Whenever you hear the name Sylvester Stallone, you probably get images in your head of a shirtless Rambo, mowing down countless bad guys with a Gatling gun.
You think of a guy that has a great muscular body even though he is now well into his 70s.
Some might even see another over the hill actor trying to recapture his youth.
But, as it turns out, he is so much more than that.
Stallone is perseverance personified and his unbelievable true story proves that anything is possible as long as you are willing to do the work and be patient.
Starting Off On The Wrong Foot
Stallone grew up in a broken home where his parents divorced while he was still very young.
He lived in multiple foster homes and got expelled from several different schools.
And to make matters worse, a botched birthing by hospital doctors had left him with a partially paralyzed lip and slurred speech.
Time For A Change
Fed up with the school system and unhappy with his place in life, Stallone quit school altogether and moved to New York to pursue his lifelong dream of being an actor.
In order to make ends meet, Stallone worked odd jobs (movie usher, cleaning lion cages at the zoo… just to name a few) so he could survive while putting most of his time and effort into acting auditions.
Long story short, his speech issues along with other things made it impossible for him to get cast in any movie roles whatsoever.
Despite all that, he refused to give in and get a normal 9-5.
The Event That Changed It All
As things continued to get worse for Stallone, he decided to focus on writing screenplays instead of acting and moved to LA with the hopes of breaking into Hollywood.
One fateful night, Stallone decided to attend a boxing match between Muhammid Ali and a no-name punching bag by the name of Chuck Wepner.
Everyone knew that the match was little more than an easy exhibition fight for Ali. This was supposed to be nothing more than a squash match, pure savage entertainment.
However, something magical happened that night. Weppner took blow after blow from Ali but refused to go down.
During the 9th round of the fight, Wepner did the unthinkable. He landed a clean shot on Ali and knocked him to the ground.
Stallone and thousands of other stunned spectators looked on in shock of what they had just seen.
For a brief moment, everyone saw that anything was possible in this life as long as you keep on battling.
That event turned out to be much more than just an anomaly in the boxing world.
It was the spark that ignited Stallone’s burning desire to create something great.
Creating A Masterpiece
Later that same night, Stallone returned to his small apartment in the ghetto and began writing the script for what would become Rocky.
In fact, he stayed up for over 24 hours straight until the story was fully completed.
Not long after he completed the script, Hollywood movie producers got wind of it and offers for the screenplay started rolling in.
Now, one thing you have to remember is that Stallone was borderline homeless during this time. In fact, he had to sell his only friend (a dog named Butkus) because he could no longer afford to feed him.
Regardless of that, offers came in to buy Rocky… offers worth several thousand dollars, yet Stallone declined them.
You see, Stallone still wanted to be an actor above all else and part of the reason why he was so inspired to write Rocky was that the part of the lead character was written for him.
Stallone realized that if nobody was going to give him an opportunity to act in any movie projects, he would just have to create his own.
Because of that, he decided that the only way he would accept money from a producer and sell Rocky is if they granted him his one and only wish… let him play the lead role.
The Deals Kept Rolling In
Money was continually thrown at the starving artist yet he continued to say the most powerful word on the planet… NO!
I never had any money so I really didn’t even know what I was missing. I figured that I lived poor my whole life so I could just continue doing that and I would still be okay.
-Stallone on rejecting multiple offers to sell Rocky
Finally, Hollywood producers gave in and let Stallone play Rocky so that the movie could finally be made. And as they say… the rest is history.
How Bad Do You Want It?
Stallone’s real-life story is the perfect example of what happens when you truly want something so bad that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
This is what happens when you don’t give up on your dreams.
Just because an idea in your head can’t be physically held in your hands doesn’t mean it isn’t a tangible thing that can be turned into something great.
Anyone in the world can create any type of life that they want for themselves if they just make the decision to do what is necessary to make it happen.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the website that you’re on right now.
For many years, Success & Strength was nothing more than an idea in my head.
Eventually, after lots of trial and error, I was able to turn that idea into a real thing that exists in the world.
Learn To Love The Process
As long as you pick something that really gets you fired up, you will have no choice but to succeed at whatever it is you want to accomplish.
You have to be addicted to the process and not the end goal if you want to get everything out of life that you want.
Show me a man that is doing something while constantly thinking about how long it will take to reach the end goal and I’ll show you a man that is destined to fail.
“Find Something That You’re Rad At And Go All In” – Gary Vee
Do you love playing video games 24/7?
Are you obsessed with collecting precious gems?
Do you love to paint?
Has writing about sports always been your passion?
Is your dream to travel the world and review the best resorts that each city has to offer?
Well then, start doing it.
BUT BUT BUT I can’t! I don’t have enough money to do that!
Okay, what’s more important to you?
Owning a bunch of meaningless stuff and paying bills for things you can live without.
Temporarily making your cost of living as low as possible by eliminating all bills so that you can be free to do as you please for the first time in your life?
Stop Waiting And Start Now
You see, this blog had been a dream of mine for 7 years but I didn’t end up creating it until a year ago now.
Imagine where I would be if I started 7 years earlier… If I only had a time machine.
At least I finally started!
I am getting better at my craft every single day and perfecting my process more and more as time goes on.
I am willing to take as much time as is needed to make Success & Strength great without constantly asking myself when all my hard work will finally pay off.
All I do is focus on creating the best work that I possibly can and let everything else take care of itself and you, my friend, can do the same thing with whatever it is that you are interested in.
You Already Know What You Want So Just Go Get It
Next time you are down on yourself and feeling lost in life, go ahead and read this article and then watch Rocky.
When you watch Rocky you are literally watching someone’s dreams come true right in front of your eyes… and that my friend, is a very rare sight.
What are your dreams?
What does your ideal life look like?
How do you plan to get there?
Let’s talk about it in the comments below!
From The Man Himself –
I truely miss that character so much I tell ya, sometimes I could just cry. I”ll never have a voice like that again where I can just speak whatever I feel in my heart. That’s the one thing I’ll always cherish about that chracter because If I say it you won’t believe it, but if Rocky said it, it was the truth.
– Sylvester Stallone