The Pursuit of Happyness and Personal Development

As an avid movie watcher, I’ve watched a lot of movies that haven’t left a memorable mark on me. 

This, however, isn’t the same for the movie The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith (see my favorite scene here).

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that it’s a rag to riches story about a man who was homeless and went on to be a successful businessman. 

While the story doesn’t necessarily apply to the lives of everyone, I feel, as a young college student, that there is a lot that can be taught from the movie and applied to our lives in the workplace. 

Being “average” doesn’t mean you can’t succeed

In the movie, the main character Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) is nothing special. He doesn’t have any talents or skills that put him ahead of anyone in the workplace. 

When I imagine a boss, I imagine this super intimidating man or woman who has their life scheduled out to a tee and drinks chai lattes religiously. In the real world, though, I know they aren’t all like that and are a lot more “average” than you think. 

Even though he was “average” in comparison to other workers, he still managed to succeed. 

You don’t have to be the perfect worker to have a successful life and that’s important to come to terms with. 

It is okay for life to be difficult sometimes

Sometimes, we as humans have a hard time accepting that life isn’t always perfect. In the movie, it demonstrates just that.  

In the workplace, people often want their work to be spotless and to constantly get praise and recognition. 

Unfortunately, life isn’t always like that and that is okay. 

You must give yourself time to breathe

On a personal level, I know it’s difficult to take the time to breathe. The weight of the world sometimes feels just a little bit too overwhelming.

However, the movie can teach us just how important it is to step back for a second. This is an especially important thing to be able to do in the workplace because your best work will not be done when you’re burnt out. 

Don’t let others stop you 

Will Smith’s character had the world against him as there is a common stereotype surrounding homelessness in the workplace. 

All stereotypes aside, the only person who can stop you is yourself. Who cares what that stinky old boss said anyways? 

Always have a sense of humor 

In the workplace, it sometimes feels like it’s illegal to laugh and have fun. 

I mean, look at all the movies shot in a corporate office; it’s always stress and work. In the movie, it makes it very clear that life isn’t meant to be just work and stress. 

We are meant to laugh and enjoy what we do, especially at work. 

Sometimes, all it takes is a good movie to teach us a few things about our professional lives that we often avoid. If you haven’t watched it yet, go do it. 


Courtland Bartosik

Marketing Intern

Courtland is a freshman at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursing a degree in Media and Journalism with a minor in Data Science.