Chris Gardner’s autobiography, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, is worth your time to read, front to back. In it, Chris Gardner records his journey, from his fatherless, poor working class upbringing in Milwaukee, to his stint in the Navy, to his first marriage, his second marriage and the birth of his son, to the breakup of his second marriage, his climb from the the streets of San Francisco with his son, through the establishment of his career as a big time stock broker and investor. Along the way he doesn’t flinch from documenting the bad decisions he may have made or emotions that haunted his heart.
It’s an inspiring story, and one I bet many can relate to, even if they did not face the kinds of trials and tribulations that he did on his way to achieving success and purpose in life.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. – Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) – my favorite quotes page
I avoided seeing the movie based upon the book (my manager, Anandhan, has a great in-depth review on his blog), because I was afraid that the story would paint *too* positive a picture of him. From what I’ve read, the movie glosses over much of what the book provides you – a deeper look into a man driven by hopes, dreams, and beginnings. Sadly it seems the movie attributes genius as a major factor to his success (the Rubik’s cube scene is not in the book – just a small example) – where the book makes clear – it was persistence and heart that defined it. I plan on renting it and giving it a gander, nevertheless.
While I may not be a multi-millionaire, I most definitely can relate to Chris Gardner’s story and his perspectives on many aspects of life.
I almost want to say that if you want to know more about me personally – read this book.