After months of trying to watch “Creed”, my wife and I finally had a few hours to sit down and enjoy the movie. For as long as I can remember, Rocky has been one of my only heroes. I know he’s a fictional character, but I can apply nearly everything Rocky represents or experiences to my personal or professional life – his big wins, his big losses, his battle of self-confidence, the challenges that exist in his marriage as a result of being a professional fighter, securing his identity and mortality as a fighter – the list goes on.

While “Creed” wasn’t as emotionally powerful (for me anyway) as the others, the movie highlighted several key principles that I apply to my own life and fully believe are valuable to anyone’s life. Whether you’re a fighter, a teacher or something in between, take a few moments to process these principles and evaluate where they fall in your own life.

Creating a Legacy – What is a legacy? To me, I believe legacy is using up every single ounce of good within yourself to positively impact those around you. It’s leaving an imprint on the world when you area gone. The seed of my legacy lies in living a life that makes my daughter, Gracie, proud to carry the Brenneman name. The vision of her proudly introducing herself as “Gracie Brenneman, daughter of Charlie ‘The Spaniard’ Brenneman”, is enough to get me out of bed every single morning ready to take on the world.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

Appreciating Time and Wisdom – Rocky Balboa might as well be a real person. Seeing an aging Rocky Balboa and an aging Sly Stallone was one in the same. Rocky Balboa was once champion of the world, the best of the best. He had it all, but the one thing he couldn’t control was the passage of time. No matter how hard we try, things go away, people go away and our accomplishments tend to be forgotten. Our insignificance in this giant world can show it’s ugly face. But instead of seeing an aging, dejected Rocky Balboa, I chose to see a man full of wisdom and knowledge. I see a man of value that can only be created by a lifetime of living and doing. The wear and tear in Rocky’s eyes shows evidence of a man who has truly lived.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what I think of Rocky Balboa, it’s what Rocky Balboa thinks of Rocky Balboa that matters. It doesn’t matter what I, or anyone else for that matter, may think of you, it’s what you think of you that makes all the difference. Use your time to create a person of value and wisdom.

“Time takes everybody out. Time’s undefeated,” says Rocky.

Use it wisely.

Your Inner Circle is what Truly Matters – As I sat and watched the movie, I smiled fondly at the memory of my own “Rocky” story. I smiled at the memories of the fans, the pre-fight lead up, the post-fight adulation, the drive home from Pittsburgh the following day, the barrage of media attention, the interest from all kinds of potential sponsors, the royal treatment that followed from the UFC, the recognition I received in my community and the platform I now had to impact others.

I cried at the memories. I cried not because I was sad they were gone, I cried because I was grateful for the experience of having lived out a dream. As my wife and I sat in our living room, reliving that night in Pittsburgh, it dawned on me that, at that moment, in my Harrisburg home, the only two people who really, truly cared about my own “Rocky” story were my wife and I.

It’s fun and exciting to be the “greatest thing” in the world, but it never lasts. It’s the memories you create and the people you create them with that will never fade away. The MMA community has long forgotten my victory in Pittsburgh, but the people who were there, my friends and family, will never, ever forget that night.

Don’t focus on the outside world. Build your inner circle. They are the ones who truly care, and always will.

This Week’s Happenings

  • New promo video posted on my website homepage
  • Podcast episode on “Order of Man”
  • Podcast episode on “Step into the Jungle”
  • I am gathering interest on a 6-week self-awareness online course that aligns with my philosophies and content. If you’re interested, please email me. Serious inquiries only.