Over the past few years, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become a real source of personal inspiration. He has transformed himself from a popular professional wrestler, to one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. Yet, it is not his A-list status or even his commitment to hard-earned muscle that has drawn my inspiration. It is his tireless work ethic and determined attitude.
So from troubled delinquent to beloved superstar, here are 7 Dwayne Johnson teaching moments. Seven, because in 1995, that’s all the money he had in his pocket before deciding to turn his life around.
Dwayne first learnt and applied this lesson by way of heavy metal and calloused hands. The gym was Dwayne’s home when he was homeless and has served as an outlet for frustration over his failures. There he learnt at a very young age; “there is no substitute for hard work” both inside and outside the gym.
At just 13 years old, Dwayne’s first gym session was humbling and saw him ‘buried by the weight’. “I’ll never forget that feeling, I was completely embarrassed.”
This created an obsession with ‘moving that weight’, a philosophy, which continued into his career. Whatever obstacle stood in his way, he was going to move it, no matter how ugly. Persistence means progress, not perfection.
Coming home to an eviction notice and padlock on the door, Dwayne made a vow to never be homeless again. Surrounded by others who had achieved success through sweat equity and hardened hands, his purpose now was to train harder than ever before.
And while in retrospect, he knows that lifting weights and paying rent are unconnected, the determination and sense of purpose that grew out of that event, would continue to serve and drive him to this day.
Despite all the focus and discipline he showed in the gym, his unstable home life left him directionless outside of it. By the time he entered highschool, he was a towering 193cm and weighed 102kg, but squandered his potential by getting into fights and was arrested multiple times.
Thanks to a high school football coach (and future mentor), Dwayne would learn to control his anger and put all that hard-earned muscle to good use on the field, rather than off it.
Like a deadlifting session gone wrong, one day, Dwayne had the realisation that, if he didn’t turn things around and take responsibility for his actions, he might never get the chance.
“There are signs around you all the time, and a lot of the time we don’t see them, but sometimes we do, and those become our greatest lessons.”
In order to handle the challenges that come your way, you must be able to read and respond to them mindfully. Rather than simply reacting out of habit.
When times are challenging, or you find yourself doubting or questioning your path. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success. You need to be willing to travel back down that hard road and start everything again, beginning with the basics.
For Dwayne, he didn’t need directions, that road was well-worn. He simply needed to call upon the same principles that powered him through his most gruelling training sessions: focus, persistence and HARD WORK.
To Dwayne, there is a sublime beauty in life’s struggles and he knows he is a product of the most challenging times in his life. “As crazy as it sounds, in my mind, I’m always a week away from getting evicted, and that’s what keeps me motivated.”
*Inspiration of this blog, was taken from the January 2016, Muscle & Fitness Magazine