One of my favourite movies of all times is the Rocky franchise; it has little to do with Sylvester Stallone and everything to do with the character he played – Rocky Balboa. Rocky rises up above odds to become a boxing champion and even when he doesn’t win you still celebrate with him.
Despite my love for Rocky when I heard about Creed I wasn’t excited …instead I was skeptical and didn’t want to ruin my love for Rocky. However I watched it a few weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised. Like other movies in the series, Creed is about an underdog fighting against all the odds, sometimes he wins and sometimes he doesn’t. It was poignant, moving and I totally loved it. It was also full of many life lessons and below are just a few.
- Your greatest competition is yourself: The truth is in life you will meet people who may be better than you in one thing or the other. Rather than focus on them focus on the “man in the mirror” yourself! Everyone’s race is different and if you focus and being the best version of yourself then you will do just fine. Remember it’s never about the competition… just give whatever you do your best shot and surpass the old you.
- Whether you have it in you or not preparation is necessary: Even the musicians with the best voices need to train and hone their skill. In the same way,Creed may have inherited the genes of a boxer but he still had to train. The truth is that you can be good at almost anything if you take the time to prepare and train. In the same way if you have a gift and get lazy or tardy then soon you will find yourself struggling.
- Passion wins: Adonis Creed was passionate about boxing and even though he had a well-paying white collar job the desire to box never left him. The truth is that if you do not at least attempt to fulfill your dreams you will always be filled with regret. Joice Ize-Iyamu who we featured recently knew she was passionate about music and eventually (despite getting a degree and working in a bank) went back to her first love, same with Elaine Shobanjo. Similarly there was this lawyer who always wanted to sing and until he released a few singles he wasn’t happy. Though I believe he went back to legal practice even if he never releases another album he will have the satisfaction of knowing he tried!
- Your loved ones may not agree but trust God and “do you”: When I told a close friend I wanted to go back to school she told me not to, she was worried I wouldn’t be able to cope with young children. Many times our loved ones may not agree with our vision or passion. In the movie, Adonis Creeds step mother disapproved of his love for boxing and she had a good reason, boxing had killed his father. Whether this disapproval is over worry, doubt or a lack of understanding, be rest assured that they love you and with time they will come round and be proud.
- Seek out advice from those who have gone ahead: Adonis Creed sought out Rocky to help him train and it paid off big time. When I was writing a children’s book I spoke with an experienced children’s book author and her tips were invaluable. I also went to a children’s section of a library and was able to learn a lot! The truth is that there is always someone you can learn a thing or two from. Like my pastor says “a father will help you go further”.
- Focus on the family (on what’s important): When Tommy Holiday was trying to book Ricky Conlan a fight with Adonis he told him “I don’t care how you’re remembered. I care that your kids have a roof over their heads when you go away”. You see Conlan was worried about losing his last fight to someone he considered an amateur, but Holiday was being practical. Many times in life we may need to put ego aside and do what’s best for our family or ourselves.
- It’s not always about how you win but how you fight: My favourite line in the movie was “Conlan won the fight, but Creed won the night”. There are many battles one has to fight and there is wisdom knowing when to fight on and when to let go. The fact that you decide to “fight” at all is commendable and irrespective of which way it goes you can raise you head up high and know that you gave it your best shot.
- Never underestimate yourself or anyone: This for me is the premise of every Rocky movie. You may not be the biggest or the most experienced but don’t let that discourage you from being who God has called you to be. Even when applying for a job you may not have enough experience but go ahead…the worst you can get is a no but what if you get a yes? In the same vein, don’t look down on anyone or judge them by their appearance. Creed looked like a “softie” but he sure could fight and he didn’t allow the fact that he wasn’t an experienced fighter get in the way of forging ahead.
What lessons did you learn from Creed or other movies?