Life Lessons I Learnt From ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

Sep 17, 2015 · 3 min read

Originally published at

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.

Image Source: Songs and Sayings

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.

Image Source: Derby City Rambler

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.

Image Source: Huffington Post

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.

If you like what you just read, please hit the Recommend Button so that others may stumble upon this. We’d love to hear your comments!

Visit us at Limitless, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Written by


The AI powered CRM that works behind the scene, 24x7, to do all your trivial work so that you can focus on things that matter such as closing

The Productivity Revolution

Curated Writings that helps you achieve more with same, dramatically improve productivity and reignite top-line growth.

More From Medium

More from The Productivity Revolution

More from The Productivity Revolution

More from The Productivity Revolution

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade