The cost of ‘Happyness’

I need to watch The Pursuit of Happyness again soon.

Every so often, something happens that shakes me. It messes with my equilibrium and I start to doubt, wonder and panic. More often than not, the ‘something’ is reality. Take today for example. I checked my bank statement and could no longer run from something I’ve suspected for a while now. I’m nearly out of money.

The thing with dreams is that they are expensive; much more so than conformity. I used to like asking people why they don’t quit their jobs and go after their dreams. The most common answer is money, at which point I’d say something like, ‘if you step out, and go for it, the money will come right.’ Maybe there’s more wisdom in the masses than I realised. Maybe it’s not just fortune that favours the brave. Could it be that when the brave crash and burn we prefer to call them stupid?

I don’t know. I can’t believe that being sensible is the best way for me to live my life. That’s why I need to watch The Pursuit of Happyness. I’ll shed tears of gratitude during the scene where he sleeps in a toilet with his son. I’ll be inspired to keep going when things come right for him at the end. I’ll tell myself that if I just keep going, if I roll with the punches, if I just hang in there, somehow things will come right.

Believe it or not, Sylvester Stallone said something really profound about this issue. A long time ago I watched a documentary charting his rise to fame. For a long time he struggled and couldn’t get a part in a movie. Eventually, if I remember correctly, he wrote the script for Rocky himself, cast himself in the lead role, and the rest we all know.

During that documentary, he said words to the effect of: everyone gets their shot. It’s just that not everyone hangs around long enough to take it.


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