Dwayne Johnson – From Broke to Hollywood Stardom


Success can come at any age and despite the setbacks we face in life, there is a journey to be travelled, experiences and knowledge to be gained. We can give in to defeat or pick ourselves up and explore the infinite opportunities that present themselves. If we are too focused on what we believe our path should be, we can often overlook the possibilities.  The journey of Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), wrestler, actor and businessman is no different. In college his flourishing football career came to a staggering halt when in 1995 he suffered a back injury. His future path now redirected destined for the unknown and ultimately rocketing towards massive success.

“Success isn’t overnight, it’s when every day you get a little better­ than the day before. It all adds up.”  Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson the Early Years

Dwayne Johnson was born May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California to parents Ata Johnson and Rocky Johnson, a Canadian born professional wrestler. During the early years, Dwayne travelled with his family and watched his father wrestle in the ring. However, Dwayne had no intention of pursuing wrestling which was inherent in his family, his father, grandfather, uncles and cousins were all wrestlers.

By the age of 17, Dwayne had been arrested nine times and was destined for a life of ongoing trouble. The turning point came when his school football coach who was also a probation officer convinced him to join the football team he had created in an attempt to keep kids off the streets. This new direction would eventually lead Dwayne down a path of untold success.

 “Success at anything will always come down to this: focus and effort and we control both things.” Dwayne Johnson

New Direction, New Focus

Having secured a full scholarship Dwayne was on track to play college football but this all ended when he suffered a back injury bringing his football career to a grinding halt. With his football career knocked back, Dwayne was completely devastated and says the experience made him stronger, determined to give it his all when he decided to pursue wrestling. Incredibly successful, he won the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Heavyweight Championships six times and the WWF Tag Team Championships five times.

After his wrestling career ended, his charisma charmed Hollywood producers and he has since dominated the screens with a string of successful movies such as The Mummy Returns, The Game Plan, Fast and Furious (6), Hercules and San Andreas.

Transition to Hollywood Stardom

Dwayne has been able to transition successfully from his wrestling career to the big screen because of his charisma and likeable personality often appealing to audiences of all ages. As well as being incredibly entertaining he has a competitive work ethic, working tirelessly to achieve his goals. He is completely driven and focused in fulfilling his dreams. He quickly realised that to be successful, hard work was necessary thereby doing whatever it took to shift his dreams from the intangible to a tangible reality.

Often unexplained events will occur in our lives, we encounter happiness, hope, love, frustration, anger, sadness, the list goes on. We cannot explain why we experience some situations they just happen, irrespective of whether the incident is positive or negative, we simply have to go through it. Life does not stand still and neither should we. Should we decide to grow from our experiences, we can be amazed at the lessons learned and how they can apply to future events. Similarly Dwayne Johnson was gutted when his football career ended in a devastating fashion, however he made a conscious decision to work hard and excel in wrestling. The work ethic that he applied has also made him one of Hollywood’s leading and charismatic actors.

 “In 1995 I had $7 bucks in my pocket and knew two things: I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be.” Dwayne Johnson