Originally published at www.lmt-lss.com.
As a twenty-something with my whole life ahead of me, I feel dissuaded and disoriented time and again. Juggling my career, personal life, and family overwhelms me in ways I couldn’t imagine. The pressure of being perfect and successful while keeping a smile on my face transgresses to frustration. I’m still finding my place in this world and the responsibilities bestowed on me seem unachievable.
When I watched ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ years ago, the struggles Chris Gardner faced seemed irrelevant. But a quote from the movie stuck with me and has continued to inspire me.
You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.
Chris Gardner, “The Pursuit Of Happyness”
Recently, I revisited the movie again to examine and understand it from a different perspective and surprisingly everything made perfect sense. The movie traces the fleeting ups and frightening downs of Chris Gardner’s life and despite the punches thrown by reality, he rose above it with a smile on his face.
Here are the life lessons ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ taught me:
Protect your dream.
Like all the millennials in the world, I have dreams too. Some dreams turn to reality while some seem far-fetched and unattainable. All my life I’ve had people tell me what I can and can’t do. People continue to belittle my dreams and ask me to stop living a fantasy. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ taught me to guard my dream with my heart and mind. It taught me to avoid feeling discouraged and accomplish them despite the odds.
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.
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.