These six films will change your life – Jim Duffy

Watching the Rocky films can teach you a lot about life, says Jim Duffy (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)
Watching the Rocky films can teach you a lot about life, says Jim Duffy (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)
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Men, women, boys and girls can all learn something from the highly successful film franchise, writes Jim Duffy.

It does not matter what age you are, where you are on your life journey or what new ‘ism’ is in fashion, there are some amazing ways to improve your life. The best bit about it is that you can have some real fun as you do it. Even better, it will not cost the Earth and you do not have to pay for a guru to do it. No signing up to expensive lessons, courses online or diplomas at the local college.

No, all you have to do is sit down in front of a tablet, CD player or DVD player for a few hours and I guarantee you will be a better person after it. How will this happen? Well, all you need to do is watch a few hours of the “Rocky” franchise movies. It is that simple and invigorating for the soul.

When Sylvester Stallone set out to create the character Rocky Balboa, I bet he had no idea just how successful and motivational this guy would be. Rocky is a simple man with a simple philosophy. Be nice to others, make the best of opportunities and never give up. Oh, and never forget where you came from and the life lessons you learned on the way.

In essence, this whole theme is weaved throughout the movies. Rocky never swears and tells off his belligerent bother-in-law, Pauly, when he curses and uses bad language. He remains totally consistent from Rocky 1 to Rocky 5 and the final cut – Rocky Balboa.

And the movies are easy watching for boys, girls, men, women, whatever gender one is. And that is exactly what Rocky would have wanted.

Each movie follows a fairly simple formula. They start slow and build up. Rocky always get some bad news just when he doesn’t need it. He puts his family first and when he has cared for them and they are safe and secure, he then puts his mind to overcoming almost insurmountable odds. And this is where there are so many learnings that you can take from these movies. Notwithstanding the music is great and will really get you inspired and ready to fight ... whatever fight you have in front of you.

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Here are a few learnings that warm my soul every time I watch a Rocky movie and reflect on how I should act and react to life.

Firstly, Rocky has amazing humanity. Regardless of who he interacts with, who works with him or the company he is in, he shows amazing respect and dignity. He never reacts angrily knowing that once it’s out of his mouth it can never be taken back.

His humility is inspiring as even when he is the champ and on top of the world, he brings others along with him. I’m afraid this is one that has caught me out in the past and I have paid the price.

It doesn’t matter how good you are or how awful someone else is at something, showing humility is just one of those qualities that stands out a mile.

Rocky knows that he has not been dealt the best of cards in life. But, rather than just accept that, he believes that you can re-shuffle the pack.

Life will not be easy but he doesn’t get down about it. Rocky knows there will be hits he has to take that will floor him. But, he never gives up.

Life is not an Instagram account for Rocky where he posts lovely images of him enjoying a manufactured lifestyle using filters to do so. No, for him the filter is a real-life one, where he knows that moving forward all the time, despite the setbacks, will get him to where he needs to be.

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I just wish that so many of our kids these days would appreciate this one and get off social media into the bargain. As we all know, as we adventure through this life, events will hit us right between the eyes. But, having the support and love of a partner can actually flip circumstances on their heads as they stand in the corner of the ring with us.

Enter Talia Shire, who plays Rocky’s wife, Adrian. From humble beginnings, Adrian shows encouragement, loyalty and love.

Of course, she hates the fact that he gets his head beaten up every now and then. But, she knows who he is and what makes him tick. Her belief and confidence in Rocky makes him what he is and just adds to the wow factor in his big heart.

It always makes me think about how we, as individuals at work, at sport, in clubs and in our family life have so much influence on those around us. And we could do so much more to have a more positive impact if we stopped and thought about it. I know I need to work hard at this. Maybe it comes more naturally with age ... but, giving someone a boost to their own “wow factor” is something very special.

You will not be disappointed in the Rocky movies. But, each movie will throw up a new life lesson for you and perhaps your kids. From never giving up, to appreciating what a “big heart” means in terms of discipline and endurance and then being loyal to those who are around you, Rocky will inspire you to new heights.

I guess that is why the franchise could sustain six great movies from 1976 until today. Rocky Belboa wins fights he just shouldn’t to become a winner.

By watching these movies and energising your world there will only be one winner – you.