For me, this movie was less about sports and boxing and more about the human capacity. We are limited individuals who strive our best to achieve what we want and sometimes it’s not enough. Rocky was just that. He used to be okay with being just average. He floated around only existing when he didn’t reach his full potential. Mickey tells him why saying “You had the talent to become a good fighter, but instead of that, you become a legbreaker to some cheap, second rate loanshark!” Rocky says that “It’s a living.” Is that really true? Is he truly living or is he merely existing?
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” -Les Brown
Strive for over your capacity and even if you fall short, you’ll have accomplished so much more and matured more than you would have. Rocky trained to beat Apollo Creed. “He doesn’t know it’s a damn show! He thinks it’s a damn fight!” Even though he lost, he lost to a split decision putting him into the spotlight as The Italion Stallion that almost beat Apollo Creed. The underdog gave it his all and that’s what it really means to me. That is what life is about and why Rocky trained so hard. He never had his prime and he’s getting older. Now that the opportunity has presented himself, he’s grabbing it and hanging on. That’s the key part. The dedication that he’s putting into, the discipline, the self-respect, the dignity, the patience, the work ethic, the passion. He had a gift that he’s putting to use. That’s why Mickey kicked him out of the boxing club. He had the talent but he didn’t have the heart.
Life begins when you get out of your comfort zone. It’s going to be a long journey, but the long term commitment is better than the short-term intensity. Studies have shown that children have almost no benefits to doing homework between kindergarten and the third grade. It’s the act of doing the homework consistently that benefits the child. Everyone starts somewhere including the very bottom. The Rock had 7 dollars in 1995 and then was #25 of Forbes most powerful people. Some people hit rock bottom, but then they have to own that. That rock bottom is what will be their foundation.
Stop trying to compare yourself to others. The only person you’re competing with is yourself. You only seem to be looking at other people’s highlight reels when all the time you’re seeing your own behind the scenes and bloopers. Successful people understand that life is not going to be one straight road that splits into either success or failure. Failing is a part of life and it’s what you do with that failure that defines you as a person. Failing is okay and you just have to fail a little better each time. Paypal was the fifth creation of the co-founder of Paypal. The other four were failures and yet he persevered.
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” -Hunter S. Thompson