Happiness – what is it according to you? Is it being loved, or being rich or just a state of mind? We are born and brought up, educated in a premeditated manner. But is it yielding us the happiness?

Everyone in this world, every single soul is unique in its own way. But why should the definition of happiness be the same for all? When you grow and you have the ability to think on your own, the pursuit starts. You start to wander to find the things that excite you. What we do defines us, how we do it differentiates us, and why we do it unites us; it is for the happiness.

This being my first post, I would like to share the story of an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a visionary and an inspiration called Mr. Chris Gardner.


Chris Gardner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 9th February, 1954. His childhood was marked by poverty, family illiteracy and domestic violence. But it did not stop him from becoming an entrepreneur. Gardner had a strong sense of spiritual genetics and believed that in spite of where he came from, he could create his own roads and chart the direction to achieve the goals he set for himself. Gardner moved to Navy after high school and after discharge, he worked as a medical research associate for a scientific distributor.

He had a strong liking towards finance. He didn’t have a formal degree or an MBA in finance but he started to apply for internships in various Finance firms. Gardner’s wife left him and their son Chris Jr. And this made him even more enduring to find a job that was both lucrative and fulfilling. He earned a spot in Dean Witter Reynolds training program, but he was struggling to make both ends meet. He had to sell the scientific equipment to earn the daily bread.

Gardner was homeless; but not hopeless.

He soon earned a job in Bear Sterns & Company when he passed the Licensing exam in the first go. He soon became a top earner in the firm and worked in major Stock broking firms across San Francisco. He saved up a sum of $10,000 and started his own firm called Gardner Rich in Chicago. He is now an inspirational speaker, imparting his knowledge to the world and often a guest figure in CNBC TV18 and other news channels.

So what are the 10 things you can take from the story of Gardner?

  1. Hopeless is worse than Homeless

Hope is a word that can change your life and in a positive way. Hope is that force which gives you the energy to get up after the fall, it is that armor that shields you from bullets of sarcasm, and it is that unexplainable feeling that keeps you going.

If Gandhi never hoped, we wouldn’t be a free nation, if Subhash Chandra Bose didn’t hope; India wouldn’t have a great Army. Hope can change you, it can change the world.

So even if you don’t have a home, don’t lose the hope of getting it. Life will be changed by the power called hope.

  1. Live in the present

Easy to say, difficult to implement. But our present is the result of the past. The decisions we take now are a result of what happened in the past. The past is like a refrigerator, you need to think what to store, what not to. One bad item can corrupt the lot. Even when you’re taking something to eat from the refrigerator you need to take only what is required and dispose the rest. Enough said.

If Nelson Mandela was affected by his past, he couldn’t have revolutionized the world, if Narendra Modi was affected by his past, he couldn’t have become such a great leader. One common thing is that these great people’s decision is based on their experiences of the past and the hope for a better world. Hope is future tense, decision is present tense, and everything else is in the past.

  1. Small things matter

For Chris Gardner the joy was when he could afford a hotel room for one night instead of a spending the night in the Church dormitory. Hope grows stronger with joy.

It is the little things, tiny little things that make a difference in the end. You always start small, aim big. And the success truly comes only when you believe that the big is small.

  1. We all have the same 24 hours

You have been given the same 24 hours as Chris Gardner or Steve Jobs. What is the difference? Only one; they did what they believed in and the value addition was Happiness.

Do you believe your corporate status? Does it make you happy? If you are not happy, you don’t have to do it. It is never too late to find the things that bring you happiness.

If you have the hope, and do such things that bring you happiness in the present and learn from the small things, you have the best life ever. You are living larger than life.

  1. Inspiration begins now

Inspiration has to happen now. If you are inspired by a movie, it is now, if you are inspired by a speech, it is now. When you don’t make use of that moment of inspiration, you would never be able to do it.

Chris was inspired by Life. He didn’t stop studying for his Licensing exam just because he didn’t have a home to study.

When you are inspired, you yourself are an inspiration. So each day you live, should make you stronger from the inside and make you the better person than you were yesterday.

  1. Family matters!

When I say Family matters, I don’t mean the issues, I mean that family matters in the decisions that you take. And family is not just the relatives of blood, but your friends and well-wishers who are by your side. Everything that you do will have an impact on your family.

It may sound demotivating, but it is not. When you do well, it impacts your family, when you do great it impacts your family; but the fact is that, family is the strength helping you do good, and do great.

Chris has dedicated his life for a smile on his Chris Jr’s face.

  1. Learn to differentiate between opinions and advises

There is a huge difference between opinion and advises. Opinions just end with people telling what they think. Advice starts from that point.

Don’t take advices that don’t matter to you. You know who you are better than the person next to you. Advices often leave people thinking if what they are doing is right or wrong. Opinions leave people open minded and a craving to progress.

  1. Don’t be the person who you are not

When you start living someone else’s life, you obviously lose yours. We live in a world where we are taught how not to live our own life. Work for the boss and earn for the family.

The problem is not when you start working for a living, but when you get deceived that living is working.

Chris’s wife left him because he faked it, because he lost his identity. It was too late for him, but not for you. Be with such people where you need not fake your emotions, be in such places where you need not fake your feelings and love such person who loves your truth.

  1. It’s not just about getting the breakthrough

It is important to know that there are many instances where there have been breakthroughs in people’s life but the same was not harvested and enjoyed for a longer period. It is critical that you understand that life is not stagnant. It is dynamic.

Chris did not stop when he got into his dream job. He wanted more; he wanted to become an entrepreneur. Your hope alone can take you to greater heights.

  1. You are always in the Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is not necessarily the ending. There can be sadness later, but the happiness will come again and overshadow it.

You will never be happy with what you have now. There is always a feeling that yearns for more. In this ever changing dimension of happiness all you can do is go in its pursuit. Don’t stop, because you deserve happiness and you deserve the journey which makes it all more difficult and gives value to the word Happiness.

The life you seek shouldn’t be different from the life you live. Higher the variance, lesser the Happiness.

For you to climb up, you don’t just need a ladder; but also a wall to rest it. For you to love; you should know how amazing it is to be loved. For you to succeed; you have to know how the failure is. For you to live; you need to have an inspiration, you need hope.

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