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4 Incredible Motivational Moments From Million Dollar Baby

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4 Incredible Motivational Moments From Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby, the movie that stole our hearts as we watched the rags to riches, heart wrenching journey of Maggie, the unlikely underdog turned hero of a grungy boxing gym and underrated, past-his-prime boxing coach.

A plethora of profound words to-live-by and life altering dialogue wash over me as I watch in awe of this woman’s determination, drive and unwillingness to hear “No” or “You Can’t”. But the one line that stayed with me, for years to come, that has popped into my mind all along my short path of life was this; “sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step back… But step back too far and you ain’t fighting at all.”

Frankie (Maggie’s trainer played by the legendary Clint Eastwood) is talking about her form, her style. But from the moment it rang in my ears, I heard the depth of that statement, it imprinted on my soul and to this day has never left me.

How often is it that we’re so entwined in a situation, in a problem, that all we seem to be doing is treading water. I like to call it the slump, the trough, the stagnation. Now, there is no one that believes more in the trends of life. The upswing and the downswing. The cycle. Sometimes it’s your turn to struggle and claw your way through an era, and sometimes it’s your turn to bask in the glory of the moment. But that line, it has a strange way of lightly tapping me on the shoulder in the middle of my greatest battles, my cyclical thriller in Manila. (Yes, I’ve fought my fair share of Frazier’s, so have you, don’t discredit yourself.)

 

Million Dollar baby quotes
 

1. Own your weakness, own your strengths

“Sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step back…” for me, this speaks to the art of detaching, for me specifically, this speaks to emotion. So often I cloud myself with emotion, blame it on any which aspect you like, I’m a Gemini, I’m an only child, I’m a woman, call it how you like it, none of the above offends me, and it shouldn’t offend you either. Understand yourself.

Understand the way you tick, the way you work, when you feel that wave of emotion, own it, label it, indulge and experiment with it. Assess what it helps you create, assess the damage it does if you let it be free, harness it and channel it. Be kind to yourself.

As humans we have this indescribable beauty within us that comes from being so imperfect, and having the ability to acknowledge that. So often the clarity we so desire, that we are so thirsty for, comes from detaching ourselves. It comes from decelerating the panic, zooming out.

Taking that one step back to regain our footing, regain our focus and deliver that knock-out punch, that winning number, the move that brings the crowd to their feet in awe and appreciation of you and your efforts.

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” – Bruce Lee

2. Don’t step back too far

However, there’s always a “but”. There is a balance to be kept, and our beloved Frankie, Clint Eastwood’s character, brings it home with “But step back too far and you ain’t fighting at all.”

It’s a warning and it’s applicable to every aspect of our lives. Step back too far, and you aren’t even in the fight any longer. Remove yourself too far, cut yourself off, bottle yourself up, and you’re no longer competing. You’re no longer in the game. You aint fighting at all.

It speaks to spectatorizing yourself (yup, I made it up, give it a minute it will catch on). It speaks to side lining yourself. Again I say, be kind to yourself, we are such gentle souls, so delicate, we are so soft and so in need of love and guidance. When there is no one around to applaud for you, applaud yourself.

 

3. Acknowledge even the smallest victory

I once heard of a primary school teacher who was teaching her little ones to read. One day during class she requested that little Johnny get up and spell the word “cat” on the board. Johnny eagerly got up, ran to the board and in shaky, untrained handwriting Johnny wrote K-O-T. Instead of correcting Johnny straight away, the teacher ran up to Johnny and said “well done Johnny, you got the T correct. Now let us try to get the rest of the letters that you’re missing.

Be gentle, do not jump to what is wrong first. Give yourself credit where credit is due.  Don’t work on yourself because you hate what you are, or what you see. Don’t go into that gym despising your body, it’s been so good to you for this long, after everything you’ve put it through.

Be gentle with your mind and thoughts when learning something new, your brain does a million things at once, over and over, every single day, appreciate yourself. But do not step so far back that you no longer fight. So far back that you no longer compete.

“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you” – Eddie Scrap

4. Show up on the night

Challenge yourself and change yourself, drive yourself to be what you have always wanted to be, how you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t make yourself a spectator of your own life. You are stronger and more resilient than you could possibly fathom. There is complete freedom at the end of the road of endurance, at the edge of the limits we set ourselves. But we should aim to always discover this positively.

 

Take that step back in today’s boxing ring, assess your situation, physically, mentally, emotionally… focus… distribute your weight evenly, and deliver life that winning shot.But don’t forget the number one rule; Protect yourself at all times.

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Samantha is a 25 year old South African, lover of all things, employed as a Business Analyst with an Honours degree in Strategic Management, a vocal performers degree as well as being a qualified pilates teacher, an avid fitness fanatic and dancer at the core. Sam has travelled often and believes that in her short 25 years on this earth she has lived 100 different lives, and hopes to live hundreds more.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. William

    Oct 13, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Samantha your post is amazing! 🙂
    Million Dollar Baby is a great movie with incredible lessons of life and great idea about motivation and strenght of character.
    Thank u. I have a little blog in Italy that talks about these topics and i love this kind of topics.
    Thank u so much. 🙂
    Have a Great Day.

  2. ocholi

    Sep 23, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Wow. A great read. I think I really needed that have had to lean back a little lately. Was begining to question that. Nice to hear its an important part of “delivering the knock out punch”. Thanks

  3. Paddy

    Sep 7, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Amazing article Sam – I am soooo proud of you!

  4. Deepa

    Sep 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you, I could really make over of myself with your article… Hope will get such articles to read again.Have a nice time Sam.

  5. Mandy

    Aug 29, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Brilliant Sam! I wish you happiness.

  6. Lawrence Berry

    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Knowing who you are can really help you improve all areas of your life and will definitely help you to be happier. So many people go around in life like zombies, living without meaning because they don’t know who they truly are, they fail because they dont know their own strengths and weaknesses, and they are not happy because they dont know what they truly want. Living the life you want means that you have to asses yourself and taking a step back to find yourself and your strength.

  7. Phil Bush

    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Great article and so right in point. I am often guilty of beating myself up. In doing Sales Enablement, I can win deals for people, all I can do is offer Coaching advice along the way. Thanks for a great post!

  8. Ana

    Aug 25, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Firstly, I once got a chance to meet Clint Eastwood. What I could see in his eyes was a man full of compassion and love of the good guy or gal. I now see that reflected in his films. In the above mentioned movie let me say it resonated with me deeply. For it was when she was down she taught him his greatest lesson. She truly won, sadly after she passed. One heck of a tough gal! Sadly a lot of tough gals give up and we “throw in the towel.” Now, I’ve learned to love myself more and love the fight of my life. Who knows maybe I’m the tough massage therapist chick someone needs today!?

  9. Alan

    Aug 25, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Such an interesting view on life and its ups and downs ,its not all of us who can live life to these rules but great to know you can refer to an article like yours Sam and take a step back and look at life and see how it is treating you.
    Well done proud of you.
    Alan

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

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“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

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