Yo Adrian! You Don’t Have to “Win” to be Great


June 20, 2009

Rocky runningHave you seen Rocky?  How about Rocky 2, Rocky 3, Rocky 4, Rocky 5, AND Rocky Balboa?  I know……there have been a lot of Rocky movies.  I’m a sucker though.  I don’t know exactly what it is about those movies, but if one is on cable (DISH in my case) then I am sucked in at whatever point in the movie it is.

There are so many things to love about the Rocky movies.  You know he’s always the underdog.  Yet he often comes out on top.  Notice that I didn’t say he always wins?  It is because he doesn’t.  Do you remember the last scene in Rocky Balboa?  He’s fighting Mason Dixon and at the end of a dramatic fight it’s a split decision by many of the judges.  Ultimately, Dixon wins.  But, as Rocky leaves the arena, the fans are chanting “Rocky, Rocky, Rocky”.  Because he has heart.  He wins their hearts. 

Even though he doesn’t win, he is still an inspiration.  Rocky shows us a couple key things:

  • Work hard
  • Stay focused
  • Don’t be afraid of challenges
  • Don’t let fear run your life
  • Love you family and friends
  • Always keep trying to do better- to BE better

It isn’t rocket science, I know.  It’s Rocky.  But…………..I love him.  Yo Adrian!! Rocky


  • I’m not a big movie person in general, although I my son is a Rocky fan and so I have seen bits and pieces. All the lessons you mention are part of his life today. At 25, I would say I see him trying to follow each of those.
    Now, I don’t know if Rocky is the only place he learned them (I hope not!), but he is still a sucker for those kind of films.
    Maybe I should suggest these as a set of principles as work, and just not let anyone know that they are from Sly.

  • Love it. Maybe a relation is American Idol? The winner gets locked into a crushing contract, but the 2nd place person gets to take his/her pick. They end up better off in the end. Great post!

    Also, I laughed, because your post is associated with “top 10 reasons I dislike breastfeeding.” 😀

  • It’s all about heart – I like that. Not letting fear run your life and being brave are always good reminders for me. Nice post.

  • I am a big fan of Rocky as well. I guess another lesson I would add, is that your past does not necessarily define your future. Rocky rose up from humble beginnings to achieve greatness. Nice post Trish!

  • Great post, Trish! I love the last one, “always keep trying to do better, to be better”. I think that’s an important lesson. You may not win every time, and that’s ok. But keep trying to do better. I’m currently having this conversation with my very competitive 6 year old who doesn’t like to lose at anything! 🙂

  • I spent some time with Sly on the set of Balboa. At the time we all knew then how inspirational it would be. I love reading Rocky blogs-espicially when they are positive like yours. Ya know, I wrote a book called, Cue The Rocky Music. Check it out or my blog at Cue the Rocky music blog!

    Best, Mike

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A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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