Success In Life – Lessons From Rocky
Ever wander how to achieve success in life? Life throws hard punches. Sometimes we get knocked down, knocked out and just want to quit. It is often said that the difference between a winner and a loser is the winner got back up one more time.
This morning on Dr. Doug Firebaugh‘s Set It On Fire Call and again on Bob Millers Gratitude Success Show, my good friend Jackson Kelly of The Friday Night Live Mastermind spoke of the enormous obstacles and lessons we can learn from Sylvester Stallone.
Many know the story of “Rocky” the down and out Philadelphia boxer played by Sylvester Stallone who clawed his way to victory after defeat but did you know that Stallone himself, in real life is the epitome of someone who clawed his way to near impossible victory after incredible defeat. Stallone truly achieved success in life
Stallone was born in 1946. Complications during labor forced his mothers obstetricians to use two pairs of forceps during his birth; misuse of these accidentally severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of Stallone’s face. As a result, the lower left side of his face is paralyzed – including parts of his lip, tongue, and chin – an accident which has given Stallone his snarling look and slightly slurred speech. Certainly not a recipe for success in life.
Stallone’s early childhood was marred by issues. Of course the partial paralysis and attendant physical appearance meant that success in life was challenging. Stallone was also flat footed at an early age, struggled in school, and struggled with an early acting career.
In the early 1970’s Stallone was evicted from his apartment and found himself homeless. He said that he slept three weeks in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City prior to seeing a casting notice for a minor soft pornographic film. During this time, he sold his dog at a liquor store for $50 because he had no money for food for either him or the dog (He later purchased the dog back for a large amount of money variously reported to be $3000 and $15,000.). The dog appears in a couple of the Rocky films.
On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali–Chuck Wepner fight. That night Stallone went home, and after three days and 20 straight hours, he had written the script. Stallone attempted to sell the script to multiple studios, with the intention of playing the lead role himself. He was offered $350,000 for the rights, but the studio had their own casting ideas for the lead role, including Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds. Stallone was told they wanted a “real” actor, one who didn’t look and talk funny. Stallone refused to sell unless he played the lead character and eventually, after a substantial budget cut ($35,000) to compromise, it was agreed he could be the star. The rest as they say is history.
Rocky was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Stallone. The film went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.
So once again the lesson is clear. As trite and trivial as it may be to repeat it, winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win. Success in life is reserved for the determined, the persistent, the obstinate, the doers, not the quitters. Stallone, like Rocky, is the epitome of a fighter, one who does not and will not quit under adverse condition. Are you a fighter?
All roads to success in life are rocky in the literal sense, covered with obstacles. Stallone didn’t quit when the rocks got huge nor did Rocky. What about you?
If you would like to learn more about how to achieve massive success in life check out my Vision Workshop
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