KUALA LUMPUR: It’s a piece of advice that never gets old – always listen to your mother.
Stockbroker-turned-motivational speaker Chris Gardner spoke of how he was empowered by his mother to become who he is today.
“She told me ‘Son, you can do or be everything you want to be’. That is the greatest gift she gave me beyond life,” said Gardner, 63.
The author of The Pursuit of Happyness credited his mother with allowing him to dream big.
Gardner’s stories, particularly about the year when he was homeless, was made into a 2006 motion picture starring Will Smith and his son Jaden.
Snippets of the film were shown before Gardner addressed a packed hall at the Global Transformation Forum 2017 yesterday, where he gave an engaging session, filled with jokes and anecdotes.
Gardner recalled how he told himself at the age of five that he would be a good father, vowing not to become the man that his stepfather was.
And to further the role his mother played in his life, Gardner said he was now encouraging his granddaughter by giving her the “permission to dream”.
Gardner also advised his audience to focus on their Plan A in life instead of getting distracted by any Plan B.
To drill the message into them, he instructed the audience to repeat after him: “Plan B sucks!”
Citing Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and Malaysia’s own Datuk Lee Chong Wei as inspiring figures who stuck to their Plan A, Gardner said that people must be clear, concise, compelling, consistent and committed to their plans.
He challenged them to strive for world-class excellence in whatever they do.
“I am going to be world class. Not good, not pretty good, but world class,” he said.