The Most Important Lesson I Learned From The Film Rocky

The Most Important Lesson I Learned From The Film Rocky

For my birthday this year, I decided to hang out in Philly, the city where my favorite movie, Rocky, was shot. Many people think that the movie Rocky is a boxing film, but it is far more than that. If you have never seen the film, I found the full movie here, so now you have no excuses lol. This movie has literally changed my outlook on life.



Me at the top of the Rocky Steps

To accurately break down all of the life lessons in all of the films it would literally take me 10 blog posts, so I have decided to summarize the most important key message from the first film (I may do a specialty series on this film later though because it is an awesome film franchise).

ROCKY III, Sylvester Stallone, 1982, ©MGM/UA/courtesy Everett Collection
ROCKY III, Sylvester Stallone, 1982, ©MGM/UA/courtesy Everett Collection

On the surface “Rocky” is a story about a small time boxer who gets the rare once-in-a lifetime opportunity to fight the heavy weight champion of the world. However, the story-line is deeper and much more complex. When Rocky was chosen to fight the heavy weight champion of the world, Apollo Creed, the promoters where simply looking to promote the event as an exhibition match. They did not view Rocky as a real contender or a real threat to the heavy weight title.

As the film goes, Rocky does not win the fight against Apollo Creed in the first movie, but he reaches his goal which was to ”go the distance” with the heavyweight champion. Subsequently, this decision leads Rocky to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

There are so many themes in this film, but there is one important lesson that stood out to me in this film more than any other themes.


Lesson: Where you start does not have to be where you end

As the film starts, Rocky is pushing 30 years old, and by all standards was considered a nobody. He was a small-time fighter who had a part time job working as a collector for a loan shark. Along with this, the girl he liked wouldn’t give him the time of day and he was reduced to working in seedy underground fighting circuits to make a few extra bucks. By all accounts, he was in a dead end rut.

When asked to fight the heavy weight champion, Apollo Creed, he was only selected because the promoters believed that Rocky fighting the heavy weight champion of the world would be a fun exhibition match to promote for Thanksgiving Day. Nobody considered him a serious contender. However, Rocky made a personal goal within himself to last 15 rounds. His goal was not to win, but to last in the ring “because nobody ever went the distance with Creed”. He ended up lasting 15 rounds and was the first fighter that Creed had not knocked out. They eventually had a re-match and Rocky won becoming the heavy weight champion of the world.

This is a powerful message because I believe many times in life, as people, we can get in a rut. We can get caught up in doing the same things and become confused about our purpose or what we are supposed to do next. We can also psych ourselves out of progressing allowing fear to dictate to us that we will never be better than what we are right now. However, it is important to remember that where you start does not have to be where you end.


This is true for any goal that you have in life, whether it is to start a business, travel the world, get married, have kids or anything else. I believe a lot of people psych themselves out by focusing on the big picture rather than the small actions they can do every day to reach their goal. Never underestimate the power of consistency. Remember that you may not be where you want to be currently, but you have the opportunity to get their no matter where you are in life. Set small goals and they will eventually lead to your big goals and success. In the first film, Rocky did not set out to become the heavy weight champion of the world. In the first film that concept seemed extremely farfetched to him. Instead, he set out to “go the distance”.  He said I just want to last in the ring with him. I don’t want to get knocked out early, and if I can do this, than I know that I “weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood” (direct quote from the movie, I know “weren’t” is not correct usage lol ).

Because he dedicated himself to this goal, he created a chain of events that eventually led to him becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. He eventually one the girl, Adrian, he had been going after and the respect of his peers, trainer and the people in his neighborhood.

So it’s true. Sometimes the big picture can be very overwhelming. Instead of focusing on the big picture, what can you focus on /commit to doing today that can improve all your tomorrows?hill

Until next time, stay smart cookies! In the meantime, here are some fun pics & video from my Philly Trip:


By Pat’s King of Steaks: Philly CheeseSteak Joint they ate at in the movie


Headed to Doughnut Shop in Reading Terminal


Yummy Philly Cheesesteak from Pat’s King of Steaks20160514_133705 20160514_133630 20160514_100109