Recently, I was watching the last installment of the Rocky series of movies, “Rocky Balboa” and after watching it I realized that “Rocko” (as Paulie called him) is probably one of the greatest philosophers of our time. A simple guy, who sees things for the way they really are. I’ve been surprised that more people aren’t aware of the great lessons from the movie.
In our careers, early on we are full of dreams, we look for opportunity and we fight. We face adversity and we overcome and find success. And then somehow, we lose sight of what got us to the top of our profession, we get complacent and stop fighting for the dream. When we finally realize it, whether on our own or because the rest of the world seemed to pass us by, we find ourselves back where we started, and only then do we realize as Rocky says, that we “still have some stuff in the basement”, that we are not ready to just fade away. We are ready to fight, ready to get back in the ring of life. The desire to do more, be more than what our circumstances may indicate.
There is a very touching scene, when Rocky realizes that even though his circumstances may not be what he envisioned, that he still has some more stuff in the basement.
Sometimes in our careers, we feel just like Rocky, or even Paulie, where we realize we’ve been in one place so long that we forget about the “stuff”, the fire that drove us. And even after we realize it and we are willing to fight to get it back that other people may not be ready for us to come back and want to limit what we can do…..
What is in your “basement”? Has your Company of 1 grown complacent? Have you realized that you may have let opportunities pass you by, that you had been living off of past glory and found yourself downsized, kicked to the side of your career market?
And now that you realize that you still have some fire left that you still have a mark you want to leave, more to achieve, more to contribute, does it seem like people around you are putting roadblocks in your way?
Rocky realized it, and in his simple way, sought to give himself the gift that noone else can give, and no one else can take away, the knowledge that if you have an idea, a dream a desire, you have to be willing to fight to make it come true. It’s how he got to the top, and It’s not what others say, it’s not what others believe, it’s what you believe, and if you want what your worth then go get what your worth….
And yet, when so many tell us that it’s impossible, that we have to be realistic, we start believing it. Then someone comes along and tells us what we already know, that we are who are, the gifts we have are things to be shared…
Whether you are a fighter, a carpenter, or an executive who finds themselves all of a sudden on the outside looking in on what used to be the career or the life you dreamed of, then go forward and be who you are, know your value and be willing to stand toe to toe with life, take the hits and believe you can….
If this is something you want to do, if this is something you got to do, then you do it…. fighters fight….
So what “stuff” is in your basement? What fire still burns, however quietly, that is just waiting for you to stand toe to toe with life and fight? Perhaps you’ve listened so long to others who have told you to be realistic, to face facts, that you are too old, too inexperienced, too anything that you stopped believing…..
“Let me tell you something you already know, life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. No one is going to hit you as hard as life….. but it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep movin’ forward, how much you can take, and keep moving forward, THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE…” R. Balboa