Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three Important Things We Can Learn from the Rocky Series

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Sylvester Stallone has permanently cemented himself into pop culture forever with the series of six Rocky movies that he has starred in over the last few decades. And regardless of what you think about his mental fortuity, these movies actually have many life lessons that we can use for encouragement, learning about ourselves and more. While you won’t learn much about acting skills from watching Stallone,  you can learn a lot by listening to what he has to say, including the following lessons.

1. Life is Tough
In Rocky 6, Balboa is talking to his son about how life is unfair. He tells him that the world isn’t “all sunshine and rainbows” and that it will “beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” Everybody knows that the world is a tough place, but the last four words of this phrase are the most important part of what he has to say – “if you let it.” We can let life beat us down with everything that goes on, but we don’t have to let it keep us down permanently. It’s up to you to keep getting back up once you get beat down. How many times did Rocky get beat down – both in the ring and in his personal life – and how many times did he get back up? He never stayed down.

2. Don’t play the blame game
There is a lot of truth in what Rocky tells his son in Rocky 6. At one point, Balboa tells his son that he has to get “out there” and get what he’s worth. But in fighting to get what he’s worth, he has to be “willing to take the hits” and he has to do it without “pointing fingers” and blaming others for not being where he wants to be. Only cowards play the blame game when things don’t turn out like they planned and you aren’t going to make any progress in life if you don’t responsibility for where you are. It’s going to be tough getting where you want to be, but it’s up to you to keep fighting until you achieve your goals.

3. Believe in yourself
This might sound like a cliché, but most clichés are based on a basic truth. Rocky says that you aren’t going to have a life “until you start believing in yourself.” The truth is that your mind automatically searches for evidence of the things you believe. If you believe that pizza is a healthy food, you are going to search for evidence that supports this belief. The same is true when you believe in yourself or if you don’t believe in yourself. Whichever you believe, your mind will find supporting evidence to make that belief stronger.  
Sylvester Stallone has permanently cemented himself into pop culture forever with the series of six Rocky movies that he has starred in over the last few decades. And regardless of what you think about his mental fortuity, these movies actually have many life lessons that we can use for encouragement, learning about ourselves and more. While you won’t learn much about acting skills from watching Stallone,  you can learn a lot by listening to what he has to say, including the following lessons.

1. Life is Tough
In Rocky 6, Balboa is talking to his son about how life is unfair. He tells him that the world isn’t “all sunshine and rainbows” and that it will “beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” Everybody knows that the world is a tough place, but the last four words of this phrase are the most important part of what he has to say – “if you let it.” We can let life beat us down with everything that goes on, but we don’t have to let it keep us down permanently. It’s up to you to keep getting back up once you get beat down. How many times did Rocky get beat down – both in the ring and in his personal life – and how many times did he get back up? He never stayed down.

2. Don’t play the blame game
There is a lot of truth in what Rocky tells his son in Rocky 6. At one point, Balboa tells his son that he has to get “out there” and get what he’s worth. But in fighting to get what he’s worth, he has to be “willing to take the hits” and he has to do it without “pointing fingers” and blaming others for not being where he wants to be. Only cowards play the blame game when things don’t turn out like they planned and you aren’t going to make any progress in life if you don’t responsibility for where you are. It’s going to be tough getting where you want to be, but it’s up to you to keep fighting until you achieve your goals.

3. Believe in yourself
This might sound like a cliché, but most clichés are based on a basic truth. Rocky says that you aren’t going to have a life “until you start believing in yourself.” The truth is that your mind automatically searches for evidence of the things you believe. If you believe that pizza is a healthy food, you are going to search for evidence that supports this belief. The same is true when you believe in yourself or if you don’t believe in yourself. Whichever you believe, your mind will find supporting evidence to make that belief stronger.

The Rocky franchise may be one of the best series of movies in the history of film if you explore what the movies have to say and their cultural impact. Have you learned any lessons from watching Rocky?