So I’m a bit of a movie nerd and one of my all time favourite movies is Rocky. To some that will make total sense, to others not so much.
When I was younger I loved Rocky because it was about boxing, but as I got older and time went on I began to realise it was about a lot more than that. I began to understand what it was really about – following your gut, your heart and your dreams, to achieve things even you weren’t sure you could do. To keep going no matter how tough things get and if life knocks you down to get back up!
The movie is full of inspiration and motivation, but so is the story of how Stallone made it happen. He went broke, people laughed at him and he even had to sell his dog! But he stuck to his dream, worked hard, struggled and eventually it worked out!
So what can we learn from the story of Rocky, both on and off screen? Here’s a list of my five lessons.
Keep moving forward
Don’t let negative past experiences ruin today. This is a bad habit of mine, but is something I’m working on now with my fitness challenge. I told myself that I’d never be able to reach my fitness goals because I’ve never stuck to a regime before, so why is now any different. With a little support, encouragement and positive outlook I’m finally doing it. I’m 18 days in and although I may miss the odd one, I’m trying not to let it bother me. I suck it up and focus on the next day’s routine.
So if you want to try something new or something you feel you’ve failed at before move forward, let past negatives go and focus on now! If you have a blip, let it go and start fresh.
Sylvester Stallone felt rejection so many times in his journey to get Rocky made. He stuck to his guns though, got the part, got it produced and even won an Oscar! He didn’t let all the negativity that was thrown his way bring him down:
“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”
There ain’t no can’ts!
Or as my Grandma says “can’t means won’t”. Saying you can’t do something is pretty much a sure fire way to fail before you’ve even started. Everyone’s guilty of this at some point in their lives. I’ve had a lot of folk say to me “I can’t draw” and to them I should really ask, have you tried? Most folk will probably say something like “yeah, once and I was rubbish” compared to who? Someone who has being at it for years? All you need is practice and determination. Both in time will build your confidence in your skills and yourself. Find yourself an art class or a book on drawing or whatever it is you want to do. Research, the right information, tutorials and hard work will serve you well and soon you’ll realise you can do it!
In order to beat Apollo, Rocky has to learn to fight right handed, something he says he “can’t” do. With hard work, determination, Mickey screaming at him (encouragingly of course) and a training montage he gets the job done and wins the fight.
Believe in yourself
Believing in yourself can sometimes be difficult, especially if doing the opposite is a lifetime habit. It was a terrible habit of mine, doubting my skills and I’ve only recently truly started to think more positively about them.
One way to start believing in yourself and thinking more positively is to write a list of all your achievements. It doesn’t matter how small they are, as long as you felt good about it. When I did my 30ish before 30list it brought back great memories and things I’d completely forgotten about. It helped me realise that I’ve done some pretty cool things already in my life and there is no reason why I can’t achieve more.
Stallone believed in himself and the story of Rocky so much that he turned down so many offers for the script, offers that would have made him a lot of money. He wanted to play Rocky so refused any offer that didn’t include him – that’s awesome self belief right there!
Life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows
Let’s be honest, sometimes life can suck and things can get tough – you just have to keep on punching! If you’ve hit rock bottom, take heart that the only direction left is up. Take steps to live more positively, choose how you react to things. I’ve heard folk say that gratitude journals help them develop a more positive outlook and although I’ve never tried this myself I can understand the merit in it. I tried making a positive list – each night write down one positive thing that happened or you felt through the day, then on the following Monday you’ll have a list of seven things that made you happy. This made the start of my week pretty sweet and overtime you start to look for the positives in everything and your whole outlook eventually changes, worth a shot right?
Every movie in the franchise delivers life blows to Rocky and each time he overcomes them to win or see things through to the end – “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”
Go the distance
If you want to accomplish your goals or do something new – go for it! Immerse yourself in it, take a class, join a club, do some tutorials, or take part in a hangout online. Whether it’s saving up for a once in a lifetime trip, to learn Photoshop or play an instrument. Just do what it takes to make your dreams come true, but also be aware that it’s ok for those goals to change and evolve. Don’t do things half assed, do them to the full and be enthusiastic. If you start to get bogged down and start to worry you’re not getting there fast enough, take a moment, breathe and remember why you wanted to do it in the first place. See it through to the end and you’ll never have to say that you didn’t try and you won’t regret a thing!
“Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighbourhood.”
So there you go, that’s why Rocky inspires me. Now do you have any movies or quotes that inspire you to keep going, to try something new, or believe in yourself? Then share them in the comments because we all need a little motivation at times!