Every Holiday Season, our family plans a time together to watch ” It’s a Wonderful Life.” As Jimmy Stewart demonstrated in his role in, ” It’s a Wonderful Life,” participating in and influencing many people’s lives matters a great deal.
The movie, directed by Frank Capra, premiered on December 20,1946 at New York’s Globe Theatre. The main character, played by Stewart, was George Bailey who ended up staying in his hometown of Bedford Falls and taking over his father’s business, the Bailey Building and Loan. What most don’t realize and what I find very ironic is that the inspiration for the story came from Philip Van Doren Stern who had originally titled the story “The Greatest Gift’.
George Bailey, had a gift for helping others and here are two notable quotes that illustrate a similar way of thinking.
” I rejoice in life for it’s own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
1) One of the key lessons George’s dad relayed to him was that the choices you make today really are important. Are you here to make a living or to make a difference in the lives of others?
2) Your future is determined by what you believe and do. Every one of your beliefs generates behavior and every behavior has a consequence. You therefore become what you believe and do every day.
3) You are closer to your breakthough than you think. You are where you are at this moment in time for a reason. Although George Bailey toyed with the idea of seeking his fame and fortune elsewhere, his life mattered to many in Bedford Falls.
4) Wisdom isn’t just what you know, but how you live. George’s dad demonstrated this daily to him and his brother by his actions.
6) Encourage others to talk about themselves by asking questions. Over the years, because George was there for his clients in good and bad times, he nurtured alot of trust.
7) Sometimes you have to step back and look at things from a new perspective before you move forward. Often times, this gives you a greater appreciation for what you already have.
George Bailey had a passion for helping people. He understood that success is often fleeting but long term significance can last a lifetime and beyond. As you prepare for the New Year, make an effort to further align your life and work with your passion. Like with George’s example, the results will astound you. We all know how the movie ended… with family and friends surrounding George. Isn’t that what matters most?
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Mike Sciortino has more than 30 years experience in the investment management business. Mike speaks at Conferences and writes often about how advisors can differentiate themselves, grow their practice, and improve their lives through time-tested processes. See all of Mike’s stories for CMG Advisor Central. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.