Do you ever find yourself pulling life lessons out of your favorite movies? You might discover some amazing acts of leadership from a movie like Braveheart, or maybe you learn the power of hope while watching Castaway, or perhaps your notion of love is completely changed because of a movie called The Notebook. I find myself pulling life lessons out of movies all the time, but for some reason, they are always related to finance (who would have guessed it? ;)).
There is one particular movie that always keeps me coming back, and I always seem to learn a new lesson every time I watch it. It is hands-down my favorite movie of all time — “The Cinderella Man”.
The opening scene begins with James J. Braddock in the pinnacle of his boxing career. He is effortlessly defeating all opponents that enter the ring, and he’s quickly rising to the top of the of the heavyweight division. Fame, money, and a beautiful family – he had it all.
Enter the Great Depression. Braddock now staggers around his small apartment with an empty wallet, a shrinking stomach, and a mountain of bills. Broken bones and a bad economy have torn Braddock down into poverty. It seems that there’s little hope of escape, but then he receives his second chance.
James suddenly has the opportunity to fight once again. With a healed hand and a bit of hash in his stomach, Braddock enters the ring swinging. He was quick, he was light on his feet, and he suddenly had a punch with some pop. He began to rise through the ranks once again, just like the Braddock of old.
Of course, the press caught wind of his recent win streak and they all asked the same question, “How is it that an old washed up Braddock is now a contender for the heavyweight championship title? What’s your motivation?”
“Milk” was Braddock’s simple response. He was winning because he now knew what he was fighting for. That powerful fist across the face would have knocked him down before, but it doesn’t even phase him now. With gut-wrenching thoughts of hungry little Rosie in his mind, there is absolutely no reason for him to fall to the floor. James was now fighting for the life of his family, and that’s what made all the difference in the world.
What Are You Fighting For
So why is it that you want to be financially responsible? What motivates you to do more and want less? Is it your spouse? Your children? Maybe you’d love to serve in a developing country, or you’d at least like to have options other than working an 8-5 job that you hate. Perhaps you dispise the idea of debt and just want to get rid of it once and for all.
Whatever the case, be sure to keep your “why” in front of you at all times. Without it, you’ll no-doubt lose your focus on your financial goals, but with it, you can achieve anything!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.