Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies. When I saw it come on the other day I couldn’t help but take a break from what I was working on to watch for a few minutes… which turned into 15… which turned into me watching the whole movie. While I was watching, I couldn’t help but to think of all the positive life lessons that could be taken away from the story.
Here are some that I think anyone can use to live a fulfilling life.
Talk to strangers.
Forrest shared a fascinating life story with people who would have been otherwise bored at a bus stop. If Bubba hadn’t said hello for them to become friends, Forrest would have never known anything about, or gotten into the shrimping business.
Whether it’s the new guy at the office, the cute stranger at the supermarket, or the person in line next to you at the DMV, say hello and strike up conversations with anyone and everyone. You never know what experiences someone may have to share, what you might learn, who you’ll become friends with, or who could maybe even just use some friendliness in their day.
Stupid is as stupid does.
Stupid is as stupid does, or, you are what you do. Forrest is told most of his life that he is dumb, but doesn’t let it get to him. Whether you are “smart” or whether you are “dumb,” it’s your actions that will determine where you end up in life. Your actions become your habits, and your habits will determine whether or not you find success in life.
Knowingly or unknowingly, Forrest had a lot of mentors throughout his life. His momma, Captain Dan, Bubba, Jenny – mentors come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. They can teach you from their own experience, help you learn about yourself, and can help you work through your own successes and failures.
Be an optimist.
Forrest was an eternal optimist. Loving unconditionally, getting excited over free ice cream when he’d been shot, and seeing the best in everyone. Life can be hard at times, but with the right attitude you can get through anything.
When inspiration strikes, go with it.
Forrest showed that when inspiration strikes, you should run with it… literally in his case. If you feel inspired to do something, do it. You never know what might distract you if you wait. Even the longest run starts with a single step.
When you make a life decision, devote yourself to it.
When Forrest ran, he RAN. When Forrest played ping-pong, he REALLY played ping-pong. When Forrest knew he loved Jenny, he did everything he could to be with her.
The point is, no matter what it is you decide to go after in life, do it all the way. Even if you fall short of your goals, you’ll get a lot closer than if you go through life half-assing things. Not to mention you’ll never have to wonder, “What if I would have…?”
Take life as it comes.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
The only consistent thing in life, is change. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. Having the ability to adapt to whatever comes your way is something that will always serve you well. Be open to possibility and who knows what you might find.
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