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Rocky Balboa’s Guide To Kickin’ Ass

in Do What You Love, Rants

RockyBalboa5

This article is a guest contribution by Paul Norwine. Paul recently threw his lucrative day job to the curb in order to ‘blaze his own path’ online.  He can currently be found blogging (and doing videos) on personal growth over at PaulNorwine.com.

They say that life is just a game. They also say that life is a bitch. I say that life is both.

Maybe I’m being presumptuous but I think it’s safe to say we all have deep-seated dreams and desires. We all have visions of how great our lives could be. Whether we admit it or not, we all have a nagging feeling that we really can create a life even beyond our wildest dreams. But something always seems to hold us back.

We start to convince ourselves that a better future is just a pipe dream. We convince ourselves that we aren’t quite good enough, or we don’t truly deserve what we want. We convince ourselves that we aren’t lucky enough to have the ball bounce our way, or we wait for circumstances to be just right before we make a move.

We get scared. We fear the unknown, we fear change, we fear success, and we fear failure. We begin to fear so much that we become paralyzed and instead begin to settle for a comfortable life of mediocrity. We justify letting the river of life sweep us away without fighting the current by saying, “hey, life’s a bitch and then you die.”

Well, I say **** that.

I’m not going to live my life this way. Life may be a bitch…but it’s also a game and it’s a game that I want to play. I refuse to waste this life sitting on the sidelines. I refuse to float through life because I am too scared to get in the ring.

So cue the music, baby, because I’m coming out swinging like Rocky…

Obviously, the Rocky montage is a little tongue-in-cheek, but there’s a reason Rocky is the people’s champion. The odds were completely stacked against him. It would have been easy for him to give up the first time… the sixth time… and every time in between. But he didn’t give up. He kept fighting and, through it all, became a champion (over and over again).

In all seriousness, I’m convinced that underneath all the bullshit and all the excuses that prevent us from going after what we truly want in life, we each have the heart of a champion. Deep down, we all have a little Rocky Balboa in us.

There’s no denying that we will get knocked down. We will fall flat on our faces from time to time. That’s life. But we always have a choice. We can play the victim and let life keep us down. Or, like Rocky, we can get back up and keep on swinging. It’s as simple as that. Get knocked down seven times, get up eight.

So sack up, get in the ring, and give it hell. After all, life is a game we only get to play once.

“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 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 how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. 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 hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” -Rocky Balboa

Baker’s Note: I thought this would be a great post to finish off the week.  You all know I love a good motivational post every now and then.  I also love guy-movie pop culture and am a sucker for awesome montages.  So I couldn’t resist.  Thanks go to Paul for giving me a shot of adrenaline to carry me through the weekend!

What motivates you to get back up? What’s the biggest hurdle between you and the life you want?  Debt?  School?  Job?…

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Oscar - freestyle mind October 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Great article and a very inspirational one. I liked it a lot.
.-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..How to Be Successful =-.

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Dawn October 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Wow…It still amazes me when the Universe gives me the answers I need, exactly when I need them…

Right now, I am experiencing a major life change…Simply because the fear of living the same way, overtook the fear of having something different, better…

This is a great post! I stole the Rocky quote and put it on my FB page…Thanks!!
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..Divorce =-.

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Hi Dawn –

“Right now, I am experiencing a major life change…Simply because the fear of living the same way, overtook the fear of having something different, better…”

I agree that fear / trepidation / anxiety can be a key motivator to get moving forward if harnessed correctly but I’ve been working on minimizing the fear all together. It’s not easy because we can easily get bogged down by a number of different fears but life’s too short to be scared to move forward!

BTW, I love that quote from Rocky – it sounds funny but they certainly are words of wisdom :)
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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Sean October 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Paul, quite simply, you’re the man. Simple as that. You had the balls to start living your life your own way, and for that I have all the respect in the world for you. Not to mention I love Rocky, so this was just a double whammy of awesomness. Keep it up man!
.-= Sean´s last blog ..The Demise of the American Dream =-.

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Thanks, brotha – it’s not always roses (as you know having done the same thing yourself) but it’s been a decision that I’m happy to have made and I’m excited about the opportunities that are opening up!

And I don’t care what anybody says, Rocky is one of the wisest men of all time ;)

Paul
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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Live for Improvement October 30, 2009 at 12:32 PM

I agree that we are in charge of our own lives. So dust off your boxing gloves and fight for life that you deserve.

-Dan Malone-
.-= Live for Improvement´s last blog ..Using the "F" Word in Public =-.

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Amen, Dan…AMEN!
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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Lisa Owens October 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

What keeps me going? Sheer stubbornness.
Thanks for the guest post – it was great…

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Stubbornness is just another word for perseverance :)
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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jonathanfigaro May 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Paul do you have an email address? I wanted to know if we can connect interns of bouncing ideas on personal growth. Always looking to meet a fellow who perseveres like your self.

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Jill MacGregor October 30, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Hey Paul,
I just dropped and gave you ten.
I needed a little pep talk today–thanks for that!
I’m at a place in my life where I’m trying to decide next steps in a big way…how do I take all the skills I have but turn them into something that feeds me. This is the question that keeps echoing off the canyon walls…
Take care,
Jill
.-= Jill MacGregor´s last blog ..Daring Acts—How to Work Without a Net =-.

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Hi Jill –

We all need a little kick in the pants now and then so I’m glad to have provided a little shove :)

“I’m at a place in my life where I’m trying to decide next steps in a big way…how do I take all the skills I have but turn them into something that feeds me. This is the question that keeps echoing off the canyon walls…”

This is a question that I think we all have…and I think the answers are always changing. I think the “search” is a necessary part of the process. The goal, for me, is to identify what exactly I want to accomplish and then use my skills to not only implement and effect change, but to thoroughly enjoy the journey as well!

Paul
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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Martin October 30, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I can dig it. Nice post.

However, I think the quote should be credited to Rocky’s trainer, Mickey.
.-= Martin´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo – Day 3 =-.

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Martin October 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Nope! I was wrong. Quote WAS by Rocky.

Never mind…
.-= Martin´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo – Day 3 =-.

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Amber October 30, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Yes! I love Rocky. We all need motivation and a good clear punch of reality. Funny writing as well Paul. Well done :D

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Thanks, Amber! This was a fun post to write and I’m glad others were able to have a little fun with it – but I’m not going to lie, I also can’t help but to get all jacked up when I hear “Eye of the Tiger” :)

Paul
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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Credit Card Chaser October 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Haha awesome! My wife always makes fun of me for loving Rocky but how could I not? :)
.-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Think You Could Go Into Massive Debt While Making $10 Million/Yr? =-.

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Paul Norwine October 31, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Seriously, how COULD you not love Rocky? Your wife obviously just needs to re-watch the movies. I think you should surprise her with a date night Rocky marathon…she’ll love it, no doubt about it!

Paul
.-= Paul Norwine´s last blog ..Man vs. Debt Guest Post =-.

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Foxie | CarsxGirl October 30, 2009 at 11:55 PM

“Maybe I’m being presumptuous but I think it’s safe to say we all have deep-seated dreams and desires. We all have visions of how great our lives could be. Whether we admit it or not, we all have a nagging feeling that we really can create a life even beyond our wildest dreams. But something always seems to hold us back.”

I think you were writing to me, weren’t you?! ;)

Lucky for me, my life’s about to change in a fairly big way, whether I’m ready or not. Moves are great for that, especially rather unexpected PCS’ing ones! :D I’m excited to move and start a new life and get a new job and meet new people and all that fun stuff!!
.-= Foxie | CarsxGirl´s last blog ..Life’s Unexpectedly Pleasant Surprises =-.

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Dalibor Ružić October 31, 2009 at 3:16 AM

I have two great day in a row. Then one not so goog. Thanks for keeping me in a track. :)
.-= Dalibor Ružić´s last blog ..How to bust rationalizations =-.

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Financial Samurai October 31, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Ahhh, I love getting rejected. It just fuels the fire to prove people wrong! Thanks for sharing Paul.

Keep up the workout routine Baker, and don’t forget to eat right! You’ll be down to your fighting weight in no time!

Best,

FS
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..And The First $1,000 MBA Giveaway Winner Is……….. =-.

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Karen October 31, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Hey Baker and Paul,

Good stuff! I’m pumped after reading this and feel like running up a staircase :D

This is the attitude that people should keep in the front of their minds… in order to accomplish anything.
Thanks for the motivation!
:)

Karen

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B Kinch October 31, 2009 at 6:51 PM

I honestly think this song is better than prozac. It’s amazing how much music can affect mood and motivation. I think everyone should have a list of ten kickass songs to whip out in case of emergency.
.-= B Kinch´s last blog ..pumpkin patch time! =-.

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John Bardos - JetSetCitizen October 31, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Now I have got the Rocky theme song stuck in my head. :-)

I think it is important to remember that everyone is afraid to different degrees. All those fabulously famous people in the world all had self-doubt and were questioning themselves in the same way we do ourselves. What set them apart was the willingness to do the work. Rocky succeeded because of the shear effort that went into his training.

We all the power to do that if we are willing to focus on ONE thing and take massive ACTION.
.-= John Bardos – JetSetCitizen´s last blog ..Review of the fantastic book, Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life =-.

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Dragos Roua November 1, 2009 at 5:11 AM

I like the part about: “Cowards to that and that ain’t you”. Great inspirational post and one of the best movie characters ever. Refreshing reading :-)
.-= Dragos Roua´s last blog ..How to Overcome Frustration in 3 Easy Steps =-.

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janiper November 1, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Thank You :-)
.-= janiper´s last blog ..NetSpend =-.

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Financial Samurai November 1, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Hey, do you guys think it’s a silly task to get a six pack of abs? I had one in high school, and dissolved into a one back after all these years. That said, after eating right and playing so much tennis this year, I’ve lost a lot of weight to the point where if I just started doing sit ups, the abs will start showing.

Seems like a waste of time to work on body sculpting, but what do you guys think
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Samurai Reflections of October & Goals for November =-.

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Tina November 3, 2009 at 1:23 PM

This was one of my favorite posts! I am a Champion of Hope, punching FEAR in the face daily!

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Mary Ann Pine November 15, 2009 at 10:53 AM

This was an awesome post. I had just this past week decided I was not going to let fear hold me back any longer. Reading this was encouragement to me from the Universe.

I had huge success eliminating credit card debt quickly. If you want to read how I did it, here is my post on topic.
http://tinyurl.com/maryannblog

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Christina December 6, 2010 at 10:46 PM

Linked this post on my blog. Thank you for this!

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james February 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

it’s funny how right when i need motivation i think of rocky and what he would do.

i copy and pasted the quote on to a sticky and printed it and put it in my wallet thanks.

as i am righting this i am watching rocky 4 HAHAHA :)

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