“The Pursuit of Happiness” is a phrase that is used often. Most famously it is a phrase written in history as part of the American Declaration of Independence, so even in 1776 the writers of this historical document could recognize the importance of being happy and that everyone has a right to search or pursue their happiness. It was written as part of the Declaration of Independence so this right could be protected for all Americans, but you don’t have to be an American to pursue your happiness you just have to be determined to really want it.

This phrase has also been the title for 5 movies over the years, the most recent and my favourite one of these being the 2006 movie about Chris Gardner’s story. This movie is an emotional rollercoaster, it’s a true story and because of this, you truly feel compassion for the situation Chris finds himself in. The reason I love this movie so much is because it provides hope, it sends a message to never give up, even when you have hit rock bottom and it looks completely hopeless. This is what Chris Gardner did, as a single father, he wanted to provide a better life for his young son, so he took an unpaid internship, along with 20 other people, even though he desperately needed money. He worked extremely hard to prove himself by taking chances and putting himself in difficult, uncomfortable situations and all of this eventually paid off. He was offered the only full time position at the firm and from that day on he never looked back. He went on to form his own company and became a multimillionaire.

Now, I am under no illusion that this will happen for everyone, especially me, but his story has completely inspired me from the first time that I saw it. The resilience he showed to keep going even when they were homeless, it would have been easier for him to settle for a boring low paying job, but would he have been happy? NO, he saw what he wanted and he didn’t stop until he got it.

That is what I need to do, I need to take a chance, step out of my comfort zone and just go for what I want, I know I won’t be truly happy if I don’t at least try. So my pursuit of happiness is not that different to Chris Gardner’s, I just want to achieve in life the best I can, the best I am capable of, I may not ever be a multimillionaire, but as long as I am satisfied that I have given everything my very best, then I would have found my happiness.

One quote from this movie that I absolutely love and that has stuck with me is Chris talking to his son, he says:

“DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING. NOT EVEN ME. YOU GOT A DREAM, YOU GOTTA PROTECT IT. WHEN PEOPLE CAN’T DO SOMETHING THEMSELVES, THEY’RE GONNA TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T DO IT. YOU WANT SOMETIME, GO GET IT. PERIOD.”

Happiness. What is happiness?

It can mean so many different things to different people. For me it means everything, it means never having to worry about money, having a career that I love so much that it doesn’t ever feel like I am working, being able to and given a chance to grow and learn, being content with my life, being able to do what I want when I want without being restricted by money and most of all spending time with my family and seeing my children happy. I could go on all day as there are many other things that would bring me happiness, but what the majority of these happiness goals come down to is money as most of these goals take money to achieve. If I won a million dollars tomorrow it would take care of a lot of problems and worries, but you know what would make me even more happy, is for me to earn my money by doing something that I love, the satisfaction in that would be enormous.

At the end of the day everyone wants to be happy, what is the point of living if you don’t want to be happy with your life? Even though like me, you may not be completely happy with your life at the moment, there is something you can do, you can’t give up, you have to keep pursuing your happiness, no one else is going to do it for you, it is up to you. It won’t be easy and it might take some time, but if you give up you may never know just how great you can actually be, and you never know the next movie they make with the pursuit of happiness title may be YOUR success story.

CANDY MCNAUGHT

WORKING MOTHER

A mother of 3, Candy works part-time and juggles all the day to day commitments of life like all women. She has a love for shopping and writing and this can be seen in her talent for storytelling. Candy shares her life experiences with candor and flair.

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