In the recent film The Founder, Michael Keaton plays businessman Ray Kroc, who took the McDonald’s “speedy system” for producing fast food, franchised the operation and turned a local one-store operation into an international empire. The film opens with Kroc, middle aged in the mid-1950s, driving around to America’s diners and trying to sell a milkshake maker out of the back of his car.
At that time, he’d built a comfortable life for himself, but a life on the road filled with “No”—in other words, the life of a door-to-door salesman. We see him eating lunch at a series of roadside diners that leave much to be desired: slow arriving food, hooligans in the parking lot, a generally unseemly atmosphere.
He spends the night in lonesome motels, where he puts on a record of someone reading a fictionalized version of Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking. While Ray Kroc’s business ethics were somewhat questionable at times (at one point he proclaims himself the “founder” of the McDonald brothers’ restaurant), his story is nonetheless inspiring for the way he doggedly persists to build his empire.
We see him kneeling in the dirt at the groundbreaking of his first franchise, saying to himself, “Just be right this one time.” We see him struggling with business partners who don’t have the same work ethic, and who lower the quality of his operation. And we see him transform into something of a motivational speaker himself as he pitches franchise opportunities to hard-working folks looking to take a chance on the American dream.
At Brandermill Woods, we love movies (and we love movie night in our new clubhouse theater), but this film in particular hit a nerve both for the nostalgic look back at the creation of one of America’s institutions and for the way it reveals a truth about positive thinking. The most successful people we know all credit some combination of personal drive and good luck for their success.
Jack Nicklaus famously said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.”
Earlier this month, we blogged about setting SMART goals for yourself. SMART goals are a great first step toward unleashing the power of positive thinking. We also believe staying active, maintaining good habits of exercise and a healthy diet, and enjoying a vibrant social life are ways to promote good fortune.
Countless studies affirm the power of a balanced diet, exercise and social life—at every age—and a sound mind and body are a mind and body ready for success. This month, we encourage everyone to take some time to write down your goals, envision success means for you, and take some active, positive steps. You might not build a mega-empire or have Michael Keaton play you in a movie, but we’re sure you will enjoy living to an upbeat tempo.
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