It was about 22 years ago when I watched my first ROCKY movie (Rocky III) and it really inspired me to get up from defeat (after failing my exams) and to train hard to become a winner in life.
Today, 22 years later, I find myself being inspired once again by Sylvestor Stallone’s latest Rocky Movie (Rocky Balboa- part 6). In this latest movie, Rocky is aged 60+ and retired from boxing. One day, Rocky decides to come out of retirement and to get back into the ring. He feels the need to fight because of emotional issues that he needs to resolve within himself. Naturally, he is criticized and made fun of because he is fighting opponents half his age.
His son (a corporate executive in his 30s) is totally against the idea. His career is going nowhere and he blames his father for casting a big shadow over him. His friends make fun of him because of who his father is.
This is where the 60-year old Rocky gives his son a heart-to-heart reprimand about how he needs to stop blaming and take charge of his life. A saddened Rocky says he remembers when his son could fit in the palm of his hand.
He says that he saw great potential in him and when he first started off in life, he did great. However,at some point, he changed. He lost his way and started blaming other things and people for his own misfortune. Telling him:
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is 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 you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. . It’s 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 you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
This movie had a huge impact on me just like the first few Rocky movies did because what was said was so true in my own life. ” Its not how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
I have found that in my life, I have met so many people who were much smarter, talented and luckier than me. What made me more successful at the end of the day was my ability to get hit again and again and to keep moving forward. I never gave up. However, I know of many friends who got hit hard by life and could never find the courage to get up again. Instead, they quit dreaming and accepted a mediocre life.
There were many times in my life when I did get hit hard and felt that I had problems I could never solve. There were times when I felt that life was unfair and too painful to live. What kept me going forward was that I knew that no matter how bad, every problem will not last forever. Every recession will end. Dawn always breaks after the darkest hour. It was this belief that allowed me to keep getting up.
â€¢ When I got expelled from school at age 9, I kept moving forward
â€¢ When my parents split up when I was aged 13, I kept moving forward
â€¢ When my first girlfriend dumped me just before my major exams (and I was subsequently dumped by 2 other girls), I kept moving forward
â€¢ When everyone looked down on me because I got poor grades in school, I kept moving forward
â€¢Â When my interior design business went bankrupt (Losing me $250,000), I kept moving forward
â€¢ When I lost over $300,000 in the stock market as an early amateur investor, I kept moving forward
â€¢Â When my first book, ‘I Am Gifted, So Are You!’ was rejected by over 9 publishers, I kept moving forward
â€¢ When only 1 person signed up for my first Patterns of Excellence program 7.5 years ago, and everyone thought that my company would never make it, I kept moving forward
â€¢ When I lost all the money I made from my mobile disco business because I was cheated by a supplier I trusted, I kept moving forward
Whenever we see people achieve great things, it is easy to think that they had less problems and less obstacles than we have. That their brilliance, luck or talent gave them super human abilities to sail through life easily. That everything always goes according to plan.
I can tell you from experience that things NEVER EVER always go according to plan. 80% of the goals you set and plans you make will never go the way you want. Things will screw up and obstacles will appear that will knock you down. Its all part of the game of life.
Have you heard of George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars? On the surface, it seems this guy could do not wrong. He had the genius to create one of the most successful franchises in the world, Star Wars that made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Did you know of all the things that went wrong? When George Lucas had the vision of creating the special effects for the battle scenes, the technology did not exist at the time. That didn’t stop Lucas. He set up a company, Industrial Light & Magic to invent and create the special effects needed to make Star Wars.
Did it work? Not at first. During production, everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong! At the end of sixteen weeks of filming, everyone had every reason to believe it would fail.
The equipment kept breaking down, the actors could not get along and everything that was filmed turned out lousy and had to be discarded. The movie had grossly exceeded the initial budget, it had overrun the filming schedule, the special effects unit could not create the desired special effects and everyone had the opinion that the movie was too childish.
As a result, 20th Century Fox studios (the producers) wanted to cancel the movie and fire Lucas. After Lucas begged for a chance to save the movie, they gave him three days to finish two weeks of work that was lost. It seemed like an impossible task.
What made things worse was that Lucas suffered severe chest pains in the middle of all this and was rushed to hospital for severe stress and exhaustion. Everyone thought that the movie would fail (even some of the actors didn’t dare to go for the premier).
But Lucas just wouldn’t quit. Lucas hired a triple filming crew, divided the film stage into three sets and directed three scenes concurrently! Within 3 days, he filmed weeks worth of scenes and finished the movie only moments before the movie premier. The rest was history!
I am sure you have heard of Honda Motor Corporation, one of the most successful automakers from Japan. Again what made Honda a success was that its founder, Soichiro Honda was able to take the hardest hits and still get up and move forward.
In 1938, while Soichiro was still in school, when he started a workshop to develop the piston ring that he hoped he could sell to Toyota. He worked 7 days a week, even sleeping in his workshop at times. When money ran out with no success, he pawned his wife’s jewelry for working capital.
Finally, came the day he completed his piston ring and was able to sell it to Toyota. However, he was told that the rings did not meet their standards! Soichiro went back to school for 2 years to improve his invention only to suffer ridicule when the engineers saw his design.
He refused to quit. After two more years of struggle and improvement, he successful won the contract with Toyota. He needed to build a factory to supply Toyota. Unfortunately, his timing was bad. At this time, the Japanese government was gearing up for war and needed all the concrete for the war effort, so he could not get the concrete necessary to build his factory.
Instead of giving up, he invented a new concrete-making process that enabled him to build the factory. With the factory now built, he was ready for production, but again, his luck was bad. His factory was bombed twice by American war planes and steel became unavailable, too.
Instead of giving up, he started collecting surplus gasoline cans discarded by US fighters â€“ “Gifts from President Truman,” he called them, which became the new raw materials for his rebuilt manufacturing process. Again, his timing was bad. An earthquake hit and his factory was destroyed the third time.
After the war, an extreme gasoline shortage forced people to walk or use bicycles. Soichiro saw this opportunity and built a tiny engine and attached it to his bicycle. His neighbors wanted one, and although he tried, materials could not be found and he was unable to supply the demand. He also didn’t have the money to build another factory to make these ‘motorbikes’.
He still didn’t quit. he wrote letters to 18,000 bicycles shop owners and asked them to pay him in advanced so he could build his factory to sell them his newly invented motorbikes. Unfortunately, the first models were too bulky to work well, so he continued to develop and adapt, until finally, ‘The Super Cub’ became a success and took Japan by storm. With success in Japan, Honda began exporting his bicycle engines to Europe and America.
This was how the Honda Motor Corporation was formed. Was that the end of his problems? Nope! As he ran Honda, it went into lots of financial problems. Honda also went near to bankruptcy five times, only to be turned around just in time. Everytime he took a hit, Soichiro would just get up, learn from his mistakes and keep moving forward.
Today, Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in the USA and Japan, and is one of the world’s largest automobile companies. Honda’s excellent engineering and clever marketing even resulted in Honda motorcycles out-selling Triumph and Harley-Davidson in their respective home markets.
So, the greater the success you want in life, the bigger the hits you got to be willing to take. There is a price for everything. A Suzuki costs $30,000 and a ferrari costs $1m (at least in Singapore).
Success too has a price. The price is massive rejection, frustration, and hardwork, People never succeed either because they thought that success comes easy or because they are not willing to pay the price!