I noticed today (6th July) is Sylvester “Sly” Stallone’s birthday.
Sylvester “Sly” Stallone is an interesting, inspirational and motivating character as both an actor and as a man. I grew up watching his movies. He got started the hard way and he made good. As the Rocky film series screen writer, he built a lot of his own frustrations and struggles in the movie business right into the character Rocky Balboa.
I have quoted below from Rocky VI (delivered to his son in the movie) and I have this quote pinned up on my office wall. I read it often. I know this has been shared many times online but I don’t believe another reminder will do anyone any harm.
We all get times where we doubt ourselves. We all get times when we’re overwhelmed. We all get times when we feel life has gotten the better of us. I personally spent a large portion of my early life wallowing in self-pity and blaming everyone and everything. Luckily for me I met the right people at the right time and I wised up. I took responsibility and I turned my life around. I now pay things forward and help other do the same.
Sylvester Stallone is really talking about mental and emotional resilience which is a subject dear to my heart. The ability to absorb and bounce back from negative experiences. We all have negative experiences. Some people bounce back from them and some don’t. It all comes down to the choices we make and the attitudes and beliefs we have about ourselves and lives. We all need help along the way of course. Knowing these things is only a part of the battle. It is an important part for sure and a great starting point but there are many things to learn and develop on the journey. Becoming emotionally intelligent and mentally resilient is the real challenge in everybody’s life and that’s what my work as a coach is all about – helping people get there.
This speech quote is therefore about a way down deep part of us all. I think it hits a universal emotional core and it is why I read and reread it.
I’ll let the man’s words do the talking now.
“Somewhere along the line things changed – you stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good and when things got hard you started looking for something to blame – like a big shadow.
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you!
You’re better than that!”