“Life will beat you down if you let it” – Resilience in the Movies

When you think about what resilience means to you and for you, who or what best represents it for you in movies or books?

I remember seeing the first Rocky movie when I was 10 or 11. Aside from us play fighting as Rocky or Clubber Lang or Ivan Drago in the playground, as these chiseled superheroes with a frightening ability to take more punishment than a tank, there was something very grounding about the character of Rocky.

His humility gave him the strength to get back up each time life smacked him down. He lived from the heart and never gave up because it just wasn’t an option for him. This is a metaphor that, despite what you think of the films, we can all take something from.

So whilst these movies are undoubtedly popcorn fantasy,the character of Rocky has always stayed with me, and still does in the way I mentor people, and how I parent my children.

And this scene from 2006’s Rocky Balboa resonates me more than anything else in the series. In just two minutes, we hear the essence of mental resilience. That acceptance that the world owes you nothing and will beat you down if you let it. And that when you have what you want, clear in your heart, you get back up and keep moving forward.

When I listen to this I think that what we hearing isn’t Rocky, but Writer and Director Sylvester Stallone speaking about his experience of life, and that it’s coming from the heart, not from a script. And every time I see this clip, I feel it talking to me deep down. Resilience sits in our heart and our gut, not in our heads.

Now let’s go listen to Eye of The Tiger and get on with the day!


Experienced business leader, mentor and coach, with fascinations for technology, psychology and ancient philosophies. A self-confessed techno hippy with a unique talent for bringing the best out in people.

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