What’s not to love about Sylvester Stallone’s classic movie Rocky? If you’re an American, it’s easy to see why fellow Americans have fallen head over heels with this movie. In fact, in different circles, a lot of people would rather watch Rocky than The Godfather. I know that sounds crazy because The Godfather is by far and away the most recognized best movie created ever.

I know that’s quite a claim because there are many movies that are filmed in non-English language that would give The Godfather a run for its money. Still, if you ask any film school student or any movie critic from all over the world, chances are The Godfather will be in their top five list.

Well, the Rocky movies, especially the first one, occupy a special place in the hearts of many people. It’s easy to see why. You see in the movie Rocky, the main character is a product of rejection. Regardless of what he does, it seems that he fails. In fact, he is the lovable loser. He is the classic underdog.

When he finally prevails at the end, not because he got lucky, not because the victory was handed to him, but because of sheer, hard, brutal work and sacrifice, people all over the world, especially Americans, sit up, pay attention and stand up and clap their hands. They feel that they have to do it. Why? Rocky speaks to the part of the human condition that calls us to reach higher heights.

This call comes even though we have all these disadvantages. We may come from poor families. We may even be born with disabilities. We may have all these forces arrayed against us. We may have made all these bad choices in the past, and they continue to haunt us in the present. However, none of that matters because when we hear this call, and we give it everything that we’ve got, there’s always the possibly that we will come ahead.

That’s the promise of Rocky, and if you think about it, that is the promise of the United States. You see, the United States has always been a land populated by losers. It is the land of second chances. This is the land where people who have been rejected, kicked out or otherwise ostracized from their home nations found refuge. Not only did they find a place to escape their problems, they found a place to rebuild a new world.

This is why America dominates across a range of activities. Whether we’re talking about economics, technology, military force, you name it. America come out ahead because it is fueled by the dreams of people who have been beaten over and over again but whole refuse to give up.

If you love the Rocky movies, and you are into mixed martial arts, or if you are looking to take your life to the next level, listen up. There’s a lot to be learned from that movie. If anything, that movie calls you out from your complacency. If anything, the movie seeks to inspire you to do the right thing.

You see, you already know the right thing to do. It comes naturally, but you refuse to do it. You’d rather take a short cut. You’d rather do something more pleasurable. You’d rather take it easy. You’d rather do it tomorrow. That is the human condition.

Rocky tells us that if we want to be great, we have to get over our fear. We have to get over our laziness. We have to stop making excuses for ourselves. If you are engaged in any kind of martial arts, you have to get over your natural fear. It’s okay to be scared. That’s part of the normal human condition, but you have to overcome that if you want to be a hero.

This is why you have to get the fastest speed bag you can afford. Keep practicing with that speed bag. In the beginning, it’s probably going to be beat you up. In the beginning, it’s probably going to slap you in the face every time you hit it. However, every time you try, you get better and better. Every time you use it, you get an opportunity to connect the dots and take your game to the next level. That’s a good analogy for life.

Life’s not going to bend over and let you have your way with it. Instead, it’s the other way around. Life is harsh. Life definitely is unfair. Are you going to stay on the ground and say that you’re a loser? Are you going to stay on the ground, and life is unfair, and the rich will just keep getting richer? No, you can choose to get back up and give it your best shot. Get the fastest speed bag you can find and take your game to the next level.