Saturday, December 11, 2010

the pursuit of happyness .

One of my favorite movies is The Pursuit of Happyness, in which Will Smith stars (also one of my favorite actors). The movie is absolutely fantastic, but there was one part that really stuck out to me in it... the quote is this -- "It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?"

Couldn't be more true. Sure, you could say Thomas Jefferson was a genius and mastermind that somehow could foresee the future and the problems that many would endure in their pursuit for their own happiness. But I have a feeling that this is not a new phenomenon. There are studies that say that the current average person changes careers 3-7 times over their lifetime. My guess is that this is because of the lack of happiness that people are able to find in their lives.

That's not to say that finding the right career is an easy thing. As a kid, everything is completely carefree and we really don't worry about any problems. Your lunch is always packed for you for school, if you want to do something you do it, you don't need to worry about money -- it's all just kinda set up for you and you know what to expect.

Things change when you grow older. Now that I'm in college I'm realizing there a lot of things that are a lot more difficult than I had imagined. For instance, managing money. Things aren't as easy for you to shell out a few bucks for when you know that in the back of your mind there is a debt of 20k+ owed to the bank for your four years of schooling ... or in my case 6.

It's not easy as a high school student to simply say, okay I want to go here and study this and do that for the rest of my life. I am blessed in that I was inspired to try something, I had a chance to check it out via an elective in high school, and ended up really loving it. But part of me will always wonder, what if I had gone a different route? What if that one decision were a different one that would set me on a completely different path in life? It's hard to say.

But ultimately, we all end up searching for what makes us happy, right? Whether that's a career, the money to travel the world, money itself, that one convertible that you want to drive, your dream home, and of course that one significant other whom you can love to no end. The fact that this happiness seems so unattainable is a daunting thought which would deter the weak in their cause. However, if not for happiness, what else is there to live for? I am a strong advocate that you should do what makes you happy, regardless of what it is. Sure, I feel that there are some certain moral codes I feel that should be followed, but that's getting off of the subject.

The movie really captures this struggle in order to overcome the obstacles of life to achieve overall happiness. And I think that's what really gets me to the point of tears -- is that I realize, after watching that movie, that I have life really good, and some others, simply struggle to even find a place to stay for the night. So maybe my idea of happiness is skewed. Perhaps it is human nature to always want more than you currently have. And in that sense, I could understand my desire for more. Does that make me a self-centered selfish person? Maybe that desire changes based on competitive spirit that may or may not be a genetic thing. Who knows. I'm not really educated enough to comment on that stuff. But my point is for someone who has nothing, one little thing can mean everything for them. The entire movie, I sit there, pulling for Chris to sort things out, between his wife leaving him, keeping his son with him, earning enough money for food, finding a place to stay, and finally getting a job. No matter the obstacle -- he never gives up. I wish I had that kind of self-motivation. His came from the desire to provide his son with both the fathering and a secure stable life that he never had as a child.

His determination reminds me of a quote I heard on Scrubs, actually. I can't remember who said it, but that's really unimportant in this situation. But they said that 'nothing in this world is too hard if it is worth having.' That hit home with me as well. As an American we are born with those freedoms in mind -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Well, I don't know about you. But, if at the end of the day I feel like a can't go on, I need to dig deeper. If I feel I'm at the bottom of a hole that is too deep to climb out of, try another way to get out. If I'm at the end of a road, turn back around and take another path. Okay, so obviously there are a ridiculous amount of metaphors I could use here -- but my point is that if I encounter challenges, why not fight through them instead of giving up. That pursuit of happiness is pure gold -- the ultimate goal. Money is no object, as long as I'm happy.

It's possible I'll never get there. That's a cynical view, but anything is a possibility. So maybe i won't get there... but I'm damn sure gonna try, and every little bit of inspiration along the way helps.

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