Notable Quotable: You Don’t Have It


“You know all there is to know about fighting, so there’s no sense in us going down that same ol’ road again. To beat this guy, you need speed.

You don’t have it. And your knees can’t take the pounding, so hard running is out. And you got arthritis in your neck, and you’ve got calcium deposits on most of your joints, so sparring is out.

So what we’ll be calling on, is good ol’ fashioned blunt force trauma. Horse Power. Heavy duty, cast-iron pile-driving punches that will have to hurt so much they’ll rattle his ancestors. Everytime you hit him with a shot, it’s gotta feel like he tried kissing the express train. Yeah.

Let’s start building some hurtin’ bombs.”

-Tony Burton, Rocky Balboa (2006)

A fantastic, amazing film for its writing.

One of the great things about this notable quote is how much this applies to real life. The character Duke here is doing something that you won’t see as often as you think: He is being completely realistic, and simultaneously supportive of the main character.

Everything he said to Rocky was true. He was at a complete disadvantage. But rather than focus on those negative aspects, he decided to focus on his strengths in order to prepare him for his fight. Namely, the aforementioned blunt force trauma.

The fact of the matter is, is that every single one of us across the planet shares something in common; NONE of us are perfect.  So because of that, I don’t want to see you sit around, beating yourself up about the things that you’re not good at. YOU are good at something, and quite possibly, you are the VERY BEST at something. You just haven’t discovered it yet. Stop focusing on your negatives, and start putting emphasis on your strengths.

Now, I want you to go out there and start building yourself some hurtin’ bombs.

-Oliver

One comment

  1. Let me tell you, the writer’s equivalent of that speech can be hard to take.

    O: Listen, you already know what you should be doing. It’s not working. Let’s talk about your problems.
    D: (squirms, tries to look busy)
    O: You can’t plot worth a damn, you have too many loose ends. You never know where you’re going.
    D: (cartoony sad face)
    O: but your characters are amazing, and the way you write a scene is unbelievable. You know just how much description to offer so I get a good picture and don’t get bored. So don’t worry. I can help you fix everything else. We got this.
    D: (cartoony excited face)

    This sounds kind of silly, and it’s paraphrased, of course. But it’s important to have a very serious discussion with your writing partner or yourself, and get a concrete idea of your strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay to not know how to do everything. But avoiding weakness doesn’t help you improve. Only brutal, clean honesty and dedication do.

    When it’s time for critiques, be prepared to hear all about what you do wrong. Know it’s going to show you how to get better. Use it all as fuel to improve, fuel for change.

    Be prepared to hear all about what you do right. Know that’s going to help you get better, but not as much. But let it excite you, and rev you up.

    Be brave. Be excited. Be okay with not being perfect. Write your ass off. Get better.

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