“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
“It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again.”
Determination — “a fixed purpose or intention” — can be the anchor that keeps us from sinking or going adrift. It can push us forward when everything and everyone around us is telling us to stop, to let go, to give up, to try something else. It can give us the courage and
will to persist in the face of criticism and unfavorable circumstances — and to triumph.
If we need an extra dose of determination today, let’s simply remember the tale of Sly Stallone and his legendary “Rocky” movies. As a kid, Sly was abused by his father and told he had no brains. He grew up lonely, neglected, and confused. He was a poor student and
ricocheted in and out of different schools. An educator told him that, based on aptitude testing, he should be an elevator operator.
But Sly didn’t listen. Instead, he decided to pursue acting. He failed time and again, but remained determined to learn his chosen craft. When his auditions fell flat, he decided to use his failure as fuel and turned his hand to writing. After seeing an unknown fighter
heroically battle Muhammad Ali, Sly was inspired to write the script for “Rocky” — in less than four days.
Just like Sylvester Stallone, no one is going to hand us a “win.” We’re going to face heartbreak and hardship; we’re going to hear “no” and “not you.” And just like him, when we fail, we can use it as fuel: We can create our own personal “Rocky” moment where we fling up our arms and call out “Yes!” to the world. Write on!