It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 40 years since Rocky Balboa first graced the screen. And now the Italian Stallion is passing his boxing gloves to a new generation, with the hard-hitting (and surprisingly poignant) reboot Creed. To be clear, this isn’t your daddy’s Rocky flick. Gone are the Mr. T references and “Eye of the Tiger” verses. But in their place are some memorable life lessons, which can be carried with you well beyond the theater.

Don’t Give Up on the Underdog

This lesson is a no-brainer for Rocky fans and, truth be told, it’s the unifying theme of the film series. One of the reasons this franchise is so successful is because it carries the underdog message so well. Life hasn’t been easy for Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis aka Donnie; and he’s fighting an uphill battle as he tries to claim his championship. In life, many of us can feel the same way – especially as we try to climb the ladder of success. But the “never-give-up” attitude of this and the other Rocky movies can be a major motivator, especially during trying times.

EXCLUSIVE FOR USA TODAY SNEAK PEEK ON JULY 1, 2015 (L-r) MICHAEL B. JORDAN as Adonis Johnson and SYLVESTER STALLONE as Rocky Balboa in the motion picture 'Creed.' Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture, Warner Bros. Pictures [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michael Lopez has written for outlets like TMZ, MSN Latino, Latina, Huffington Post and NUVOtv. He helped launch MTV Tr3s' Blogamole network, overseeing celebrity interviews, breaking news, movie reviews and awards show coverage. Michael has also worked as a writer for brands like Playboy, Low Rider, Warner Bros and Univision.

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