I recently watched the Pursuit of Happyness and it just touched me in a way only few things do. It depicted the life struggles of Chris Gardner. Gardner’s wife left him, leaving him to raise his 5 year old kid on his own. He has no job to make a good living for himself and son. With no home, he stays in homeless shelters and dirty hotels. He works as an unpaid intern at a firm hoping to get a vacant position in the phone. In the end, after struggling for a month or two, he is offered a job. The movie leaves most with teary eyes and is a true inspiration. Here are a few life lessons that we can learn from the Pursuit of Happyness.
1. The time of struggle is the best time to make it big
It is so easy for us to become complacent in life and stop working hard. But when everything we have is taken away, the only thing left for us to do is to make it big. So, recognize the time of struggle as a great opportunity to grow and prosper. People often confuse growth with motion. A horse may keep running, does it make any growth? No.
2. Value Time
In the movie, Chris Gardner juggles 2 jobs at a time. The first one is a internship which he does on weekdays. The other one is the bone density scanner that he tries to sell. If the job that we’re doing is not giving us enough money compared to the time we give, it’s time to try to improve your pay or simply change the job. Our time on earth is limited, and we deserve what we’re capable of!
3. Contacts are important
Researches have proved that most people’s income is equal to the weighted average income of their friends. When you stay around good people, you rise with tide. When you stay with low lives, you collapse. When Chris joined the brokerage firm, he could make many good contacts that finally landed him with job (of course he worked really hard as well). What I am trying to say is that you need to be careful of the kind of people you hang out with.
4. One Decision can change your life
Chris made many bad decisions in his life. He used all his savings in the bone density scanners, which he had no knowledge about. Investing all your money on something you don’t understand is a bad decision. On the contrary, he made a good decision by working as an intern in the brokerage firm. The efforts he made at the firm landed him a job. So decide carefully!
5. Give your best
The reason why Chris Gardner ended up having that job was because he worked their with full passion and dedication. In the end, every effort you make pays off. It important to keep the drive, motivation, and inspiration intact. He went there everyday and worked his ass off. In the end, when the CEO offered him the job, his eyes were welled with tears.
6. A supportive partner is important
Had Chris had a supportive wife, he wouldn’t have to struggle so much. Her wife left him leaving her 5 year old son to be raised by his father. Raising a kid on his own along with making a living turned out to be very difficult for Chris. So, we all need a partner who can support us during the tough times.
7. Money is important
It is important for us to fulfill our basic needs of food, security, shelter, space, and sleep. And having a stable income is important for us to have all those things. Maslow’s hierarchy theory lays down the basic needs that is important for every human being. And, money is needed to fulfill most of these needs.
8. Don’t compare yourself with others
When you don’t compare yourself with others, you live a more contended life. A lot of men compare their income with their wife’s sister’s husband or other relatives. This is not a good habit. The only competition is the man in the mirror. Just strive to compare yourself from the person you were years back. Live without comparison is a much more peaceful life. Cheers!
I’ll end it with a nice quote by Will Smith- “I know how to learn anything I want to learn. I absolutely know that I could learn how to fly the space shuttle because someone else knows how to fly it, and they put it in a book. Give me the book, and I do not need somebody to stand up in front of the class.”