Is there a price to your dream? How much will you sell your dream for? Are you willing to give up big money to live your dream?
When Sylvester Stallone was just starting out in life, it was a miserable life for him. Before his big breakthrough with ROCKY, he was a nobody. He lived life on the go, earning bare minimum from film roles no one wanted to take.
In his early acting career, he took part in some soft porn films. For him, it was a matter of survival. Once he recounted how he had to live at a New York City Port Authority bus station for three weeks while waiting for an assignment that eventually paid him $200.
Although he was a nobody to people, he was someone big to himself. All he ever wanted to do in his life was to become a writer/actor. He held on to this when the environment he was in and people around him beat him to the ground. He knew how to get up and continue living his dream. Hasn’t that become the trademark of all his ROCKY films?
His big break came after watching a boxing match involving the great Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner in March of 1975. Like Stallone, Wepner was a nobody against the greatest heavyweight champion of the world. Yet, he never knew how to quit. After that, Stallone was so inspired that he when home and wrote the original script of ROCKY in 20 straight hours.
Stallone did not just write the script, but he also knew that this was his own dream. He must be ROCKY no matter what.
When a film producer eventually decided to take his script and start the movie production, the company was willing to pay Stallone big bucks for it. There was only one problem – Stallone wanted to be ROCKY.
But the producers could never put an ugly guy that could not speak properly as the main character. So they began raising the offer to prevent Stallone from starring in his own movie. That price eventually came to $325,000.
That was a fortune in the 1970s. Still, Stallone turned it down. He was ready to walk out of the deal because he believed in his dream so strongly.
Finally, the producers relented and allowed Stallone to be ROCKY in their new movie, but they also reduced the amount paid to Stallone to $35,000. Stallone was ready to hold onto his dream no matter what.
Until you are willing to let go of everything, you will never truly succeed and fly in life. In any fight, it is the man who is willing to risk everything that will find success.
ROCKY eventually won Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards. Since then, there were another five ROCKY films, each inspiring millions more to look at their lives and live their dreams no matter what.
What would have happened if Stallone sold his script for $325,000?
ROCKY is always about getting knocked down but never knocked out. It epitomized the true human spirit of going the distance no matter what. How have you been knocked down lately? How are you reacting to those knockdowns? Is life too hard sometimes?
Life is hard because it calls on us to do the impossible. Life believes in us! Do we believe in ourselves? I end with this famous quote from ROCKY BALBOA, the last of the ROCKY films:
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are 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 about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
– ROCKY BALBOA