Life Lessons From the Chocolate Factory
10 Rich, Satisfying Nuggets to Nibble One
Author: Christopher Holl
Imagine entering the most amazing chocolate factory in the world. Five Golden Tickets were placed inside five Wonka Bars starting a frenzy that would cost parents tons of money in hopes of finding more than one golden ticket in a Wonka Bar. Five lucky winners would enter this famous factory, take a tour and hopefully win the grand prize. But many believed and still do that this is just a movie for kids and some never learned that many life lessons the movie’s writer created within this interesting movie’s plot. Everyone expects people to be bound by their word whether it’s in business, politics or just promising kids tons of chocolate forever, promises are not supposed to be broken. But, what happens when five kids take a tour of this factory, everyone including the adults with them are forewarned about the rules, do’s and don’ts and some think they are immune to follow them and the outcome, although some might seem harsh, should hopefully teach children and adults that there are consequences for your actions.
Willy Wonka promised the winner a lifetime of chocolate. But, each person before entering the factory was warned not to touch, grab, eat or inflame this wild and crazy man who expected that they would adhere to his rules. But, you know kids and the movie would have been boring if everyone listened and no lessons were learned. Punishments were inflicted and some kids just might never learn.
In business everyone has competition and you hope to beat your competitor with smarter and wiser business practices. Decisions are at the root of success and some will impact the end result more than others. The author brilliantly creates situations within this book that relate to business and then connects them to the movie in order to interrelate them for both kids and adults to understand that life lessons are learned by everyone but not always at the same rate. Charlie found the coveted golden ticket, promised to follow the rules and did not think that by drinking from the fizzy lift drink he might be disqualified. But, rules are rules and he lost, but, you know kids and some adults want to get even or shall we say inflict some type of revenge. Everyone entering the factory was given the special gobstopper which Wonka’s competitor Slugworth would do anything to get and create the formula for himself. Well, when Charlie learns that he lost and has the power to bring this man down, what does he do? He gives back the gobstopper to the surprise of everyone but Wonka who had faith in him. The end result was a great reward.
Throughout the book the author brings in as he relates Morsels to munch on which are the lessons he imparts in each chapter filled with deliciously filled ideas and chocolates filling the reader’s mind with sweet delightful thoughts for success. Something minor can significantly change or impact the course of other events in your life as the author relates what happens when an MIT department Professor accidentally discovers slight changes or alterations in the initial conditions of a weather patterns. These changes although minor proved to be significant related to many different weather scenarios. Called the butterfly effect you can learn more by reading pages 18-19 to experience what this professor learned and the chain reaction of events that could even create a tornado. Always referring back to Charlie and what he learned he continues with an explanation of the Domino Effect and how good or not so good decisions impact on anyone’s life. Teaching children that they cannot avoid consequences no matter what is a valuable lesson. Charlie made one decision that many kids might not have agreed with but certainly brought about the respect of Wonka and a great reward. So, Charlie you get one more golden nugget for making the right choice.
Lesson 2 is vital as many think that dreaming of success and hoping it finds them will create the rewards they so aptly deserve and need. When Charlie’s grandfather opens the Wonka Bar he asks if there are more. Charlie is happy with the two he bought yet some parents went to great lengths to buy up thousands hoping for that coveted golden ticket to be inside more than one bar. Learn more when you read lesson 2 as we move to lesson 3 Get Out of Bed. There are so many people that claim that when things get better or they can they will take action. Some just sleep away the days and others pretend that when tomorrow comes they will finally get moving on their goals. But, never do. Some people complete tasks that have to be done and when they are they basically have done not much that is meaningful with their days. Read the analogies referred to when the author relates the story of Fred Baker the man who makes the donuts. As you continue reading this chapter you will learn more about the meaning of the morsels to munch on that deal with not sitting back and waiting for things to happens but getting them done today. In other words find out what is your Why? What do you like to do and what would you want to do? Figure out what would make you happy getting up every morning and doing this special job. Now that you have your WHY you need to find a way to do it? Getting out of bed is the first step to success.
Success in life, business, and school and in general does not always happen the first time out. When the last golden ticket is found Charlie’s dreams fall through and he is upset. Finding his way to another candy shop he eats tons of candy and uses the last few cents to buy a Wonka bar. Imagine learning that the last ticket was a fake and imagine finding one that is not. Sometimes you attempt to do something and do not succeed the first time. Why not try again? Why give up? The analogy of the tangled necklace is a great story that tells how you can redo and start something over in a different way to get the result that you want. Celebrate the small stuff and you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Great sayings with heavy meanings for both kids and adults as we move to Lesson five where the author focuses on the importance of good habits which are the building blocks of life, business and success in school. Think about this chapter as a lesson in character education using your own inner GPS not to get the car where it has to go but to get you where you want to be. A person who is intelligent, nature, honest and behaves with integrity like Charlie did when he handed back the gobstopper, must might have less malfunctions and more success. Read the rest of Chapter Five to learn more and earn your own golden chocolate nugget. Lesson Six explains why Revenge is Might seem sweet to you but really never is. Imagine watching your daughter blow up like a huge blueberry and telling Wonka you are going to get even with him in some way. Instead of realizing that his daughter did not follow the rules and received a consequence he decided to retaliate. He sites and the author sites interesting example of economics related to buying guns or butter. When a nation chooses between two options when spending its finite resources. They can spend it on guns, butter or both. How we choose to spend these resources or finite resources is our energy. The end result is any investment of energy or emotion into revenge is bad and eventually will cause difficulties. Read Wisdom of a Chinese Gardener and Road Outrageous, which rounds out this delicious chapter.
Lesson 7 deals with attitudes, stress and how they affect your health and your life. Chapter 8 forgives and forget. I have to say that this lesson is really one of the most valuable that anyone can learn. Being able to forgive someone that has done something to make you angry, hurt your feelings or in business has done something that you know is wrong, takes a big person who realizes that life is too short to miss out on these opportunities to recreate friendship. Taking pride in your work, school ethics, raising children and living your life with integrity is paramount. Being able to say you are sorry and allowing yourself to forgive is worthy of more than just another golden ticket or nugget.
The last two Chapters deal with allowing kids to get anything they want and promising them everything because they think they deserve it. Parents need to be vigilant and know who their kids are friends with, where the sleepover is, make sure the movie is not something they should not see and the importance of trying hard but maybe not everyone is a winner. Building a child’s self-esteem will help develop a more well-rounded and positive child and hopefully adult. To learn more read the rest of the chapter or you won’t get another golden chocolate morsel for learning something on your own. Chapter 10: Peace of Mind and the Real Golden Ticket. The author recounts how everyone went wild looking for that last golden ticket and how people buy tons of lottery tickets hoping to win the pick prize when the numbers are drawn.
I think our 16 President summed it up when he said: “ People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Short, sweet and very profound and to the point. For those of you that need to reread, recap and want to sink your teeth into these morsels in a more concise way read pages 107-111 where the author sums it all up and he recounts those delicious morsels of life. My favorite and the two that I found difficult as kid and sometimes as an adult is Lesson 8 and Lesson 10 because some of what he says hit home. This is great book to teach kids the importance of honesty, integrity, understanding and kindness. Lessons in character education dealing with the Chocolate Factory will help younger readers and adults understand these life lesson. This is a great book and a fast read but one that will definitely require that you reread it several times to really enjoy each morsel and great nugget. So, let’s give this book FIVE GOLDEN CHOCOLATE COVERED TICKETS.
Fran Lewis: reviewer