' has gone on some journey since his debut against Marcus Brimage, culminating in his recent loss to Nate Diaz, and controversy upon 'retiring' from UFC, and then rejoining.

However, in the lead up to McGregor's debut in the world's biggest MMA promotion, there was bigger journey.

via GIPHY

A small lad growing up on the streets of Dublin, he was a sporty lad, but was nothing out of the ordinary.

At the age of 12 McGregor started kickboxing as a hobby, but it was not until 2006, in the midst of a plumbing apprenticeship, when he met future UFC fighter Tom Egan, that his true passion for MMA began.

It was around that time that Conor's sister, Erin, introduced him to a book. The book, according to Bleacher Report, is the reason McGregor is the brash, outlandish, confident man we know today.

Erin McGregor had read Rhonda Bryne's The Secret, a book about staying positive to create life-changing events, and creating happiness, health, and wealth.

Mystic Mac's sister, a fitness model and bodybuilder, swore by the book and tried to push it onto Conor. For a while he shunned the book, thinking the theme of the 'law of attraction' was codswallop.

A year or so later, after a bad day, Conor and long-term girlfriend, Dee, sat down and finally watched a DVD adaptation of the book. That's when things began to click.

The ideologies of the book spoke to the 28-year-old. The realisation that putting your mind to things, concentrating and focusing on them would most likely lead to success, resonated with Conor. He'd start small, putting his mind to things like getting the parking space closest to the shop door. When it continuously worked, this is when big things started to happen.

"We would be driving to the shop and visualising the exact car park space," he says. "And then we'd be able to get it every time."

Credit: PA

We know that McGregor runs his mouth, but nine times out of 10 the things he speaks about come to fruition. It's not blind luck. He believes in himself, he lives and breathes hard work, he wants to succeed. He puts in blood, sweat and tears to get to where he wants to go. If it means knocking down a mountain, he'll focus on it, then he'll do it.

According to BR, Conor's family believe The Secret is the reason for his meteoric rise to fame and success.

The reason he is the man he is today.

Words by Mark McGowan

Featured image credit: PA

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