Book Review —The Pursuit of HappYness

Lately I have been trying to inculcate a habbit of reading lots of books from diverse areas with emphasis on improving my reading speed, analytical ability and vocabulary.

As a part of this exercise I want to document my learnings from these books in the form of book reviews.

I will divide all the book reviews in the following sections -

  1. Rationale behind reading this book.
  2. Important events of the book and what I learn from them.
  3. Things we can learn and try to incorporate in our daily lives.

So this review is about a book I have been longing to read from the time I have seen movie adaptation of it- The Pursuit of HappYness.

I have always been fascinated by rags to riches stories, stories which exude passion, determination and hunger for success. They inspire you to rise from nadir to achieve zenith of your imaginations and dreams. This people inspire me to believe that its not my current circumstances rather my dreams define where or what I will be in future. I love to incorporate their peals of wisdom into my daily routine.

In this book the protagonist is “Chris Gardner” —entrepreneur, investor, stockbroker, motivational speaker, philanthropist and what not. From “homeless to millionaire” aptly describes his life.

This book is about his journey from a troubled childhood to a struggling single father and finally achieving “Happyness” professionally and personally.

His life journey inspired me in multitude of ways and summarizing them here -

  1. Born in a black community in USA in a troubled locality where harsh realities of life like poverty, violence sink in early. It reminds us that its not were you were born but rather where you want to be that defines us. Lot of real life heroes have troubled beginning which might not be in their hands but the end definitely is.
  2. His earliest source of inspiration was his mother whose hard work, patience, love and care for her children always inspired him. A simple line from her mother “you could be a millionaire if you want to be” was enough to make him believe that he was poised for big things in his life. Even in adverse situations you can find someone inspirational, someone who believes in you and they could be your source of inspiration.
  3. He started his professional life with army training, working in an army hospital and then as an assistant to a medical researcher. His passion to learn, to become better at whatever he was doing everyday and dilgence was clearly visible. This gives an important lesson that whatever work/field we go into we should sedulously pursue it.
  4. His decision of being a stock broker was crazy at best atleast to the people around him with no degree, no godfather in the field it was going to be an herculean task to make a carrier in this field. His personal life had gone from bad to worse and with responsibility of a toddler and no accomodation it would have been normal to breakdown and lose sight of your dreams but outliers behave differently in situations where most of us breakdown. It is our attitude towards a problem that defines the outcome.
  5. Battling everyday at work trying to learn nuances of a stock broker and struggling to find a shelter for him and his son at night every single day for a long period of time demonstrate perserverance, relentless hard work towards his dreams.
  6. At last the sweet taste of success makes you forget all the hardships but Chris believed in the giving back to the society which made him a mtivational speaker, philanthropist and a writer. It demonstrates never forgetting your roots and always helping others to achieve their true potential.

All the above learnings if incorporated in one’s life will always lead to something good.

I will definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for some inspiration.

If you have any comments please mail it to

Thank you.

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