On Wednesday, February 20, 2013, Mr. Chris Gardner graced the stage of Chicago State University for their inaugural speakers series. Chris Gardner is the author of the autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness (notice his signature spelling of happiness with a y instead of i), which is a number one New York Times bestseller. His life story also inspired the highly acclaimed movie The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith as Chris. He is the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC, with offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. He is an inspirational speaker whose goal is to provide the keys to overcoming obstacles, breaking cycles, and experiencing positive growth and transformation to people who thirst for knowledge and success.
Mr. Gardner introduced the audience to several key areas: pursuing happyness ; spiritual genetics; starting where you are; and the C-5 Complex. He ended this phenomenal presentation with powerful take away tips. Examiner readers, unlock the door of empowerment and enter.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Mr. Gardner reflected on his life at the age of 28 with a 14 month old child. He states: "I was homeless and on the streets, living in airports, train stations, bus terminals, and restrooms for one year with my son." He remembered asking himself a powerful question that many people asked themselves today, which is "How did I get here?" His response to this difficult question was: "I drove here; and I can drive out." He was very clear about taking ownership of things you want to change in your life.
Mr. Gardner discussed how many people aspire to achieve the American Dream, and how a large percentage of individuals inherit wealth; but one percent of Americans are not involved in the generational transfer of wealth and must "claim ownership of their dreams." In the midst of this empowering presentation, he quoted his precious mother whom he greatly credits to his successful outcomes: "You can do or be anything that you want to do or be." Gardner fondly says that his mother's wit, wisdom, and love made it possible for him to do what he does. He attributes this to what he calls spiritual genetics and the transfer of a dream.
Spiritual Genetics: From Practical to Spiritual
Spiritual means pertaining to the spirit as the seat of the moral or religious nature and closely akin in interest, outlook, and feeling (Webster American Dictionary). Genetic is that which pertains to or is influenced by genes and origin (Webster American Dictionary). According to Gardner, all people have an innate ability to take on the characteristics of a sinner or saint. When speaking of genetics, one thinks of a person's DNA make up. Similarities between family members come into play. One might innately behave like a parent or family member and take on certain characteristics. However, Gardner says that one has the option to conduct themselves in a way that draws positive energy, even if they are surrounded by negativity or experienced it as a child. Gardner tells the audience that an individual must strive to become world class at something. He states: "Find your button. What turns you on? what is it that you can't wait for the sun to rise to do?" He goes on to say that many people already know; but are afraid to push it. Chris Gardner emphasizes the importance of having perspective, growth, transformation, and an awareness of your spiritual genetics, as well as when you are influenced by it.
Start Where You Are
According to this inspirational author, his book Start Where You Are focuses on hope. He used an example of a working single parent who only has a $20 bill in his or her wallet and responsibilities that exceed that amount. He states: "Hope is all that single parent has." The significance of this example is that the parent must embrace faith and hope and start from that point with the self-promise of growth and transformation so that he or she does not drive there again. He or she must vow to drive out. Ultimately, this outstanding author, investor, and speaker says that one must have a plan A when in The Pursuit of Happyness. This plan should consist of the C-5 Complex which means a plan that is clear, concise, compelling, committed, and consistent in reference to your pursuit (Start Where You Are, Chris Gardner). According to Gardner, this is the 'Ready, Set, Go' stage of starting where you are. Empowerment in this category means assessing where you are in life in relation to happiness, relationships with family and friends, physical and emotional health, opportunities, and your sense of security.
Mr. Chris Gardner ended this powerful presentation with take away tips. He told the audience that this blender of life must include the promise you make to yourself; the passion you have to succeed; a healthy level of empowerment; a clear, concise, compelling, committed, and consistent plan (C-5 Complex); and perspective, meaning: "What's really important? Where do you draw the line." Gardner ensures the audience that this particular blend of life's spices can lead to peace of mind. He states: "and that's priceless."