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The Great Escape to Financial Freedom

Updated on July 11, 2011
You need to understand your personal prison in order to break out to Financial Freedom
You need to understand your personal prison in order to break out to Financial Freedom

My Book about The Great Escape

Buy at Amazon, Lulu or Off The Bookshelf
Buy at Amazon, Lulu or Off The Bookshelf

Watch the Movie and Learn 3 Important Lessons

The Great Escape is a great Hollywood classic, based on a truy story. It is a World War II drama about bravery and freedom against impossible odds. The penalties were harsh, the judgements quick and absolute and yet these men succeeded through teamwork, risk management, ingenuity and determination. Based on the book by Paul Brickhill, this movie was made by John Sturges, director of The Magnificent Seven.

Our interest in this movie is twofold: to learn and to be inspired. We want to translate the experience of those POW's to our present day quest for freedom, of a financial kind. The rules apply, the danger still exists and the rewards are exhilarating.

Listen to the narration to the movie's trailer:

Locked in the strongest cage that man could devise…These men plotted, these men dared, these men lived the great escape! This was the camp, these were the staggering odds, these were the reckless, defiant men…Great drama, great entertainment, great adventure begins with the great escape!

Are you inspired? Are you a POW, a Prisoner Of Work? Do you see your management and the German guards, your cubicle as the cell with you inside, bouncing the ball again and again off the wall? If so, you need to rent or buy this movie and sit down with your bank account open and your pen ready. Watch and learn for there is wisdom in every scene.

Especially pay attention for these three simple lessons from the Great Escape:

Financial Freedom Lesson # 1: Plan, Refine and Never Give Up

Watching the opening twenty minutes of the movie, you see how important it is to understand your current situation, to take stock of where you are right now. In the movie, the POW's arrive in the camp and immediately check out the fences, the hut foundations, the placement of the guard towers and, in one of the first lines of dialogue, one POW asks "How far are the trees, Danny?" The trees mark the first shelter point outside the fence, the first place to hide. If you're going to escape, you have to know how far the trees are.

Once the POW's settle in, we learn about the individual men and their common goal of escape. We also learn that they have all attempted to escape before, many times. We are introduced to Big X, brought to camp by the Gestapo. Big X is the escape mastermind, played by Richard Attenborough. The point is that the men do not give up. After ten, fifteen failures they are still trying. Even after the Gestapo threatens certain death, they do not quit. You learn from your mistakes and try again. Financial freedom takes time and you will have setbacks. Your freedom may not last forever, but only for a brief time and then you are captured and tossed back in prison. But you don't quit. You work out another plan and get started again.

The Movie Trailer for The Great Escape

Are You a Prisoner of Whatever Holds you Back?

Financial Freedom Lesson #2: It Is Your Duty As A POW To Escape

There is a charming scene near the start of the movie where the German Camp Commander suggests to Richard Attenborough that the POW's should just sit out the war in comfort. Forget about escape, it is impossible. Attenborough reminds the German that it is every soldier's sworn duty to attempt to escape. That is tremendous advice. Be smart, be prepared but be willing. Without the will, there is no escape, no hope of freedom.

In the movie, 78 men escaped but only three men made it to freedom: James Coburn, Charles Bronson and some other guy. Fifty were shot as a lesson to others. Forget the odds and take action. Be smart and be willing. It is your duty to yourself to escape. Life is too short to settle for less than the freedom you need to pursue your passions.

Dig Three Tunnels to Manage the Risk of Discovery

Financial Freedom Rule # 3: Dig Three Tunnels, Not Just One

The Great Escape POW's were all veterans of other escapes. The prison was a holding pen for the worst of the worst, as far as the Germans were concerned. They wanted to put "all the bad apples in one barrel". What they did was put the most experienced escape artists in close proximity with each other. They knew how to get the job done. They dug three tunnels: Tom, Dick and Harry. You have to think the same. If your escape plan relies on one tunnel, you could be in danger of exposure. You have to diversify, manage risk and keep several options open at all times. Freedom requires alternatives, separate paths to your goal to manage the risk. Perhaps you won't be shot, but you will not succeed with only one route to freedom.


There you have it, one great movie and three simple lessons.  It is a true story and I recommend the book as well, The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill.  Once again, the three lessons to your Financial Freedom:

# 1: Plan, Refine and Never Give Up

#2: It Is Your Duty as A POW To Escape

# 3: Dig Three Tunnels, Not Just One

Escape Books for you to be inspired by


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