I had the opportunity to listen to Chris Gardner (CG), more commonly known as the character played by Will Smith in the movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, speak recently. Like all people who’ve travelled an interesting road and gained valuable life wisdom it pays to listen carefully and take away some of that learning for your own purposes. What follows are some of the notes I took from Chris’s talk.
> CG was homeless in San Francisco in the 1980’s and also at the same time the guardian of his young son Chris who was 14 months old. This is the one year period of his life portrayed in the movie.
> Sometimes in your life where you are in your heart is more important that where you are in the world.
> Living in a restroom with his young son CG asked himself ‘How did I get here?”, the answer was “I drove here”. Realizing that he was responsible for his situation made him also realize that he could choose to drive away from here as well.
> CG went for an intern job with lots of competition at a stock broking firm. He had ‘PSD’ (Poor, smart & a deep desire to become wealthy) which helped him reach his goal of employment.
> As a child CG was the victim of domestic violence from his step father, his real dad wasn’t there, you can either choose to perpetuate that violent behaviour or go the other way. CG made the decision then that when he was an adult and a father that his son would grow up knowing his father, this decision became part of his spiritual DNA.
> CG believes in ‘spiritual genetics’, the passing on of values and dreams through your values. His mother had told him ‘Son, one day you could make a million dollars! You can be anything you want to be.”
> The ultimate asset is time. The last breath you take, try and get that back.
> A lot of us know where our button is, we are just afraid to push it.
> The glass is half full, lets use what we have, the other half isn’t ours to use so don’t worry about it.
> Hope’s a beautiful thing but you better have a plan. What’s the nutritional value of hope?
> CG implements the ‘5C plan’ for achieving his goals. Clear, Concise, Compelling, Consistent, Committed.
> Peace of mind is all you need to pursue happyness on your own terms. Now what are you going to do with your own life? Reach out and touch greatness, skills, knowledge and experience are all transferable. CG once waited 27 days in a hotel before being able to meet Nelson Mandela.
> CG is now officialy the CEO of ‘happyness’, the ‘y’ is for ‘you’ and your responsibility.