Have you ever watched a movie and had a realization that you were meant to see this at this particular time to remind you of what’s important? Well, that was my weekend when I watch the movie “Founder”. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, its worth the watch…if nothing more than to associate my story with what I’m going to share with you.
Interestingly the central character (based on a true story) was a tad unscrupulous in his business and personal dealings as you’ll see when you watch it. I don’t want to give too much away, but the gist of it is a guy a little down on his luck stumbles upon an idea with the help of the inventor and his brother, and one thing leads to another culminating in him taking their idea and their company and creating one of the biggest and most recognizable brands in the world.
For me the real message wasn’t in the story itself but the three important themes that made the story come to life.
Early on in the movie when the central character is at his lowest ebb he would listen to self help records (yes, it was set in the 1950’s) clearly he was ahead of his time but he took heart from the recordings and stuck to day in and day out… The message on the record was all around perseverance.
I’m a huge believer in hard work and perseverance to achieve your dreams, one thing I learned early in life that if you want to get ahead in life the only person that can make that happen is you. Yep, every morning when you look in the mirror its that person, and that person alone who is responsible for your success and happiness.
This bloody minded stick-to-itive-ness is generally the difference between those who are successful and those that trundle along never quite achieving their dreams. A number of years ago I was listening to an Olympian describe his journey from couch potato to the Olympics and one of the top athletes in his sport.
He honestly believed that the only difference between him and the average athlete was his perseverance and willingness to try anything in his training methods to get an edge. Whenever faced with an obstacle he’d find a way to overcome it, he tried training methods perhaps a little unorthodox at the time but that are now considered mainstream. He wasn’t willing to go with the flow and do what others were doing, his eagerness to go the extra mile gave him the ultimate edge.
Powerful stuff eh?
The second big message in the movie was about finding your passion. At the beginning of the story it was clear that the central character lacked any sort of passion in his life. From his job to his relationship with his wife, there just seemed to be something missing…he was just going through the motions and never seemingly able to extricate himself from the dull and mundane life he lived.
That all changed when he met the inventor and his brother and saw what they had created, after that first meeting his mind raced as he saw the potential. His passion became the jet fuel that powered his relentless drive toward creating one of the most familiar brands in the world.
My personal epiphany came during my dad’s illness and subsequent passing, it made me step back and think differently about the way I wanted to live my life. I quickly came to the conclusion that I had to create my own destiny and so with that and a rough business plan drawn up on a plane to Hong Kong I was off to the races so to speak.
I centered my new life on following my passions and seeking contentment in whatever form that takes with the foundation being centered around spending more time with Zach and Sami, having a flexible schedule and lots of travel. This took the form of starting my own business, but at the heart of this is my passion for living a full and complete life on my terms.
Yeah, I’m a big believer in passion…in everything you do!
The third thing I took away from the movie was the importance of creating a vision. He created something that no one else saw even after he was dissuaded by “it’s been tried before but didn’t work…” Seriously, how many times have you heard that maddening (for me at least) term used. It drives me craaaazzzzy!!!
Even when I was starting my business the advice I got was “it’ll never work – you can’t be more than one thing”. Strangely I never got that memo and now more than three years later things couldn’t have gone better – I’m successful on my terms! If we all listened to the naysayers and those that say “we’ve tried it before and didn’t work” we seriously wouldn’t get anywhere.
Creating your vision and version of success is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself “what does success look like for me?” Where do I see myself in a month, a year, three years, five years?
For many of us, (me included btw) when I was in the corporate world I just went with the flow, I had a great job, awesome clients and I liked my job but something fundamental was missing. I realized that all of my hard work got me no further ahead except padded the pockets of the firm I worked for.
Fundamentally I wasn’t passionate about my career because I needed more control of my destiny and was drawn to the idea of interweaving the things that brought me contentment with building a sustainable lifestyle. Like many of us I was caught up in the jet stream, and it wasn’t until I coupled my epiphany with the vision of my future that things began to get interesting…
I know in my heart that my perseverance, passion and the vision of what I want to be when I grow up continues to help drive my wonderfully rich and full life.
Why don’t you take a moment to reflect on the things in your life that drive you forward – consciously allowing some reflection time is one of the most generous things you can do for yourself.
Trust me its awesome! 🙂