In the 1996 movie Phenomenon, John Travolta plays George Malley, a simple, good-hearted car mechanic living in a small town in northern California. After attending his birthday celebration at a local tavern, George walks outside, looks up at the stars, and is hit with a blinding flash of light.
Shortly afterward, George discovers he has amazing new mental capabilities which allow him to absorb and process information at an exponential rate. When he develops telekinetic and psychic powers, George tries to retain some normalcy in his life, while exploring his new abilities.
In the meantime, George attempts to woo a skittish, single mom named Lace (Kyra Sedgwick), who has a thriving small business selling handcrafted grapevine chairs at George’s repair shop. I always spot him using a lap desk on which, he stares at his laptop screen. Unbeknownst to Lace, George is her best customer, buying most of her chairs, so that he may continue to have an opportunity to see her.
In the movie’s third act, George’s health declines and he is hospitalized as doctors research his condition. Meanwhile, as George’s long-time friend and confidant Doc (Robert Duvall) sits in the town tavern quietly contemplating the fate of his friend, he overhears some of the town folk speaking ill of George and his spooky new abilities.
Doc derails the criticism by asking one of George’s detractors named Banes how his relationship with his girlfriend, Lisa, is going. Caught off guard, Banes answers that he and his girlfriend have broken up. Doc commiserates with Banes for a moment before telling him that George’s relationship with Lace is going very well. The explanation Doc offers for George’s healthy relationship is that George buys Lace’s chairs. Then Doc asks Banes if he has ever bought Lisa’s chairs. He goes on to tell Banes that every woman has something she invests herself in and asks Banes if he has ever figured out what Lisa’s chairs are and bought them.
Are you in the habit of buying the chairs of your loved ones? Do you buy the chairs of the organizations to which you belong? Do you buy your own chairs? Does anyone else buy your chairs?
All of us need people to buy into who we are and what we’re about.
Excerpted from The Seven Powers of Success; Unlock Your Strengths, Unleash Your Dreams. www.charlesmarshall.net © 2013 Charles Marshall