1. One of the key lessons I learnt from the movie The Pursuit of Happiness is that You can't let people discourage you from your dreams just because they have be unsuccessful themselves.
If you remember the scene on the basketball court when the character will smith was playing was trying to discourage his son from spending too much time on the basketball court because he didn't feel his son could excel at the sport. He was probably giving his son this advice due to the many failures he had experienced, not just from his failures at the sport but from his failures in life in general. Watch the scene in the clip below.
And that's what people do, just because they haven't succeeded at something, they try to discourage you from it as well, whose to say you won't succeed where they failed?
Don't let people make you a victim to their failures and unhappiness, don't let them kill your dream by projecting their negativity on you.
I'm glad will smith quickly redeemed himself in the scene, by apologising to his son and telling him not to pay attention to people who try to tell you that you can't do it just because they haven't been able to do it. If you want something, go for it.
2. The road to happiness is full of setbacks. In the pursuit of happiness, one of the things that stuck out for me was the various setbacks the character will smith played in the movie went through before he finally made it. He lost his car, his wife left him, he became homeless, he was broke, his business didn't really work out, he had to look after his son himself, I Mean the setbacks were endless.
If you are experiencing major setbacks in your life right now in your pursuit for happiness and the fulfilment of your dreams, then you are right on course, you are on the right path.
3. Despite all the setbacks, he never gave up on himself. He was willing to keep going, he was willing to face another rejection from another doctor who might not buy his bone density machine, he was willing to take the risk to become an intern at the Stock Brokerage company even though the position wasn't paid, he was still willing to attend the interview for the stock broker intern position even though he had spent the previous night in jail, he never quit, he always had hope. There is always hope if you never quit.
4. I also learnt from the pursuit of happiness that there is never any excuse not to try. If you remember the scene when he was painting his apartment and then got arrested and had to spend the night in jail for unpaid parking tickets, he was supposed to have an interview for the intern role the next morning.
He could have decided that there wasn't any point going to the interview, he had spent the night in jail, he hadn't had a bath, he wasn't appropriately dressed, he still had on the clothes he had on while painting which had paint stains all over it, he had very valid excuses not to show up for that interview. Watch the scene in the clip below.
But he put all his excuses aside and went anyway, despite all the odds that were stacked against him and was rewarded with a position. We all have valid excuses not to try and reach for the things we want in life, it might seem like the odds are stacked too much against us, but we have to learn to ignore the excuses and try anyway. If you never try you'll never succeed.
5. I also learnt from the pursuit of happiness that sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward. I remember when will smiths character was telling his wife in the movie that he was going for an intern position at the stock brokerage company, she responded by saying that "sales man to intern is a step backward"
Sometimes you need to take that step backward, if what you are presently doing isn't yielding the results you want then you might have to take a step back. You might have to change careers and go back to school, you might have to learn a new trade and start as a trainee.
Don't let pride and the opinions of people stop you, if that's what you need to do to make progress and have a better future then do it.
6. It's okay if people don't believe in your dream as long as you believe in yourself. His wife thought the stock broker internship was a waste of time, in fact she didn't even believe he had what it took to make it as a stock broker, she teased him and said are you sure you don't want to be an astronaut?
Can you imagine how painful that must have been for him, when his own wife didn't believe in him. And maybe that's your situation, where your own friends and family don't believe in you.
What matters most isn't what they believe about you but what you believe about you. He believed in himself and won the internship position and went on to become a successful stoke broker even starting his own brokerage company latter. Believe in yourself even when others don't believe in you.
7. Another lesson I learnt from the pursuit of happiness is that It's never too late to start something new. The character will smith played in the movie was already in his 40's when he started the internship at the stock brokerage firm.
I'm sure that he was conscious of the fact that the other people competing for the position were half his age, but he didn't let that stop him, he didn't allow his age to be a barrier to his goals.
Maybe you are looking at yourself today and thinking to yourself "I'm too old to start that" or "I'm too young to start that" age ain't nothing but a number. What matters is your drive and willingness to succeed not your age. KFC was the work of a retired colonel - who told you that you are too old to start and succeed?
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