27.3.12

The Power Within with Chris Gardner


by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

The Power Within is an awesome experience.  What a way to spend the day.  Listening to inspirational speakers and absorbing their knowledge and wisdom about life purpose and how to find your own Power Within.

I had the amazing opportunity to also introduce the guest speaker Chris Gardner.  In the early 1980’s, a series of adverse circumstances left Chris Gardner homeless and the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dreams of success,
Gardner climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom, before founding his own firm. Today he is the owner and CEO of brokerage firm Gardner Rich LLC., a
bestselling author and inspirational speaker. In 2006 he wrote his autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, which became a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller. His book was also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie starring Will Smith. His second bestselling book, “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”, was published in May 2009. Chris Gardner’s aim is to help others achieve their full potential.

Backstage, before introducing this remarkable man, I had the opportunity to speak to him.  WOW!  What a genuine, gentle, sweet, and huggable man.  He held my hand through our conversation, knowing I was a bit nervous going on stage to introduce him. He noticed my wedding ring and asked me how long I’ve been married, and asked about my children.  I got the sense that his heart is huge.  He certainly made me feel more relaxed before heading to the stage.  He has what I call “an infectious personality”, if ever given the opportunity I would love to spend more time with him in conversation one on one.  What a wonderful chance of a lifetime I was given. 

Once Chris took to the stage, he instantly won the hearts of the audience.  First and foremost, he is a father.  He made that very clear from the beginning.  After growing up with out a father, Chris made a promise that when he became a man and had his own children that he would make sure his children would KNOW their father!  After having his first child, Chris Jr., little did he know that LIFE had other expectations of him. In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, we see Chris with his 5 year old son.  But in real life he explained that his son wasn’t 5.  They did that in the movie for the dialogue.  While Chris was trying to “survive” being homeless and a single father, his son was actually only 14 months old.  And everyday for a year he brought his son in tow, diapers and all.  Chris is truly a remarkable and compassionate human being.  I really don’t know if I can explain it in words how incredible this man is.  Chris Gardner is the true definition of extraordinary.  The message I walked away with from Chris was, first be a good parent and love your children, and second work your butt off to achieve success.  Success doesn’t come from waiting for it to happen.  You have to go after it yourself!  I’ve always said, “It’s your life, and YOU are the only one who is going to live it.  So if you want something, go after it yourself!” ~ Christina Rowsell ~

For more on Chris Gardner visit his website http://www.chrisgardnermedia.com and The Chris Gardner foundation at http://www.cpgfoundation.org/

by: Christina Rowsell ~ The Brighter Side