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The Bright Shiny Thing

By: Michael Blankenship |

“If you drop someone in the desert they don’t get anxious because there’s nowhere to go, they get anxious because there’s so many ways to go.”

– Jordan Peterson

When Chris Gardner came out of jail here’s how his life looked:

  • No house
  • No belongings
  • No family
  • No connections
  • No job

How’d he fallen so low?

It wasn’t for not working hard or not dreaming big enough…

It’s because he’d chased too many dreams at once.

In the previous decade he’d changed jobs more than he’d changed his socks… and he jumped at any bright shiny thing in his path.


A couple months before landing in jail he saw a well-dressed stockbroker in a shiny Ferrari and said to himself: “I’m gonna become a stockbroker.”

If you’ve seen the movie The Pursuit of Happiness you know how the story ends.

(SPOILER: After years of struggle, poverty and homelessness Gardner wins back his son and starts his own multi-million dollar brokerage firm.)

But that’s not where the real story ends.

It actually ends like this….

Ten years after seeing a guy in a big shiny Ferrari, Chris Gardner made enough money to buy himself one too.

You see.

The message here isn’t all about struggle.

It’s about wanting something so bad you keep trying even if you have to struggle to get it.

  • Even if it’s a well-dressed man in a Ferrari that catches your eye…
  • Even if it’s the dream of seeing someone holding a book you wrote…
  • Even if it’s a bright shiny thing that others would find silly or unimportant…

Sometimes your goals in life don’t need to be earth-shattering.

Sometimes it can be a bright shiny thing you just couldn’t get out of your head…

And for no other reason that it makes you smile.

Isn’t that, more than anything, the one thing worth struggling for?

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