A man walked into a movie theater on the night of March 24, 1975 to see a show. He had $40.55 left to his name. He was so poor that he had to sell his dog for $50 just to survive. A few years prior to this he was homeless and had to sleep in the New York Port Authority bus station for 3 weeks.
After he left the movie theater on that March night in 1975 he went home. When he got home he pulled out a spiral notebook, picked up his pen, and for the next 3 days and 20 hours straight began writing. He didn’t stop until he was finished. Little did he know at the time that what he had just written was the cornerstone behind what would eventually bring in over $1 billion in total revenue.
Who was this man? Sylvester Stallone. What did he write? The movie Rocky. On that March night Stallone went to a movie theater to watch the Muhammad Ali vs. Chuck Wepner boxing match (In those days you could watch the fight on closed circuit in movie theaters). This is what gave Stallone the inspiration to write Rocky.
But what Stallone also did, he wrapped the Rocky character and the plot around his own life. Stallone himself at the time was a struggling actor who was broke. He was basically down and out. No one gave him a chance.
This is what the Rocky character centered around, a down and out boxer who was to get his chance at winning the heavyweight title. So why am I telling you this? Because if right now your life isn’t going the way you want, the very thing you need to turn things around just may be staring you in the face.
Here are 3 tips to writing the story of your own life:
1. Standing up to life
After Stallone wrote the Rocky script, his next challenge was to get a producer to do the film. He had no problem getting interest from the many producers he approached. They liked the story. What they didn’t like is that Stallone wanted to play the lead role. Every producer wanted a well known actor to play Rocky. Stallone insisted that he play Rocky.
Despite being offered at one point over $400,000 to sell the story and have someone else play Rocky, two producers agreed to film the movie and let Stallone play Rocky. What’s the big takeaway for you here?
When you have something that you believe in that’s true and authentic to you, you’ll do whatever it takes, travel any distance, and pay whatever price (even if that means turning down a high price like Stallone did) to accomplish it.
You’ll also stand up to anyone or anything along the way. Your ability to stand up to the most challenging situations in life will be the driving force behind your success. Had Stallone sold that script for $400,000, not only would he have missed out on the $225 million the first Rocky movie made, but the subsequent combined $1 billion in revenue all of the sequels generated.
My question to you here is, what is that “something” you have which can be turned into a product, service, or idea that can provide tremendous value to others? This is your ticket out of any life challenging situation you have, especially when you can use your unique and amazing story in the process.
“You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script” – Oprah Winfrey
2. Your two sided story script
Whether you’re aware of it right now or not, you have a unique life story that has a tremendous amount of value. You may be thinking at first that you don’t have a unique story, that your life may have been nothing but “bad luck” and one negative person and situation after another. Or that your story isn’t that important or that it’s boring.
Every situation in your life has two sides. For every challenge you have there is an equal amount of support. For every “failure” you perceive, there’s a hidden success. For every “mean” person you come across, there’s an equal number of “nice” people. For every “sad” moment in your life, there’s an equal number of “happy” moments.
These work the opposite way as well. For every support there’s an equal number of challenges. The same with success and failure, nice and mean people, happy and sad moments, and so on. You and your life story have both sides (and they occur simultaneously) and this is vitally important to understand.
This will help you “connect the dots” in your own life while allowing you to come up with your own unique life story. When you take the time to realize that every situation in your life has both sides. And that in every “down” moment there was an “up” moment, and that in every “up” moment there was actually a “down” moment, you’ll discover new revelations about your life story that you were never aware of before.
3. Down and out to in and up
Prior to writing Rocky, Sylvester Stallone was down and out. In the movie, Rocky was down and out. What happened as a result of this? They both went in and up. Always remember, “The more down and out you’ve been the more in and up you’re destined to go.” And this certainly applies to you and your life story.
If right now you see your situation as being down and out, If you feel that you have nowhere to turn, no one to turn to, and not knowing what to do next, then this is your opportunity to go inward so you can skyrocket upwards. And it starts by creating the story of your life.
To do so in a way that you take different moments of your life, see both sides of those moments, and how you can use them in doing what it is that you love most. This is how you go “in” and get those inspiring insights. Quite often the events and moments that you perceive in your life as something you wished didn’t happen, in many cases, are the things you actually need to turn your life completely around in a positive way.
“Those who tell stories rule the world” – Plato
Whether it’s something that’s happening to you today or something that occurred a year, two years, or ten years ago, the fact is that it may be the very thing that will help you go from where you are now to where you want to be.
And it’s all a part of your amazing life’s story. It’s also part of your journey that reveals to you the magnificence and brilliance of who you are. Your life story is special and serves humanity otherwise you wouldn’t exist.