News Archive - More News
It's a Wonderful Life A Story About an Entrepreneur and the Real Meaning of Success & WealthDenise Corcoran
On the surface, the movie appears to be a sappy, sentimental film which puts a smile on our face and brings tears to our eyes, every time. In reality, this film serves as a universal story of the enduring human spirit -- filled with many powerful lessons about life, business and money.
It’s our story -- yours and mine. It’s a story about the George Bailey within us all. It reminds us of our own human condition and the deep issues we must confront. Especially at year’s end, the story’s core message nudges us to take inventory of our lives, evaluate our worth and question our place in a world that does not behave as we often expect it.
The REAL STORY Behind the Story … Does This Sound Like YOURS?
As uplifting and inspiring as the end of this film is, “It's a Wonderful Life" has a very dark side as well. George Bailey, played by James Stewart, is a man at the end of his rope. Throughout his life, he has sacrificed his own needs to make everyone else happy.
Young and ambitious, he dreams of traveling the world, and accomplishing great things. However, George must abandon his plans, when his father suddenly dies, and he must take over his dad’s building and loan business to carry on the tradition. It is a well-respected business that genuinely puts people ahead of profit, yet in George’s eyes, it is the chain that ties his life down.
That is just the beginning of George’s spiral downward. One Christmas Eve, $8000 is misplaced by George`s absent-minded uncle, driving poor George deeper into despair. The combination of his own dashed dreams and the prospect of abandoning the town to Potter -- an old, corrupt man who represents the most despicable image of capitalism – sends George into an emotional crisis so large that he contemplates suicide. Rescued by an angel determined to get his wings, George is then shown how much good he contributed to the world, and what life would have been like if he hadn`t been born.
The REAL Message: 3 Profound Lessons About Money, Success and the Purpose of Life
LESSON 1: Failure is in the eye of the beholder. It’s all relative to your goals, expectations and values.
"It's a Wonderful Life” is a movie about a small town guy who thinks he is a failure and wishes he had never been born, It is only by getting a glimpse of what life would be like without him, does George get a major epiphany. "He is not a failure after all." He learns that he contributed to the happiness of many people, and that he made a difference.
Good things happen and bad things happen to us all. A bank run happens and someone nearly drowns. Yet, by the end of the movie, George Bailey reminds us -- as business owners -- that no matter what goals and dreams we are pursuing, real success comes from our journey and the lives we touch along the way.
LESSON 2: Our true wealth is measured by the love and support of family and friends. There is no $$ amount that can replace it.
In the beginning of the movie, all goes well for Bailey - a beautiful wife, a few children and a lot of friends. George even pursues his dream of building a village with affordable houses in Bedford. Unfortunately for Bailey, life spirals downhill after the Depression and then bankruptcy. It is at the point when Bailey is unable to handle the burden of all the people's money he cannot repay, he contemplates suicide and ending his misery.
In that moment, all George could see was the "dark" side. He loses perspective of the many blessings still in his life. At the end of the movie, George opens up a book given to him by his guardian angel with a handwritten note: "Remember: No man is a failure who has friends."
We too often fail to truly appreciate and treasure our homes, our family, our friends, and even life itself. Wouldn't it be nice if each of us could learn the lesson, as George did, that life is already wonderful? That where we put our focus determines if it is so?
LESSON 3: We all have a purpose in life. Our purpose is not something we decide. Rather it is something we discover. Through the events of our life, our purpose finds us.
As with George, we all go through life, with a certain amount of struggle and adversity. Sometimes life is frustrating,. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we might even reach the end of our rope and wonder "is this all there is? Why was I even born, anyway?"
George did not recognize his life purpose until he hit rock bottom and questioned his very existence. With the helping hand of his guardian angel, he got to see the truth. The roadblocks that forced him to sacrifice his dreams and instead serve the community where he grew up were, in reality, the stepping stones to living his life’s purpose.
If, like George Bailey, we could see what life would be like, had we not been born, we would realize how truly fortunate we are to simply be in this world. We would discover that every event in our life – no matter how mundane or how difficult -- somehow is leading us down the path of our life purpose.
No amount of personal or business failure, no amount of misfortune, no amount of struggle or turmoil can change the immeasurable value of our lives and the difference we are already making every step of the way. Our smallest contributions are often the most significant.
As we welcome a new year, may each and every one of you, take inventory of your life, through the eyes of George Bailey, and awaken to the real truth, "It’s a wonderful life."
About the author:
Denise Corcoran - CEO, The Empowered Business (tm) - assists CEOs, executives and business owners in taking a quantum leap from the ordinary to extraordinary … from unrealized dreams to mastering their destiny … from slow growth to exponential results. A business & leadership coach, strategic consultant and Master NLP Practioner, Denise's unique "inside out" approach provides deep transformation and lasting change in you, your organization and your results. Her latest e-book: "The Mindset of Greatness: 21 Principles to Becoming an Unstoppable Woman ... Oprah Winfrey Style!" http://www.EmpoweredBusiness.com.