Last week I had the privilege to talk to the students of a middle school in Yonkers, NY. I didn't read a script or memorize words to say, I simply spoke from the heart.
As I was on the stage looking over the crowd I couldn't help but think what was going on in my life when I was there age. From Middle School, all the way to High School, I now look back and realize how much I got made fun of for looking a certain way. I realize how I was always counted out before even given the chance.
I told the students that I know what it's like to be rejected, I mean one girl growing up said yes to me after I asked her out....one.
Constantly getting rejected, not making sports teams, working really hard to get something and never getting it at all. The reason I loved college so much is that it was my wake up call, one that told me that "the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows" and the only thing you could do is work as hard as you can to create the life you want to live. I preached this to the kids, along with also never allowing anyone to tell them that they can't do what it is they know in their hearts they want to do.
This same lesson was taught me over the past week in Creed II. After seeing it three times already there's one lesson that won't leave my head. The simple question Rocky Balboa asks Adonis Creed before he is about to enter the ring is...
"Are you here to prove something to other people, or are you here to prove something to yourself?
Along with the central theme repeated multiple times throughout the film which is "What are you fighting for?"
These two questions we all should ask ourselves each and every morning we wake up.
Personally, I feel that If you don't know what you are fighting for, then you are fighting for nothing. Along with, If you don't have a reason for fighting, you might as well not fight at all.
What I have fought for since day one has been, and always will be, my family.
When I first started changing my life around I used the hate I received when I was younger, the rejections, and the insults hurled my way as my reason for fighting.
But one lesson I learned lately from a phone call with a friend from college a couple weeks ago, is that you can't let negativity guide you to a positive future, because that will never happen.
"Although it was okay to let the negativity fuel the fire, that's not what will keep the fire burning."-Jake Kosack
Knowing what you are fighting for is what will continue to let your fire burn. It will guide you to a life where you know what you stand for, and keep you standing never letting it knock you out.
To Get Better, you need to know what you are fighting for, and you need to know that no matter what reason you are fighting, you can't live a successful life until you know what that reason is.
Below I attached a scene that embodies this lesson. Once Rocky knew what he was fighting for, that is when we got what is now the most inspirational scene ever made. He needed his wife's support, and once she told him to go "Win", Apollo Creed never stood a chance.