The Declaration of Independence

The American Dream by an Italian Director

“The Pursuit of Happyness” is about hope, overcoming odds, dreams… no matter what your circumstances are.  The movie is about the real life story of Christopher Gardner.  A man who wanted to break the cycle in his family of men not being there for their children.

The search began for just the right director to bring this real life story to life on screen.  The producers, including Will Smith, started courting an Italian director for the job.  Gabriele Muccino.  The Italian had director many Italian films but had never directed an English speaking film.  He could hardly speak English himself.  (What were the producers thinking?)  Well when they first met with him he said, “You have to be a foreigner to appreciate and understand the American dream.”  He also said that, “Chris is the essence of an American man who wanted to make it, he makes it, and then wants to show to the world that he made it.”  The producers were blown away by the Italian man’s understanding of and insight into the American dream.  He got the job.  In a sense that could have been a story of the American Dream itself.

The American Dream. An idea that  we all are entitled to the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well upward social mobility that can be achieved through hard work.

The Declaration of Independence


 “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.  That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness…”

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he avoided defining happiness, choosing to leave it to the individual to determine his or her own meaning of the word.

So it is up to us to DEFINE OUR OWN HAPPINESS!! When you start writing your own definition of “happiness”, think about this…

The New Declaration of Independence


 *Photo Credit 1, 2*

My Week With a Movie


I had so much fun with My Week with Marilyn that I decided that I should do a series called, “My Week with a Movie”.  I will spend the week diving into a movie and exploring its themes. I thought I should start this series with the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness.”  There a couple reasons for this choice….

1. It is so touching and inspirational (and I love touching and inspirational).

2. Will Smith and I have the same coach.  Will came and spoke to our studio… so I have a story from this movie and also some Will Wisdom I would like to share.

3.  I am currently in pursuit of my happiness, so I thought it would be appropriate.

So I present to you, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS!

I want to start my “Week with a Movie” with a little review of the movie, but every time I started to write a review for this movie, I felt like my words didn’t give the movie and the performances the justice it deserves.  So I thought I would show you 4 clips (that speak for themselves) that show Chris Gardner’s Struggle, Opportunity, Pursuit and Happiness.






Photo Credit 1

Destiny, Instinct and Action


Tom Shadayac strikes again with inspiration.

As I have mentioned before, I crash class with Caroline on Monday nights.  It is a life changing class.  Every Monday, I leave with a concept about life that I ponder all week long.  This Monday we started with watching this year’s Oscar winner for Best Animated Short.  It left me thinking about…  Destiny, Instinct and Action.

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

-William Jennings Bryan

I really love this quote the more that I think about it.  I believe that God has a plan for all of us… our destiny.  We are designed to fulfill and achieve our destiny.  We are never given an exact map, set of directions or guidelines to get there, so how do we arrive at our “destin”ation?

We arrive there by taking action.  Making choices.  You make those choices based on your instincts.  You have to keep making decisions and keep moving forward.  There are no wrong decisions (well there are some… don’t do drugs) because you learn from every move you make.  Each step will give you a clearer view of the route you are supposed to take.  I kind of like to think of it as setting up stepping stones.  Or like dominos. Each domino represents a choice, a connection made, an opportunity taken.  Once they are all in place, you get to sit back and watch everything fall into place seamlessly.

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. – Shakespeare

Our destiny is written in the stars but it is up to us to get there.

Photo Credit