The Back-Story of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Movie star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, is one of the most recognizable men in the world. He grew up poor, son of a professional wrestler who spent most of his working days on the road. Dwayne didn't want to be a wrestler at first. His dream was to play football for the NFL. He played football in high school and for the University of Miami, even winning a national championship. By 1995, he had signed with the Stampeders, a Canadian football team. Dwayne believed that this step would one day lead to a career in the NFL. At 22 years old, and only two days after his first game, Dwayne was suddenly cut from the team. His dream was shattered. He left Vancouver with only $7 in his pocket.
Dreams of Playing in the NFL
"Playing in the NFL was the best thing that never happened." Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
In need of work, and no apparent way to the NFL, Dwayne decided to follow the path of his father and grandfather to become a wrestler. He tried out for the World Wrestling Federation where he performed for eight years before landing a leading role in a 2002 film. Dwayne was the first, third generation wrestler for the WWF. It was his wrestling career - not football - that led him to Hollywood where he became one of the biggest, wealthiest movie stars of all time.
Yesterday, Dwayne announced his purchase of the 8-team XFL a professional American football league. In doing so, he shared this inspiring advice, so I wanted to pass it on to you.
Some Dreams Are Only for A Moment, Some Last Forever
When I moved to Nashville on March 11 2012, my mom had passed away just four months earlier. In a daze, almost like I was on autopilot, I crammed all the small pieces of furniture (and a twin sized air mattress) into my Acura TSX and took off from DC down 95 South. My long held dream was to become a performing songwriter. Unfortunately, soon after I arrived in Nashville, I began to feel the pressure of other peoples' expectations. When are you going to go on tour? Are you going to win a Grammy? Will you perform at the CMAs? Have you ever played at the Grand Ole Opry? Are your songs on the radio? While I did follow my dream of making music, I never achieved those lofty heights.
Living My Dream
What I DID achieve by living my dream is that I became more of the person I wanted to be: one with more courage, love, authenticity, freedom and balance from a crazy work life. I met my husband in Nashville, and meeting him gave me more tenderness. I also wrote songs that I love and performed in several states. I don't have a ton of followers. I've never been invited into a coveted writing room of hit songwriters. But, I have a wonderful life because I acted with courage to live my dream.
There are thousands of musicians in Nashville and beyond who've longed for the same dream as me. It's beautiful to have dreams, but we are not our dreams. We are not our popularity. We are not our number of listeners or Instagram followers. We are not our success and achievement. Not everyone can have the #1 hits or be the most desired. We can, however, all live incredibly interesting lives and boldly pursue the opportunities that we see.
You might have a dream that never materialized for any number of reasons. If so, I hope you're doing one of two things: 1- still working to make it happen or 2- encouraged when you realize that the world is full of new dreams, opportunities and possibilities. It continues to replenish. Sometimes there's something out there that's just as good or much better than what you've hoped for.
"The one thing you wanted to happen often times is the best thing that never happened." Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson