I love the Rocky franchise; from the critically acclaimed to the cheesiest, but I was not expecting to learn a life lesson from the latest release #CREED, but learn I did. As the grizzled old Rocky was mentoring his young apprentice, Adonis (Donny) Creed (Johnson), he also mentored me with this advice:
“One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time.” Over and over again, as Rocky trained the son of his best friend, he imparted this wisdom until it sunk deep into the young man’s soul. “One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time,” and his words reverberated in my psyche.
Life is very much like a prize-fight. There will be winners, there will be losers, and there will be split decisions that should have gone the other way. The real secrets to winning the fight of your life are summed up in Rocky’s advice. Let’s break it down:
One step at a time:
I am an over the hill guy, like Rocky. I have fewer years in front of me than I do behind me. One thing I can tell you is that if someone would have shown me at 18 all the hard things I would have to face: loss of loved ones, sickness, pain, poverty, and failure, it would have overwhelmed me. God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to put us on the earth with only the ability to live in the present, learning from the past and facing the future. As long as we keep moving “one step at a time” in the direction we wat to go, we make progress. Now, I can look back at a wonderful, successful, love filled life with its share of hardship, but also with meaning and purpose. I got here by moving forward, executing on my plans and goals, “one step at a time.”
One punch at a time:
The reality is life is a battle. From our first breath, death seeks to take us. We have to fight it everyday. There are times we will get knocked to the canvass. The only way we lose for sure is to not get back up. Sadly I have seen this in my life a couple of times with people close to me. Life knocked these guys down and they could not get back up. They just stayed down. The secret is to stay on the offensive. When you receive a blow, your enemy has left himself exposed, look for the counter punch! Press forward (one step at a time) and keep jabbing. You will take more blows, but you will never win the fight by retreating. Press in, jab, press in, block, then hook, block, then uppercut. Take the fight to the enemy. Remember the enemy is death, defeat it by living life to the full; Live, Laugh, and Love. Jab, hook, uppercut.
One Round at a Time
The fight of your life is a long one. Fifteen rounds are for lightweights! You will grow weary and you will want to throw in the towel to stop the blows from coming. At that point, remember: This round will end! You will be able to go to your corner, get some rest, get some coaching, and salve the wounds. This is ALWAYS the case. There is always an end to a round. Wait for it, and then when it comes, don’t stay in the ring. Go to your corner, get what you need to recover and get renewed, because the bell for the next round will sound, and the fight will resume.
Before the Final Bell
Finally, Creed learned that it was OK for him to acknowledge he was his father’s son. It was OK to take advantage of his Father’s name to influence his future. It is OK for you too. You have a Father who has passed to you what you need to fulfill your destiny. You do not have to do it all on your own power. He has provided for you to give you a future and hope. He may not be visible, but he is here. He loves you and He can still give you what it takes to win the fight.