Resolve to give your 100% nothing less!
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing in this world.” Abraham Lincoln
Every year most people, I interact with, make one extra resolution that is to keep all previous resolutions intact and follow them religiously. I decidedly made very few and promised myself to give my 100% not once, twice or thrice but every time and not to compromise on anything. And I’m sure if anyone across the globe is ready to accept life as it is and give his/her best amid staying happy with what one has there will be no looking back. Here is a compendium of one of my Heroes I wish to recount to you all, the way I learned I’m sure you might learn too. He is an international icon, the heartbeat of billions all across the globe, he has copious failures in his bucket, when he was in high school his teachers voted him the student most likely to end up in the electric chair. He’s is none another than Sylvester Stallone of the world since most of us know him through his extraordinary feats but very few know about his life struggles, how he got to where he is today.
It all started at a young age. He had a strong desire to become a movie star. His motivation was that he wanted to let people escape reality for just a moment as well as inspire people to fulfill their potential.
Stallone thought like most of us and did the natural thing and started to apply for roles in movies. He was constantly rejected for various reasons. The most common reason pertained to his dopey look and his tendency to talk out of the side of his mouth, as you might have noticed in his movies.
He was quite a persistent fellow as he claims he had been kicked out of acting agencies over 1,500 times. You’re probably thinking they aren’t that many agencies in New York, and you’re right. He was kicked out of each one 5 to 10 times.
He finally landed a gig after spending the night at an agency. The problem was that all of his roles were based on him being a beaten up thug. After three or so movies, these small opportunities came to an end.
He kept trying and trying and trying, but things weren’t working out in his favor. He couldn’t pay for heating in the apartment. He was starving and his wife would constantly yell at him about getting a job. He refused each time, but why…?
He refused to get a job because he thought his hunger for success would wither away if he dithers from his objective. To Stallone, his hunger was the only thing he had going for himself, unfortunately, his wife did not understand and pretty much wanted to end the relationship.
Then one cold day, he went to a public library not to read a book, but to find a warm place. To pass time, he stumbled on a book by Edgar Allen Poe. He had an epiphany and decided to start writing a movie script, Paradise Alley, and managed to sell it for $100, but it did not lead to anywhere. Finally, he was so broke that he sold his wife’s jewelry. This was basically the end of their relationship. They had no food and no money. There was only one thing he had left, and he loved him more than anything else in this world. It was his dog and the unconditional love it offered.
Under such circumstances he was then forced to sell his dog. He went to liquor store to find someone to buy his beloved dog for $50. He finally happened to meet a man to buy it, but he haggled him down to $25. This ended up being the lowest point of his life, in a moment he lost all he had and there was no reason to live except his DREAM.b
Then 2 weeks later, he watches a Muhammad Ali fight and gets an idea. He writes for 20 hours straight. He was in the zone and had created a script that would eventually be known as Rocky. Now, all he had to do was find somebody to buy it.
He tried harder, as you might think a man who has no money to buy one time meal was trying to sell his movie script. After a series of rejections, he finally found a couple of people who showed interest. They offered him $125,000 for the script. Even though this was an unbelievable amount of money, Stallone said he would only accept it if he starred in the movie. As a no name, he was rejected, and he turned down the money because he refused to compromise. A couple of weeks later, the same guys offered him $250k and $325k. He rejected both offers.
They finally offered him the chance to star in his own movie, but they didn’t want to pay him much as it was a risk to them. They ended up paying Stallone $35,000, which included a share of the profits. That was his moment and he lived it as he was destined to achieve all that.
Eventually after he got the money the first thing he did was to go back to the liquor store to find the man who bought his dog. He waited three days before he finally did find him with the dog. He told the man he would do anything to get the dog back. He offered $100, $500, and $1000, but the man refused to sell the dog back. He changed his approach and finally got his dog back.
The movie, Rocky, ended up costing $1 million to make, and it grossed over $200 million.
And that was the starting of his career, ever since he never compromised on his dreams and gave all he had to make them come true. Today he is known to the world because of his sheer dedication, determination and his persistence towards action.
Here are some lessons we can learn from his life:
1. Be a dreamer: The world belongs to dreamers, no matter what your circumstances are if you have a dream and you are ready to give it all you have then there is no one in this world who can stop you. Have purpose in life, Stallone knew what he wanted, and it helped him focus his actions. Despite many failures, he was able to make the right adjustments that led him just one step closer to success.
2. Stay tuned on the bull’s eye: Life is like that, you can’t quench your thirst through coke, as they say that you can’t replace water with soft drinks, if you want to satiate your thirst then have water, but natural. Likewise one can’t achieve success if he keeps complaining about speed breakers on road. Life had never been easy even for saints, had it been so everyone would have become Buddha or Bill Gates. Have a bull’s eye focus and let go of all the distractions on your way, success is just a step ahead.
3. Keep fueling your desire: Stallone understood what motivated him. He knew that if he got a regular job he would never be happy and the fire that drove him would fizzle. We all have prized possessions and more you are attached to them weaker you become. As I said have a purpose and until that purpose is achieved keep motivating yourself by doing what you love to do because the real motivation comes from doing what you love.
4. Compromise never: This one is my favorite too. I have been an absolute proponent of following my principles and never compromise on them. And trust me the more I do harder it becomes, life test each one of us and in the end I find myself at the winning side. For Stallone faced many opportunities to settle on his dream to become a movie star. This was his purpose, and he would not accept anything less. With his determination, he was finally able to get exactly what he wanted. Keep in mind that there are situations where compromise is acceptable. Just do not compromise on your purpose in life, never.
5. Keep raising the bar: Each time you achieve one goal, instantly, set higher goals that’s the way to live life to the fullest. I have read a lot about people who go to life retirement after they retire from their jobs, many people lost their purpose in life after achieving one of their biggest goals. Some keep boasting of their previous achievements throughout their lives, ‘I achieved that 10 years back and today I don’t feel like working at all…etc etc.’And they fail to understand that this is just the starting, life is much more than that. For this one I don’t need to mention as today we all know what Sylvester Stallone stands for.
Some people say life is a journey and some say it’s a book, however you consider it, it’s a matter of your perception but one should never forget that after every chapter there is another chapter waiting to unfold, you just have to connect the dots, what to pick and what to leave, the choice is yours.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this blog, keep writing to me if you wish to feed yourself with more real life inspirations. Happy New Year!