The Greatest Showman: Personal Growth Version

Greatest Showman

A few months ago my girls went to the movie theater with mom to watch The Greatest Showman, as treat for completing the first half of the school year without any major flaws…neither of them was sent home from school for behavior issues, they always cleaned up their desks, and all assignments were completed on time. How they acted at home was a completely different issue…thankfully it was not part of the contract! I am sort of kidding here as I don’t run a military unit at my house…well, not completely. But a made bed each morning, as well as a clean room and bathroom, and the brushing of teeth and flossing are required daily…even for those below the age of 10.

Look, if a retired Navy Seal Admiral can write a book about making one’s bed each morning, and if Tim Ferris states that it is one of the 5 essential things that should be done to start your day, then I think it is okay to have my kids do it to. And if my friend Todd can do it, so can you (love ya my friend). There is just something about making your bed that gets your day started on the right foot, or maybe it’s the left. Ah, whatever. I am digressing now.

But back to the essence of today’s blog.

Prior to watching the film, numerous people including my wife and children, professed its value to me. At first I figured it was just that my own family wanted me to buy the DVD for them, but I was wrong and my thinking was quite short-sided. From its enchanting entertainment to the life lessons that it brings to the forefront, the movie itself is a blessing to those who seek personal growth. I have read people’s thoughts about the film on-line and there is even a doctor out there who writes a financial blog and who wrote a post titled: 11 Financial Lessons from The Greatest Showman. So perhaps it is not all hype, and the producers, director and screenwriter hit this one out of the park.

The one-liner: It is a musical chronicling the life of P.T. Barnum. The truth is that it is so much more.

What I gleaned from watching this movie: Life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love, and relationships are what this life is really all about.

Barnum hits rock bottom, losing everything he possesses, but he comes to the realization that only certain things bring us true happiness. He goes on to sing:

“I saw the sun begin to dim and felt that winter wind blow cold. A man learns who is there for him when the glitter fades and the walls won’t hold…I drank champagne with kings and queens, the politicians praised my name. But those are someone else’s dreams, the pitfalls of the man I became. For years and years I chased their cheers, the crazy speed of always needing more. But when I stop and see you here I remember who all this was for. From now on these eyes will not be blinded by the lights. From now on what’s waited til tomorrow starts tonight. Tonight. Let this promise in me start like an anthem in my heart. From now on.”

And if I had to give you a short list of key words/themes that popped up for me while I was watching the film, and that I think we could all learn so much from, I would provide you with this:

  1. Dreaming is good
  2. Posture and etiquette are important
  3. Honesty
  4. Stealing is bad
  5. The sadness that comes with losing a loved one
  6. Giving and being generous
  7. Love
  8. Critics are everywhere
  9. Smile and have a good laugh
  10. Making money and then spending too much of it too quickly
  11. Talent is only one part of the equation
  12. Comfort is the enemy of progress
  13. The Ego
  14. Negotiating to get what you want and need
  15. It is hard to understand wealth and privilege when you are born into it, and blessed are those who remain humble
  16. Celebrating humanity
  17. Feeling sorry for yourself
  18. When you are careless with others, you bring ruin to yourself
  19. Small minded people
  20. Scandal
  21. Providing those around you with a sense of family
  22. Shutting out your own people
  23. Why me?
  24. It will never be enough
  25. “All that is left is friendship, love, and a job I love.”
  26. Passing the baton
  27. Unique persons and curiosities wanted
  28. Wishing for “happiness” forever
  29. Living in a void that no ovation could ever fill
  30. A man’s station is only limited by his imagination


If you have not seen the movie, take some advice from a couple of kids and do so now. I caved in and actually bought it for them at Target the day it came out, and I don’t agree with buying DVDs because they end up just getting shoved on some shelf or in some box. But this was different. I knew we would get our monies worth. The music soundtrack is pretty good too. And not to give too much away, but my favorite scene is in the bar when the two lead male actors sing “The Other Side.” You just have to see it…and really listen to the lyrics…it is simply…awesome.

Thanks for reading the blog today. I hope you have an awesome week.





One thought on “The Greatest Showman: Personal Growth Version”

  1. Hi Jason,
    I’ve been remiss in reading your posts because I have been coaching boy’s HS tennis at Pewaukee HS (made famous by the Watt football brothers). Coaching a Spring sport in Wisconsin is very challenging. We’ve had to cancel or reschedule lots of matches due to the cold, rainy, and last week snowy weather. Bet you miss it!!
    I saw and liked your above mentioned movie, though I didn’t make a list of great ideas I had during it. You’re right to say it was a movie that is more about relationships than show business. It should always serve as a reminder of what’s important in one’s life: our relationships. That doesn’t change with the times.

Leave a Reply