The Pursuit Of Happyness

by Jeremy Schoemaker on May 9, 2007 · 110 comments

Warning: This post contains no information about making money online.
I watched The Pursuit Of Happyness last night with my wife… wow is all I can say. A movie rarely effects me emotionally but that is an amazing story. Today working when I get frustrated I thought about that guy and what he went through. Man…..

Anyway if you have not seen it I highly recommend watching The Pursuit Of Happiness .

Also keeping on a serious note Barry Schwartz pinged me with a meme about things I wish I would have been more serious about in my life. Here would be my answers:

1) School – Even though I am not sure how much I would have benefited from school I know It caused a lot of stress on my family being I never cared much about it. I would say 90% of the times I was in trouble as a kid was school related.

2) Health - I never took my health that serious until I was in my late 20′s and it was to late. As I posted I had Duodenal Switch surgery about 3 years ago when I lost 240 LBS. I was so fat as a youth and teen until my late 20′s and while I tried diets and exercise it was more to please people around me then myself. Even when I lost all that weight I still did not take dieting and exercising that seriously until I had my Daughter Juliet then I started dieting more and recently adopted a pretty intense weight training program. I feel really good about my health now but I do wonder what it would have been like if I would have taken my health more serious in my younger years.

3) Self-Worth – Until I met my wife I was content to just be fat and play video games. I never had any intentions of making more then 25k/year or being the biggest baddest guy in online games (Everquest, Dark Age Of Camelot, City Of Heroes, and World of Warcraft). I had no reguard for my health. All I did was goto work and play video games all day (I had a job at a isp where we did tech support they let us play video games) Then I would come home and play games until I went to sleep. Every night I would eat a large taco pizza from Happy Joes and drink atleast a 12 pack of diet pepsi. I also smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day for 10 years.

When I started dating my now wife she really showed me the value of working hard really led by example. The first day I met her I quit smoking (after smoking 2 packs a day for 10 years) and although I might bum a cig at a conferences every once in a while (usually when intoxicated) I think I have had less then 20 cigarettes in the 6 years I have officially quit smoking.

Anyway I really took my self worth seriously until my late 20′s. I figured that I would die of a heart attack or something between 25-30 so what did it matter really working twords something.

4) Religion – I feel like I used to take religion TOO seriously. I was brought up semi-religious where we thank god for everything we get and all that and all glory goes to god…. But I left way to many things up to God when I should have been doing them myself. I mean I actually thought if I prayed hard enough for tests and work stuff I would pass them or not get fired….

I believe in a higher power I just think that higher power could care less about most things. I am not sure if it was just how lazy I used to be that made it convienient to leave matters up to god or what but I sure wish I would have just taken control of my life and not wait for something magical to happen.

5) Procrastination – (I think we are seeing a trend here) I used to procrastinate like crazy. It was so bad I dont even think the standard definition applies. Now if I think of something I do it. I actually get frustrated listning to people talk about doing stuff all the time. If you want to do it… do it. You can think of excuses all day not to do something or you can make it happen. I know that sounds like rah rah rah self motivation stuff but I started my companies when I was over 250,000.00 in debt and was able to not only climb out of that hole but make some serious revenues. Most of this I can attribute to just being action oriented (and also having great partners like Dillsmack who is incredibly action oriented also).

Anyway I wish I would have been more action oriented when I was younger.

Ok so I am supposed to ping 5 people. Much like Barry I am going to ping people whom I would realy be interested to hear there responses so:

David Dellanave, Greg Hartnett , Danny Sullivan , Neil Patel, and eMom (Wendy Piersall)

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2896 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


Jeremy recommends you check out these amazing posts:

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{ 96 comments }

1 David V.

Great movie. Definitely worth the watch.

2 Barry Schwartz

Thanks Jeremy. I appreciated your answers.

It is amazing how you changed so many of the things that bothered you.

much to look up to!

3 45n5

just added it to my netflix, thanks for the tip

4 Cottongear.com

Wow, Shoe, that was one of the best posts I think I’ve ever read here. I couldn’t agree more about your action oriented comment… that is probably the biggest barrier people put up themselves between being successful and failure.

I’ve heard good things about that movie.. I guess I’ll definitely have to check it out!

5 Ali

you misspelled happiness it’s happyness according to the movie.

this was a very good post, very down to earth and yet something that anybody can read and take some action for themselves.

6 TheGrin

i will understand what i will really care about the day i will lose it… and this thought make me sad

7 bradman1965

nice post

8 Al Davies

I just finished reading “the millionaire mind” which I think you would like. Most of the book talks about the unassuming life of the millionaire. But a big piece of the puzzle is the supporting spouse of the millionaire.

The Doc sounds like an amazing woman dude. Obviously you’re the one that had to put the effort into your transformation but she seemed to provide that extra support throughout the whole process…

I watched POH a month ago. Will Smith was steady running the whole movie. Good flik

9 jim

I thought Pursuit of Happyness was an incredible movie, very moving and teaches a lot of lessons.

10 Lee

Great post man.

11 TeamTutorials

You could apply that same disclaimer on most of your blog posts. lol.

12 Brian Mark

Haven’t seen the movie. Too busy actually doing stuff. :)

Nice post, and a great reminder that we control our destiny. I’ve known a lot of the “I’d like to do ____ someday” people myself. I usually just tune them out.

13 Neil - eBizguy

Great post and a great movie! I was touched by this movie also being a husband and the father of two wonderful boys.

14 Luke

When I saw that movie it made me want to learn how to do the Rubik’s cube. I had never even really messed with one before, but seeing Will Smith solve it made me think I might have a chance :P

I spent spring break doing research online and practicing. My best solve time is a minute 18. Anyone else pick up a cube after watching that movie?

15 J'Zizzle Hizzel

If you think the movie is good, you should read the book–it’s great! You really see how smart this guy actually was and how he used every opportunity to survive and move up. My favorite section in the book was when one of the hiring managers told Mr. Gardner that they don’t like to hire MBAs, but PSDs–people who are Passionate, Smart, and Desire to be wealthy. I think you gotta have Passion & Desire first then knowledge second.

16 Bush Mackel

Definitely not the kind of post I was expecting, but certainly a gem. I can relate to you big on all of those except for the health thing. Thankfully even though I used to eat horribly, I was still getting a lot of exercise which always kept the weight off.

As far as a lot of the procrastination stuff (which I was big into also), I personally just decided one day that if I was going to have the life I wanted, (not working for the MAN night and day), I had to start working hard and continue working hard for probably 7-10 years. But I figured, even if I just gave those years up by working for myself, it’s better than a lifetime of servitude.

17 Mubin

Good Movie. But the following post was probably one of the best I have ever read online.

Forget SEO. Motivational speaking is for you.

18 ToddW

I once read something on procrastination and it said something along the lines of if you are going to procrastinate don’t think about your work because then it feels like you never took a break. If oyu know you are going to procrastinate just do it and don’t think about it! Makes it more enjoyable to procrastinate… heh.

19 Aneil Weber

Your post was inspiring to me. I tend to ignore my health these days and focus on too many other things. It’s been bugging me for awhile and hearing you talk about it was very motivating.

Thanks!

20 Secure Hosting

Great post, Shoe. Thank you for sharing it with us. It’s nice to read some non-money-making posts here and there !!

21 Travel Notebook

A 12 pack of Pepsi a night?? Whoooaa.

I gave up smoking too and its the best thing I ever did. Like you I also did it for the person I love. I was unable to quit on my own until I had that outside force.

22 Gustav S

You are clearly an example for the humanity, not only taking care of your life but also achieving the most impressive goals that most of the people look for. I am some amazed that I will make a post right away in my “motivation for success” category!

Thanks for existing and keep going!
GS

23 Patrick

The movie is great…. on a side note, as small of a piece that the Rubik’s cube played in that movie, it boomed the sales of the cube by around 300%. For awhile, “rubiks cube” was the only top 10 yahoo search term that wasn’t a female actress’ name. Quite amazing what a good movie can do.

24 CPA Affiliates

pursuit of happiness feeds to every persons drive to survive… i think the difference is every person have a different limit they are willing to push themselves to survivie or succeed… Some people are content making 20K a year but have no worries while others wont be happy unless they are making a mil a year and working 16hours a day. to each his own :) but a person has to have a drive to achieve anything in life RARELY re things just handed to a person.

25 Gustav S

I just created a post in my website under Motivation for Success!, you are the best!
Keep going!
GS

26 Daniel

Once in a while it cool to share some personal information. Gives a sense of intimacy to the readers.

27 Al Davies

Chris Gardner took it to a whole new level though. He pretty much any sense of security that he had out the door and just said f-it and worked pro bono for 3 months. Those are cojones most of us **ehem I** don’t have

28 Don

Great post Shoe. Makes me feel bad about the tongue-in-cheek Top 5 post I did about you on ProBlogger yesterday =(

By the way, take it from an old fat guy who fights being overweight and smoking, your post has a lot to do about making money!

This post could be titled “The Foundation For Creating Wealth & Happiness”. School, Health, Self-Worth, Religion, Procastination…all in one shot.

BTW, I also highly recommend “The Millionaire Mind” and “The Millionaire Next Door”.

Don

29 Keith Donegan

Much respect for sharing this. This was one of the best posts I think I’ve read here. Such an inspiration for the rest of us, thanks

30 Wendy Piersall (eMom)

So I see that you of ALL people wrote a personal post – and I got sucked into reading immediately. Then I see the meme and I actually got excited – a chance to get to know the real Shoe even better!

And what a post it was! No matter how you lost the weight – you took it off and kept it off. So many people don’t take any steps to take care of themselves and die really young because of it – thankfully, you’re not one of them anymore!

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you both online and offline – and to get tagged on this one was incredibly cool. I love that you wrote this – money and success is great and all – but when you lead other people there by example, that’s a true inspiration!

Hugs to you and thanks! :D

31 dodger50

One of the best posts I’ve read. Thanks.

32 coopreme

dam shoe im almost 20 and i wish i started younger

33 coopreme

haven’t seen it, but all the positive reviews may make me take a trip the the video store… or netflix.com

34 AffiliatePimpin

Shoe, I gotta say i can definately relate to your bullet regarding school. I can honestly say the best experience during my college days was learning online marketing & SEO. I am thankful for that and If it wasn’t the case, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. I bombed most of my classes, but I’m glad the way things turned out.

Great post.

35 Sergio

I definitely plan to watch that. This is probably one of your best posts.

36 Ken Savage

$250,000?

MAN! what did you buy?

37 Dave

Sounds like you deal with some of the same issues that I deal with now. I’m fairly good on health etc, but I’ve always struggled with procrastination. Even now, I’m getting much better at it, but it’s still an issue for me.

38 Al Davies

I was thinking the same thing. If it was a house then hey….we’re all in decent debt to some extent but was it 250K in credit card debt? I think all of us would like to hear a part 2 to this…. the process was obviously gradual but it sounds like something just clicked in his head one day and he mentally became a different person

39 Pete Wailes

On the subject of number 4, it’s an interesting one. My personal view is that whilst God cares, He isn’t going to do everything for you just because you ask. Did your parents help you in exams because you asked? I’m guessing they went to work instead.

IMO, sure God cares, and wants you to do well, but you’ve still got to do it yourself. If you don’t, you’ll get no satisfaction from it. “Trust in God, but tie up your camel”, as the Muslims say.

40 JeffPosaka

Thanks for the great post. Looking back on life’s crossroads and the good and bad is healthy.

I am also grateful for a super wife too.

41 Matthew

I wonder if this meant 25k as I think I have heard him mention 25k in the past.

42 John Smith

Man, I haven’t seen the pictures of you in the past until now, I can only congratulate you for your effort and your wife for convincing you :-) Keep it like this, you are thinner than I am :-)

43 Olltwit

Hi I’ve not seen the film but I can certainly empathise with the “struggling to make ends meet” scenario.

I’ve been 10 years on the net and have been making educational software and games for the same time. My work is used around the world by thousands of users but all I seem to be able to do is pay the rent and eat occasionally. My website gets over 2,000 visitors daily. I have squeezed my Google Adsense income up to just under 10 bucks a day. I have hundreds of testimonials from people saying how much they like my software and yet I’m lucky if I sign up 1 new member a day. I have over 200 programs available for download and charge a one off lifetime website membership fee of $19.95, which I think is very reasonable. I have tried everything I can think of to increase my income but nothing seems to work. Any advice would be most welcome.

Grey Olltwit

44 jim

Yeah, those creative licenses are always taken when you talk about these types of stories but the story is still powerful in and of itself.

45 Glen

I guess im going to have to watch that film now, thanks for the heads up ;)

46 Shawn

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.

47 Lee Bandoni

Me to, need to find time to watch it :)

48 Dana Mark

Working out is good, but it is sometimes hard to keep at it. I feel so much better after working out and have a lot more energy for the rest of the day. I usually work out in the morning since I work at night. Sometimes, however, the thought of working out is a tough hurdle to get over. It is easy to think “I’ll wait until tomorrow.” The more often I do that, the harder is it to get started again. Thanks for the encouragement to keep at it.

49 Fashion Industry

Funny you wrote about it today..because my best friend works at sams and bought it for me!…I have already seen it 3 times and find something new to take from it everytime…great movie and very inspirational.

50 Alex

I also haven’t seen it, but it came in highly recommended (thanks Shoe!). I’m not a big fan of video stores so I’ll probably download it or wait for it to be shown on TV.

51 fivecentnickel.com

Excellent movie, and really good post post. It’s always interesting to learn that sort of background stuff about people — to see where they came from and what motivates them.

52 Shirley Tipsy

The Pursuit of Happyness is probably the best movie I have seen in 5-10 years. It really motivated me to pay more attention to the choices I make and how they will affect my future.

That scene where he shows up to the hotel and its locked and his son throws himself on the ground and cries was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen. I still get teary eyed just thinking about it. Will Smith was great in that movie, but his son was phenominal (especially for his age.)

Thanks for sharing. Your humility is what makes you someone to watch Shoe, not just your talent. :)

53 SonicReducer

Great post. Glad to see you are taking your health seriously. It really should be the top priority for people, cause if you don’t have your health, business isn’t going to matter much.

54 SEO blog

Will Smith is one of the most diverse actors of his generation. Action, comedy, drama, he pretty much nails it all. I’m a big fan.

Great post as well Shoe. you should do more like this.

55 KennyP

I watched it in the beginning of the year

56 jeremy860

Great post man. After watching that movie all I could think about was me and my family and trying to not end up like he did. It aint often that you come across such an inspirational movie like that. I also congratulate you on quiting smoking. I have been smoking a pack a day since I was 14 and I am now 24, I have tried to quit but being in this online business stuff it just never works. I am hoping I can make a fortune soon so my stress level will be lower. maybe I will have better luck then.

57 Self Hypnosis

Great post Shoe! Funny how we start looking at life differently as we get older. We begin to think more about our health, religion & taking care of those we love.
Your comment about religion and God reminds me of the story of the guy sitting on the roof of his house as the flood waters rose around him. 3 different rescue boats came by to pick him up and with each he’d say, “no need to stop here…God will save me!” So eventually, the water covered his house, and the man drowned. When he reached Heaven, he met God and asked him, “God…I prayed hard for you to save me from the flood waters…what happened?” God said, “jeez man…I sent 3 rescue boats by to pick you up!”
The moral…I believe God helps those that help themselves.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Best regards,
Chris

58 Paul

The Pursuit of Happyness is a great movie. In fact, it inspired my domain name. When I am frustrated all I have to do is think of what others probably go through (I am blessed to work from a home office) and almost immediately I crank up the heavy metal and am at peace again.

59 Amanda

I hate staying up late and I always fall asleep through movies but that was one movie I stayed up and watched the whole thing it was so moving!

60 coopreme

off to Demonoid!

61 coopreme

im a motivational seo! i just motivate the search engines to gimmie better serps placement…

“come on google… come on”

62 coopreme

on the other hand, having a successful business can motivate you to improve your health

63 Yogesh

I am kind of like you, paid no attention to school, procrastinate a lot and weigh in at 240lbs :D. I guess its time I need to stop being so lazy all the time.

64 Ginene

I saw the Pursuit of Happiness and the part that got to me the most was when he was in the bathroom with his son and someone else was trying to get in and all he could do was cry because he had no where else to go.

The movie inspired me alot. Just when I think I have it bad, there is always someone else out there who have it worse. He was able to go from being homeless to being a millionaire. Anything is possible if we set our mind to it.

65 Jenny

I was never serious about school. I just did what I needed to do to get thru and get out. Maybe I shoulda been tho…

66 John Loch

Health. Yep.. its one of those things.. a tad overweight.. kids and commitments to worry about. Procrastination.. yep it gets me too.

I’d say you’ve done well with that post Jeremy. Like others, I found it inspirational. :)

Cheers !

67 JoLynn Braley

Hi Jeremy,

Excellent post, I’m glad you shared this because I find your story very inspiring. I found it through Wendy Piersall.

I used to play video games constantly myself, about 10 years ago. I would play them whenever I wasn’t working, and although it was a fun time, I felt bad about it because I felt like I wasn’t being productive. I didn’t really know what else I wanted to do, though.

Well, I could go on, but suffice it to say that I can relate to you, and on the health topic, too. I will recommend your post to my readers. I’m your newest subscriber as of this moment. ;)

Thanks again! :)

All the best,

JoLynn

68 coopreme

Hypnosis is BS. I might make it my goal to discredit you and your site… along with all the other hynosis jargon…

69 johnny

Pursuit of Happiness is a “must have” for every entrepreneur who has the passion to succeed and the fortitude to carry on, despite how bleak the future appears to be.

This movie, not only touched me in the theaters, it made me ball. Instead of my wife asking me what’s wrong, she held my hand and shared in the emotional and gut-wrenching pain as I watched Chris Gardner walk down the lonely streets with an x-ray machine in his hand, battling the thousand of little voices that are telling him just how pathetic his life is and how much easier it would be to just give up.

After 7 years of university and a Masters degree, living in government subsidized apartments, and committing career suicide by turning down a professional employment offer, I took a straight commission job selling scented candles for a start up company that promised me the world of ground-floor opportunity.

I would take week long road trips, sleeping in cheap motels, driving from town-to-town in a rusty mustang armed with cans of WD40 to restart my car’s engine after the electrical would short-out whenever it rained and on-coming transports splashed water on my vehicle’s hood. Like a Chris Gardner, I would roam the streets and malls of a strange city, humbly pulling a suitcase cart full of scented candles and big dreams, looking for potential prospects to cold call.

With an expected child on the way and that frightening feeling of not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from and knowing your day would be filled with uphill battles, I masked all of my fears and anxieties with a smile, a wrinkled suit, and passionate belief I had the best candles in the world. Every time I woke up in the morning, I said my prayers and took action. Consistent actions eventually lead to results and other life-changing opportunities. That was 14 years ago and although those were depressing and frightening times, it was a character building experience that has proved fruitful in my life. If you have a dream, take action, learn, and do better. I’m weeks away of from launching one of the biggest projects in my life…

70 Jens

You need to go lower on your squats. ;)

71 Neil

Nice post shoe. As a father with 2 boys, this movie truely will bring tears to your eyes. He and his son sleeping in a subway station bathroom did it for me. I couldn’t imagine.

Be thankful everyday.

72 Self Hypnosis

I respect your opinion, but I’m not sure why you would want to “make it your goal” to discredit me and my site? I don’t think I’ve done anything to harm you? Feel free to contact me or comment via my site so we’re not using Shoemoney’s blog to discuss.

73 Parenting Blog

We took your advice and watched the movies. It was great!

Check out our post about it:
Parenting Blog

74 Moviejunkie

I’d be glad if people start to discuss about movies on my site.
U see, i am new to the website business and dunno how to get a head start. Haha

75 Moviejunkie

Good that shoe mentioned that this post isnt related to money making in teh beginnin ..i was expecting a lot from the title :D

76 Moviejunkie

I gotta see that one soon,then

77 Moviejunkie

LOL.. True, but still .. this kinda posts removes the monotony and makes Shoemoney.com a great site

cheers shoe !

78 Moviejunkie

I’ll watch it soon.. It’s already in my torrent Queue :p

79 Karen Putz

You’ve made some amazing changes in your life– thanks for sharing!

80 Bryn Youngblut

Great post Jeremy, it’s really motivating and I have some similarities as you how I used to be and I completey changed a few yrears ago. The big factor was going to college which changed my ways and views on life.

81 Gary

Thank you so much for sharing. I have just recently started reading your blog. It is helpful. I have had problems with 3, 4, & 5. I am still struggling to break through these areas of my life. My biggest one right now is religion and I really feel what you said in this post. It is really inspiring. I think people define God in an incorrect manner. They use God as an excuse. Thank you for bringing up this point and sharing your views.

82 Fluconazole generic online

Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

83 Jerrrick

i damn love hat movie but it quite sometime ago. I mostly tear out when the moment he sleep with his son in the toilet of train station .
He never give up because of his son . This kind of movie always give me some kind of motive to work hard on what on my hand and would like to share out the feeling as well.

84 ryan walker

That film really is fantastic it had a very similar effect on myself.

85 http://www.shoemoney.com/2010/01/18/are-you-a-conference-speaker-douchebag/#comment-230852

Another great post.. I got in trouble alot in school too. because i was to immature and didnt see the bigger picture. But even though now i believe school is just a waste time. it helped me become a better person and learn alot of life lessons.

86 Rodney

Another great post.. I got in trouble alot in school too. because i was to immature and didnt see the bigger picture. But even though now i believe school is just a waste time. it helped me become a better person and learn alot of life lessons

87 CoeurdAlenechiropractor

great movie. a father who does everything he can for his son. Drive, will, and getting far away from pain. not taking no for an answer, great movie i need to watch it again

88 trojan batteries

Honestly feel like a kinship here bro… the similarities between us (from my limited perspective) are pretty scary. So let me ask, how did a schlub like you score a good woman? Me, I know I got lucky…

89 SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKING FOR BUSINESS

Great post Shoe, again motivation for today. Even when you are taliking about movies, I am learning. Am I ever glad I was referred here. Thanks

90 Hendri

Just “Wow!”… nice post Shoe.. thanks :)

91 fiq09

yes i can use this

92 Lisa

Great post! It’s never too late to take responsibility for your health. Your cells are constantly reproducing themselves-you actually have a brand new intestinal lining something like every 9 days. You don’t have to wonder what would have happened had you taken your health seriously at an earlier point in life-you’ve now turned back the clock and increased your longevity anyway. Cheers!

93 RaisePR

Great post Jeremy. I haven’t seen the movie but I’m in the same situation you used to be in!

94 kevin

Great post Jeremy. you are actually a mentor to newbies like us. your post rely inspires me. Keep up

95 عشاق التقنية | دروس وشروحات بالصوت والصورة

When I saw that movie it made me want to learn how to do the Rubik’s cube. I had never even really messed with one before, but seeing Will Smith solve it made me think I might have a chance

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