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Monday Motivation #1: The Pursuit of Happyness

“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even 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.” ~Christopher Gardner


Monday Motivation: The Pursuit of Happyness


I woke up early today, earlier than I intended to. The alarm is set for 5:00AM, because I intended to recommit (again) to Hal Elrod’s “Miracle Morning”.


But, instead, I woke up at 2:30AM (no alarm). I pulled up Hulu to find something to watch until I could go back to sleep, and saw that one of my all-time favorite movies, “The Pursuit of Happyness” is one of the movies on there right now.


If you aren’t familiar with that movie, it stars Will Smith and his son, Jaden. Will plays Christopher Garden, a recently single dad with a dream and drive for something better for himself and his family.


As the movie starts, he, his son and his wife all live together in a small apartment in San Francisco. She is working double shifts at her job while Christopher goes out every day to try to sell bone density machines to doctors and hospitals, a business he bought into and both he and his wife started out being super excited and enthusiastic about.


As the weeks and months (maybe years?) went on, the machines proved to be really difficult to sell, and the wife becomes more and more discouraged and negative about this business. To the point where she ultimately leaves.


The rest of the movie shows how Christopher is determined to see his dreams of becoming a success, no matter what.


He pursues a job with a stock broker firm and when he ultimately gets an offer, it is just for an unpaid internship. He needs money to support himself and his son, finding himself staying in places like motel rooms, shelters and even the subway bathroom.


Christopher keeps his head up and doesn’t let life’s circumstances completely derail him. He keeps pushing forward, pursuing his dreams and being a kickass dad to his son (also named Christopher).


He ends ups proving himself to the firm, Dean Witter, and gets the position as a new broker. He got there purely from heart, hustle and the determination to not give up, no matter what.


Chris ultimately sees his dreams and goals become reality.


“And this part… this part is called happiness”.


He goes to get little Christopher from the crappy day care he had to keep him in during the day, sobbing from joy, and gives him a huge hug.


What I know for sure from “The Pursuit of Happyness”:


The quote I started this off with is one from the movie, that, to me, is one of the most powerful quotes of all time.


Most people in this world will never do what they need to pursue their dreams, and will do what they can to pull those who do back down to their level.


This is called “the crab in the bucket” theory. If you put one crab in the bucket, that crab will find a way to get out. But if you put several crabs in a bucket and one tries to escape, the other crabs will pull it back down.


Humans are weird creatures. We can talk a good talk, but we tend to be afraid, for various reasons, to take that leap.


We secretly, or sometimes not so secretly, resent those who do.


We ridicule and condemn those people.


We say things and act in ways towards those who are pursuing their dreams to try and keep that crab in the bucket.


The thing is:


If you are the one going for your dreams, you need to make sure you never let anyone hold you back. ANYONE. If someone isn’t willing to stand behind you UNTIL it’s a reality, they don’t deserve you.


And if you are the one who is always pulling the crabs back into the bucket, you really should be ashamed of yourself. You likely have good “reasons” for that, but you ultimately need to take a look in the mirror and figure out what it is within YOU that acts that way.


Whether you are the dream pursuer or the crab at the bottom of the bucket, you are responsible for YOU: the choices you make, the thoughts you think, and the actions you take.


To the dream pursuer:


Keep pushing.

Don’t let the negative thoughts take hold.

You are worth it.

You are enough.

You have a story to tell, music to play, people to help and lives to save.

You can’t save people who aren’t willing to save themselves, but you most definitely can help those who are ready and willing to save themselves.

This goes for those closest to you as well as those who are not so close.

Find ways to drown out the negativity, put your head down and get to work.

Stick with it UNTIL.

Because the time when most people give up and quit is always right before the miracle happens.

Do not stop before YOUR miracle happens.


To the crab in the bucket:


Yes, you have your reasons for being who you are.

Life can jade people.

Life can be hard.

Life can flat out suck a lot of the time.

But you NEVER have the right to steal someone else’s dream from them.

Fear is usually what is behind this.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of being left behind.

Fear of loss.

Ridiculing, talking down to, and belittling the dream pursuer is NEVER OKAY.

And it wasn’t okay for the person who did it to you either.

Yeah, I know you. You had dreams and someone pulled you back into the bucket.

Maybe it was a parent, or a teacher, or a boss, or someone else close to you.

Take a moment and go back to that time and really FEEL how you felt.

Got it?

Now ask yourself why you would ever put that on another human.

If you have issues (which we all do on this Earth), it is your responsibility to discover those issues and work on improving them.

Playing the martyr doesn’t serve you, the people around you and the world in general a damn bit of good.


With that all being said, I am(probably quite obviously), a dream pursuer.


But I’ve had many of crabs in a bucket pull me back in. Which leads me to feeling bad about myself, that there is something wrong with me, that I’m not good enough or smart enough to find the level of success I ultimately dream of finding.


My life has been riddled with self-doubt, negativity, feeling I’m not good enough or worthy enough.


I’ve had the people closest to me, the ones who should be my biggest cheerleaders, and who should be telling me how proud of me they are, push their negativity and their own personal issues onto me.


This has hurt me to my very core and I’ve had to deal with the feelings that go along with it.


It’s quite likely that I will always have to deal with those feelings and issues, but I need to start to use them to light a bigger fire underneath me instead of taking my smaller fire and letting their bit of negativity douse my flame out.


So, my dream pursuers out there, keeping pushing, keep fighting and do not give up. Celebrate every success, no matter how big or small it may be.


And crabs in the bucket, take a page from the dream pursuers. You, too, have dreams that someone stole from you. Go find those dreams and start working on them. I promise you that it’s worth it. From here on out though, learn from the dream pursuers instead of criticizing them and trying to pull them back into the bucket.


Questions of the day:

  1. Have you seen or read “The Pursuit of Happyness”? What was your biggest ah-ha moment from it?
  2. Are you the dream pursuer or the crab in the bucket? Share any experience you’ve had that led you to that or how you feel about being one or the other.


Love you lots! Please reach out to me and let me know what you thought about this, or if I can help you in any way.





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