In 1977, the film that took everyone by surprise and won the Oscar for Best Picture was Rocky. But you should know that the path to stardom for screenwriter Sylvester Stallone was a bit rocky, too. Stallone had been beaten down by the hard knocks of life and was literally at his wit’s end and flat-out broke when he penned the screenplay for Rocky in a matter of days.
Under pressure, he was able to do what so many of us fail to do in our own lives: he took his idea from concept to completion. Think about it. How many of us have dreams but never take any real steps toward them? New Year’s resolutions are a perfect example. Lots of folks make ‘em, but few keep ‘em.
Come to think of it, screenwriters, in general, have that same characteristic exhibited by Stallone. They follow through. Whether or not their writings end up on the silver screen, just completing an entire screenplay is a worthwhile accomplishment.
You probably don’t know many screenwriters by name. Nora Ephron, for example, may not be familiar to you, but you’re probably aware of her work. Do When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle ring a bell?
Stallone, Ephron and other writers know that starting on a journey is one thing, but completing it is another. For the character Rocky, that was about getting back up each time he was knocked down. Even Dori, the costar of Disney’s animated Finding Nemo knew the importance of a “keep on swimming” mindset.
So why not get in the ring and do battle with your own version of ‘Apollo Creed’–whether that be procrastination, lack of focus or self-doubt? Set a goal and take steps daily to meet it. Face your fears and keep throwing punches and you’ll be surprised by just how successful it feels to, if nothing else, at least keep standing for all ‘15 rounds.’