“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”
In one of my favorite movies of all time, Will Smith plays Chris Gardner and says that to his son.
Happiness is our greatest gift of all. It can’t be measured, it can only be felt. Every one of us possesses an innate God-given ability to be happy and enjoy that privilege. But how many people truly achieve that magnificent, awesome, blissful state? How many can honestly say they are truly happy in their social, business, and family circles?
Perhaps it’s such an elusive goal because our culture today gives us a false idea of what happiness is. Many people think that happiness automatically results from the accumulation of wealth or the acquisition of great power, but it doesn’t.
Money can’t buy love and it can’t buy you happiness, either. You don’t need money to be happy. You certainly don’t need power to be happy.
I’ve found that out for myself. I’ve been blessed with the ability to create and build three hugely successful companies. I am currently in the early stages of launching my fourth. I never did either for accumulating wealth or power. Al though, these businesses did bring financial rewards for sure. But that doesn’t have much connection with authentic happiness. Not that I ever personally expected that to be the case. I always knew that happiness would come from a higher purpose in life, a higher cause, a higher effect.
But when you rise to the top of the business world you’ll find there’s not much further you can go. And, in all honesty – it get’s lonely on top, because you’re constantly surrounded by vultures who want a piece of you. The great thing about happiness is that it has no ceiling.
Defining happiness, however, is a complicated matter. It’s personal and it’s a language only you can define.
Perhaps you feel that you would be happier if only you could live “the good life” meaning that you earn more money, live in a better house, become a well-known celebrity, or fall madly in love with someone. Those are all voids. When you look for voids, you’re not seeking happiness, you’re only seeking short-term desires.
However, researchers who have actually studied happiness found that college graduates who placed a higher value on goals such as personal growth, close relationships, and community involvement were more satisfied with their lives than those who placed a higher value on the acquisition of wealth and vanity.
Researchers also determined that you can, by and large, create your own happiness. If you feel that external events control you and it’s impossible for you to take charge of your own destiny, you’re wrong. Believe it or not— they’ve calculated that some 40 percent of our happiness is determined by our own actions, while 50 percent is set in our genes and only 10 percent by things that happen in life that are beyond our control. That 40 percent is a powerful number. You do have control over whether you are happy or not. Only you—no-one else. So go ahead and take control. Your destiny is in your hands. No matter what setbacks life gives you, you may never control the outcome, but you always control the process.
Here is the Life Lessons I have learned from the Movie.
Don’t get discouraged. Protect your dream.
When Chris starts his pursuit of happiness, he will start facing a lot of obstacles than he was facing before like he loses his home, his wife leaves him, he becomes homeless at one point of time etc. but his desire is too strong and he doesn’t have any other option than to pursue his goal.
He says to his son, Don’t ever listen to somebody telling you, you can’t do something. People can’t do something themselves, they tell you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it.
He has all the reasons to commit suicide or quit, but he didn’t, life’s games are challenging and he took up the challenge though it was as discouraging as possible. Getting discouraged is easy, but believing and fighting back is tough and the one who doesn’t quit meets his success.
Have the courage to speak for yourself. Irrespective of your condition
When Chris says, that he is going to become a stock broker. His wife will make fun of him, but he confronts her that he can do it. The same happens when he ends up in a very awkward attire at the interview panel, the panelists refuse to give him the internship at an age of 30’s, but he speaks about himself from the bottom of his heart.
Why is speaking about ourselves important? Because, unless you speak about yourself no one would be able to know you and give you a chance. So, whenever you are asked about yourself, never get back in fear, speak out boldly about yourself – your confidence would get you that opportunity. Even if you have only failures in your career, they can act as a badge of honor that you have the courage to try than to just sit idle. As Sundar Pichai says, in silicon valley failure is also worn as a badge of honor.
Anyone can speak about themselves, when they are in a great position and when things are going great, but we need to possess extraordinary courage to speak on behalf of ourselves when nothing is going our way and we are failing in each and every endeavor.
Setbacks are a way of life.
Setbacks, in the conventional sense, are viewed as failure. The sea of rejections I’ve faced make me feel mediocre and sometimes inadequate. I find myself thinking if I am good enough. Chris Gardner starts as an intern at the stock brokerage firm but that doesn’t stop him from working his way to the top. This movie encouraged me to accept my failures and setbacks as motivation to work harder and smarter.
Don’t leave your responsibility
If you leave them your professional success then your personal life would be empty
Chris Gardener is compelled to leave his son when his wife Linda leaves him, but he commands that his son (Christopher) has to stay with him though he doesn’t have a job to feed him every day. Many professional giants of old generation have seen a huge professional success in their life but found themselves empty in their personal relations after huge achievement.
Their great professional achievement is no more a pleasure for them because they can’t share it with anyone else as they don’t have any family or friends to share it with. A true leader should be able to balance his life and work and the person who claims he can’t manage both of them can’t be a successful person or a leader though he is holding the position of a leader and successful person in the society.
Believe in yourself, even when others don’t.
There are times when family and friends refuse to believe in me and brush off my ambitions as childish or immature. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ brilliantly shows how Chris Gardner ignores the doubts his wife has and successfully reaches the top. This movie gave me the courage to disregard the doubts people have and the self-doubts I have. It taught me to believe in myself even when the world isn’t inclined to.
Though you are in a deep valley of sorrow you have to spread happiness with others, one day in the life of Chris Gardener, he is flat broke with no money in the hand and forcefully vacated by his house owner, he is homeless with a son and with absolutely no money in his hands. He travels to the nearby local railway station with his son.
His son is very small to understand how difficult situation was that, in spite of his difficult situation he doesn’t lose his temper on him instead he will try to make him happy. This scene was picturised in a heart touching way in the movie. And, it gives us a wonderful message as well, though you are in a very difficult situation never show your agony on your family members because they can’t report to anyone regarding your bad behavior.
Spread Happiness though you are in a deep valley of Sorrow, that is one of the important rather a great quality any human being can possess.
Celebrate your happiness
This is one of the most wonderful scenes which I always remember when I am happy, in this climax scene Mr. Chris Gardener is selected for the job after being an intern for six months. The moment he hears the news, tears begin to flow from his eyes, his happiness is boundless. It’s like the pursuit of happiness has become a reality and even the background score gives an awesome feel.
He keeps clapping on the road to celebrate his happiness. And, then he goes running to his son’s play school to share his happiness an awesome scene to watch.
What should be done once you are successful in pursuing your happiness, celebrate your happiness. We have become so robotic that we are enjoying life the least. Life is a celebration, try to make most of it.
So, how do you define happiness? Putting that exquisite, joyful feeling into words can be as elusive as achieving it.
Here are my thoughts:
Happiness is living life with a passion to make the most of every precious second.
Happiness is loving life. Especially, learning to embrace it during the moments of pain.
Happiness is living the life of your dreams.
Happiness is both having a passion and being passionate about everything you do.
Happiness is living life with a purpose, so you’ll never be bored.
Happiness is overcoming adversity. So, it can fuel you to achieve your goals.
Happiness is believing in a higher power so you can stay grounded.
The great John Lennon—from his earliest formative years—understood the magic of happiness. I’ve used this quote before and it’s so true and relevant it needs to be reiterated. Lennon once said, “When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Those words were from the mouth of a five-year-old with a great destiny. But whatever your age you can take those words to heart and make happiness your goal in life and in business.
After all, there are plenty of good reasons to acquire the state of happiness. Happier people live longer. They are healthier, more successful, and more socially engaged. Even our founding founders recognized the importance of “the pursuit of happiness” to such an extent that it’s enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.
And, even as the Dalai Lamai said, “Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.
Why wouldn’t you want to be happy? The Universe wants you to be happy. Channel each positive energy to make it a reality. Accept that fact. Embrace it. Make your personal happiness a priority for you. Don’t deprive yourself of happiness.
Dream of what defines happiness. Then figure the path that you need to take to get you there. Think of three things you could do—this week—that would infuse happiness into your being. Schedule them. Follow through, and do them. When you’re achieving a state of happiness you will inevitably make those around you happy. That’s one of life’s greatest accomplishments of all.
Live. Laugh. And Let Live.
Authors: Gurbaksh Chahal in “be limitless” and Surya Konduru in “learning in passion”.