Tune into this Free Thinking Friday episode where Mike shares insights inspired by an autobiography he recently encountered called “Beyond the Wand” by Tom Felton, known for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. A riveting listen that lead Mike to ponder on what being truly ‘rich’ means. With Tom’s story of modest beginnings to landing a role in one of the biggest franchises in the world, and subsequently battling personal challenges, his life journey stirred some deep thoughts.
Listen in as Mike takes you through Felton’s life-changing encounters with three ‘kings’ – a gas station owner, a cab driver, and a bouncer, each playing a crucial role in his redemption. Drawing from Felton’s revelations, Mike explores the concept of being a ‘rich’ man or woman. Does it mean having money, food, shelter, love, friendships, impact, purpose, drive, curiosity, and a desire to be somebody that people care about? Or is it something else entirely? Join in as we ponder this question and strive to enrich ourselves and the world around us.
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Episode transcript below:
Hey everybody, it’s Mike and welcome back to the How’d it Happen podcast. This is a free Thinking Friday episode, a solo episode, where I’m going to share with you something that I’ve read, heard about, been intrigued by and I think you will as well. And, as a reminder, I do an episode like this, a free Thinking Friday episode usually a solo, every Friday and it’s just a short episode where I’m sharing what I just said. And on Mondays I do a longer form conversation podcast with a successful person from some walk of life that we have a great conversation about how that success happened for them and, more importantly, why it matters to you, what you can learn from it, what you can take away from it. And if it’s your first time joining me, thank you. And if you like this, please hit the follow button or the subscribe button or whatever kind of button you have on your podcast player and you’ll get all the episodes right on your podcast feed, so you won’t have to do any work any further. And if you are joining me as a regular listener, thank you so much for investing your time in me and I aim to deliver value for that investment. So this episode I am calling are you a rich man or woman, and I was inspired to do this by a book that I listen to, an audio book, which I don’t normally do.
But I was on a long road trip with my wife and our youngest, rachel, and both she and my wife, jamie, are big Harry Potter fans. I, sadly, am not, or have not been, a big Harry Potter fan, haven’t watched the movies or read the books all the way through, haven’t read the books at all but haven’t watched the movies all the way through. But nonetheless we were listening to an autobiography from an actor named Tom Felton, and Tom Felton plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series and he is essentially one of, I guess, harry’s nemesis at Hogwarts. So I kind of went into it thinking I don’t know what I’m going to get out of this. But it’s actually, and I’m kind of glad I listened to the audio book, which I don’t normally do, because Tom Felton is a very, very good storyteller and of course he’s an actor, so his voice, inflections and everything, I think, add a ton to the book. I think it’s a better book than it would otherwise be if I just read it.
The book is called Beyond the Wand and essentially it’s the story of Tom’s life and Tom, to give you just the short part of it. He grew up in a very modest family but he became an actor at a very young age. I don’t remember what exactly he went to first, but I think it was some type of commercial and that led to him getting a lot of work and eventually getting Harry Potter series, which I think sort of blew it open for him, as it did for so many of the actors and actresses in that series. So he goes through all of that stuff and it’s all interesting. But then in the latter part of the book he starts to talk about some of the challenges that he’s had in life, and one of the challenges was with substances. And so he ends up going to a facility in California I guess a rehab facility, and I think a lot of people who go to rehab facilities. He did not think that he had a problem, did not think that he needed to be there, and in fact he wanted so badly to get out of there that he, I’m going to say, escaped. But it wasn’t really an escape because there was nobody keeping you there. You could leave whenever you wanted. The only issue was that if you were to leave, you wouldn’t have any of your stuff. So you wouldn’t have. You’d basically have the clothes on your back, no money, no cell phone, because they take all that stuff and you can’t have it.
So Tom decides that he’s going to leave this place and essentially walk home, which is a long way. So he spends several hours walking and the way he has to walk takes him along beaches and then he has to climb through stuff and get wet. And after a couple of hours he’s very thirsty and he happens to come upon a gas station and so he walks into the gas station and he’s very disheveled looking. Tom looks as though he does not belong in the gas station. He looks as though he’s sort of runaway or in trouble of some kind. And the gas station owner asks if he can help him. And Tom asks for water. But he says I’ll pay you back. I don’t have any money. So if you’ll give me the water, I will pay you back as soon as I can. And he sort of says, like it looked like the guy didn’t really believe me. So I started telling him you know that there would be no problem, I would come back as soon as I got home. I would come back with money and pay him.
Turns out the gas station owner doesn’t care about getting paid for the water. He wants to figure out how he can help Tom Felton in this particular situation. And he says to Tom are you a rich man? And in Tom Felton said he’s like of course I’m a rich man. I’ve been, you know, I’ve been in Harry Potter, I’ve been acting my whole life. I’m very rich. But he didn’t say that and instead he took the guy’s question and he thought to himself I wonder what he means by that. Why is he asking me if I am a rich man? And it bothered him.
He also ends up calling this guy the first king in his redemption, because this guy well, ends up giving him the water. He doesn’t it doesn’t ask him to pay it or come back with it or whatever, but he plants this thing in his head, this question are you a rich man? And this is, of course, at a time when he is very down and there are two other kings that night, and I’ll let you read the book to find out who those. The story of those two. But essentially the first king is the gas station owner, the second king is a cab driver and the third king is a bouncer at a bar. So, as Tom is going through the rest of the adventure, he keeps thinking about this am I a rich man?
This question that the gas station owner asked him and it’s kind of neat how he takes you through his sort of revelations, that you know what this question ended up making him think about and how he ended up sort of changing his life, at least to this point. He’s still a very young man, in his early 30s I believe, but it got me thinking too. It got me thinking about, you know, am I a rich man? And I think to myself okay, so what does a rich man mean? What does what does what does that actually mean when you think about it? And I said to myself okay, so it means I’ve got food, I’ve got shelter, I’ve got love, I’ve got friends, I have relationships that matter to me, I have impact, I have purpose, I have drive, I have curiosity, I have desire, I have a desire to be somebody that people care about. And, yes, I think it matters to have at least enough money where you can have all of those things as well. And I thought to myself well, if I have all of those things, I guess I would be considered a rich man.
And you know, tom Tom Felton, he looked to have basically everything that mattered, especially if you were looking. You were a person on the you know, outside, looking in towards him. But when the man in the gas station asked him that question, well, he wasn’t sure. And so, as I was going through my thinking about this and those points that I made and I’m not suggesting that those are all the right points or any of them are the right points for you but I asked myself and in turn I ask you are you a rich man or a rich woman, at least as the gas station, as least as you interpret the gas station owner’s question? And I say to myself I think so, I hope so.
But you know, this was months ago that I listened to this book and heard this, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and I think I’ll be thinking about it for a long time, especially when I feel like I’m entitled to something that maybe I’m not, something I maybe have not earned or don’t have a right to, but I think, because I’m who I am, I should get it. But also it makes me think about how can I be a richer man, a richer person to myself and to all the people that matter to me, and, in fact, even to people who don’t matter to me, because I want to treat people who don’t matter to me as well as, hopefully, as well as I want to treat anybody. So, yeah, it’s got me thinking and so I thought I’d ask you you know, how do you think about yourself right now? Are you a rich person? Especially in the way that I think the gas station owner meant it when he asked that question of Tom Felton in the book. Are you a rich person? And if you are, what are you doing that makes you feel that way? And if you’re not, what could you be doing to get yourself closer to being able to answer that question in the affirmative, provided that’s what you want to be doing, which I hope it is, but it may not You’re entitled to your view on it. Anyway, you want it, I guess. So my question for the day is are you a rich person?
I do recommend the book, even if you are not a Harry Potter fan, because I, as I mentioned, I’m not a Harry Potter fan, or at least a Harry Potter devotee. It’s very well written and delivered very well in the audio book as well, and Tom’s got a. He just has an interesting story, interesting perspective and an interesting way of telling it. So Beyond the Wand is the name of the book. I encourage you to pick it up.
I do thank you for investing your time with me today. I hope I delivered some value for that investment and if I did, please follow or subscribe to the show, tell your friends, tell me if you didn’t like it too, because I want to make sure I’m doing something that’s valuable for you. If you have an idea for me, please feel free to share it. Email me, mike, at mikemalatestacom. Of course you can go there to mikemalatestacom to see everything that I’m up to and engage with me as you see fit and appropriate. Until next time which I hope is the next time I have an episode please maximize your greatness and make your future your property. Until next time. See ya, I’ve got a book called Owner Shift how Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes, noble, amazon you can get it everywhere If you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy and, if you get it, please let me know what you think.
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