Richard Branson just seems to ooze success and coolness. He's one of the wealthiest people in the world and goes kitesurfing with Barack Obama. How did he achieve this echelon of career success and all-around awesomeness?

While there's no magic bullet to Richard Branson's success (or anyone's for that matter), he does drop hints here and there about which routines and ideologies led him to becoming a man of $5 billion wealth. Now here's one more.

In an interview with Thrive Global, a platform led by Arianna Huffington focused on wellness and productivity, Branson shares the book he says changed his life. It's a popular children's book, which shouldn't come as a surprise for those who are familiar with the entrepreneur's penchant for adventure and playfulness.

Here's a hint: Remember he's the CEO of Virgin Airlines and spearheaded Virgin Galactic, which describes itself as "the world's first commercial spaceline." The guy likes to fly.

Branson says Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie was a book that heavily influenced his career. " Ever since reading it as a child, Peter Pan has been my favourite character," he told Thrive Global. "I've drawn a lot of inspiration from the book. I've never really wanted to grow up and I've always wanted to fly!"

You can see why Branson would identify with the pirate-fighting and adventure-seeking mischievous character of magical Neverland fame.

The character Peter Pan first appeared in an adult book J.M. Barrie wrote in 1902. A couple years later, Barrie made Pan the main character in a play titled Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. The play was then adapted and expanded into a novel, Peter and Wendy, which was published in 1911.

Barrie never fully described Peter's appearance or gave the character an exact age. He left it up to the reader's imagination. Most adaptations settle on a boy aged 13-14, sporting tights and dressed in green as he flies across the sky between London and the island of Neverland. Or, Pan could be 66-year-old billionaire who loves air travel and owns an island in the Caribbean.

Published on: Feb 28, 2017
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