Yo, Adrian! I want to share a piece of Sylvester Stallone wisdom with you. (If you think “Stallone wisdom” is an oxymoron, I’ll address that, too.) But first let me lay some groundwork.

Every morning I wake up at 4:00 AM and I start my day.

Does the idea of a 4:00 AM wakeup call make you groan? Not me. I use this time because it is when I am most creative. I write, think and get into the flow better first thing in the morning. Sometimes the process works, sometimes I get stuck and then I just take care of personal business, answer emails and things on my to-do-list.

At 5:15 AM I get ready to leave for the gym so I am sure to get there by 5:30 AM. But every day before I leave for the gym I watch a video. Perhaps you’ve seen it. I often play it at my training programs and live seminars.

It’s a 60-second clip featuring Sylvester Stallone. It’s a spot he used to promote his TV show The Contender (which, I’ll agree, wasn’t great TV). It was forwarded to me by my friend Bill Yeager from Horizon Personal Training & Nutrition. I met Bill at the first Body-for-Life Expo in Colorado in 2004. I had just become a champion in the Body-For-Life Challenge; Bill was a champion in 2001.

I watch it everyday because it reminds me that, first and foremost, I have to be accountable to myself.

Sounds selfish? It isn’t.

To me “self accountability” means I have a major responsibility in my life (just like you). I have a family, friends, business associates and clients who are counting on me to deliver and give my best everyday.

They expect it. And I do not want to let them down, ever!

So I watch the video to remind myself to give it my best, everyday. I’m not taking any day for granted. I’m investing in it - not killing, spending or wasting time, therefore wasting a day,

I’m not just phoning it in. Back in the late 1980s/early 90s, in my DJ business, “phoning it in” was when the emcee/entertainer would show up to perform at a wedding but was only present physically. His heart and mind were not into it. He didn’t get out on the dance floor, mingle with the guests and be a true party host. He didn’t entertain and emcee to the best of his ability. He stood behind the DJ system and decided to be average — like DJs who get paid a lot less.

Even today I see it with my peers in the business of motivation and inspiration. Some speakers and presenters are getting paid big bucks to be on the platform to share knowledge, experience and real-life stories to help the audience. But they don’t do it with energy, enthusiasm and passion. They “phone it in” — you know what I mean?

FYI CHALLENGE: Are you going through life and not participating, not giving your very best every day? Have you been phoning it in? As you look toward 2008 -

Will it be a New Year and a New You?

Or a New Year and the Same You?

Try Sly’s wisdom: I’ve transcribed the text of the Stallone video that gets me going so you can read the words before watching it live.

Put your prejudices aside. Don’t let “Yo, Adrian!” fool you. Sylvester Stallone is a very accomplished and intelligent man.

I remember seeing him interviewed on Oprah and thinking how articulate he was. The man created a movie empire, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and a legacy with his Rocky and Rambo movies. Regardless of your personal opinion of him, his accomplishments deserve acknowledging.

So here is the transcript from the promo clip. I hope it moves you into action and makes you think about how you will approach each day, starting today, and on into 2008.

Pleasure and pain. They’re not opposites. They’re neighbors … separated by a thin line, by a split second.

One minute you’re feeling like everything is going your way … like you’re ready to climb the highest mountain … headed for the top of the world.

But in the game of life you never know.

You train for years to get a piece of personal glory or a chance to stand toe to toe with your peers and say, “Here I am. Take your best shot.” Then the contest begins and BANG! — you’re down for the count.

It’s not your day. You tried your best. But was it really your best?

So do you go home with a broken heart? Or do you get up smarter, wiser and better prepared then ever before?

It’s a new day … a new season … a new you!

You hope it won’t be the same story, or will pleasure turn into pain again? Are you ready to take life’s best punch — and stay on your feet?

I can’t answer that. Only you can.

Are you hoping for the best? Are you prepared for the challenge? Are you — A Contender?

*** Sylvester Stallone ***

Here is the link to the video: http://www.instonenutrition.com/videos/stallone.htm

Eric Taylor

P.S. “It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep movin’ forward.” - Rocky Balboa

Go Out and Make This Your Best Year Ever!

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of SelfGrowth.com and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.