3 Lessons From "Cinderella Man"

Cinderella Man. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now. Then come back and read this blog. I recently rewatched it and it got me pumped! Beyond being generally motivating, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from this movie. Here are my top 3.



3. Sure up your weaknesses.

    Jim Braddock had no left hand and everyone knew it. As someone making his living boxing, you’d think he might fix that. Instead, he counted on his powerful right to get the job done. The old “it’s worked so far” strategy rarely ends well. He was a top contender for the title. But then he wasn’t. When your only weapon is your right hand and you break it, you know you’re in trouble. 

    But then what happens? Because of his broken hand Jim is forced to use his left working on the docks. Day in, day out hauling cargo with his weak hand. When he’s given the chance to fight again, he can suddenly put together left-right combinations. What do you think would’ve happened if he had improved his left hand earlier in his career? You think his life might’ve taken a different turn?

    Way too often we ignore the things we suck at, even when we KNOW they’re holding us back. Check the ego, admit your weaknesses, and build them to support your strengths. You can ALWAYS improve. Step up and make it happen.


2. Fighting For Milk

   The Depression had destroyed all of Jim Braddock’s savings. Work was scarce. Keeping food on the table was a daily struggle, not to mention paying the heat and electric. It was to the point that his wife was ready to send their 3 kids off to stay with family because they couldn’t afford to feed them. Before the title fight, Jim tells a reporter, “This time around I know what I’m fightin’ for . . . milk.” THAT is what I call motivation. Braddock knew his “why” and that was powerful.

    If you want to do something great, if you want to make real change in your life, you have to know your “why.” It has to be deep inside you. Ask yourself why you are doing it and why it’s important. When you answer, then ask yourself why that’s your answer. When you answer that, ask yourself again. By the third or fourth why, you will start to get to the real reason that it’s important to you. That’s where you’ll find your motivation. If you aren’t willing to suffer for that why, then you will never accomplish what you want. That’s why, when the other guys are fighting for money or a title, you have to be fighting for milk.


3. You Can Affect The World

    Jim Braddock was fighting to raise his family up out of dire poverty during The Great Depression. He was fighting to feed his kids. But outside of feeding his family, his rise from has-been to champion gave inspiration and hope to a city and nation struggling as the Braddocks had. What he did to feed his family inspired, and continues to inspire, millions.

You may think that you’re just doing what you need to do for you or your family to get by and that no one else notices. But you’re wrong. Everything you do has an impact on the people around you, whether they’re your family, friends or strangers walking by. When you go after something with passion and you strive for excellence no matter what you are doing, it is impossible for people not to notice. And God will use you to change them. You will never know how far your reach is, especially in the social media age. Just be sure that when people see you, they see your love for your family, for others around you, and for Christ so that they will be changed for the better.

What nuggets did you glean from "Cinderella Man?" Go ahead and share in the comments.