Hello, 10-Minute Millionaires!
It’s only eight months till Christmas, which means it’s the perfect time to revisit “It’s A Wonderful Life.” (In all fairness, there’s never a bad time to watch this movie, is there?)
One of my favorite scenes is the one where George Bailey, with his big heart and his big dreams, promises to “lasso the moon” for his beloved, Mary. She later illustrates his promise with a charming pencil drawing, which I sadly can’t reproduce here as it’s not in the public domain.
George’s lofty ambitions echo a much longer proverbial tradition of “shooting for the moon,” starting in the early 1600s with these lines from “The Church-Porch” by poet and priest George Herbert…
Pitch thy behaviour low, thy projects high;
So shalt thou humble and magnanimous be:
Sink not in spirit; who aimeth at the sky,
Shoots higher much, than he that means a tree.
As time went on, Herbert’s bromide became “shoot at the moon and you will hit the top of the highest tree,” and eventually, “shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” (By this time, it had been attributed to all sorts of famous Americans as diverse as P.T. Barnum and Norman Vincent Peale.)
However, through the years, the meaning hasn’t changed: Aim as high as you can (or even higher), and eventually, your rightful reward will find you.
For George Bailey, that reward was something he didn’t expect: the love and support of his entire hometown, Bedford Falls, that left him feeling like “the richest man in town.”
For us as traders, however, “shooting the moon” brings us a very expected reward.