It had been about 18 years since I really sat down and watched Forrest Gump. I was all over it when the movie first came out. I saw it in the theaters and loved it. When it was released to video, VHS back in the day, I bought the movie and watched it several times. And then, I’d had enough. I got to a point where I didn’t want to see the movie again and couldn’t really stomach the idea of watching it again… So I didn’t.
Years have passed. Many years in fact, and I recently ate at Bubba Gump in Monterey, CA. I realized that it had been long enough and I wanted to watch the movie again. So I recently sat down and watched it and am happy to report I enjoyed it again. As you would expect there are several good life lessons to be taken away from the movie.
Lesson 1) Don’t get attached.
Don’t get attached to format. I’m pretty sure I threw out my VHS of Forrest Gump years ago. I was able to find it on TV and record it on my DVR and watch it in 3 or 4 sittings. There was a time when I couldn’t bare the idea of spreading a movie out to watch it. But now, with two kids and short times in which to watch a 2.5 hour movie, 3 tries is pretty darn good. But again, the format has changed dramatically over the years from VHS to DVD to DVR. Don’t get to attached to the medium, focus on the message.
Lasson 2) Patience
Forrest is a patient man. You could argue that he doesn’t know any better. But the same could be said for impatient people. Forrest was patient because he didn’t think he could force things to happen, and as a result he flowed through life. Many times we are impatient because we think we can force things to happen. But in the end we just flow through life too… It’s a question of how much we fight the current that we can measure our joy against. Patience and relaxing with the flow will improve your experience.
Lesson 3) Perseverance
I remember looking back at the movie that Forrest had a successful shrimping business… What I didn’t remember until I watched the movie again is that that success came with a lot of hard work and trial and error. He spent a great deal of time catching shoes and toilet seats and junk before he found success. You could argue that he wasn’t smart enough to give up… But often times we aren’t smart enough to keep going.
Perseverance combined with Patience and letting go of the format are a good recipe for life. Keep at it, success may come in a form you don’t suspect at a time you couldn’t have imagined after you’ve kept moving forward long after everyone else quit. And it may take a little longer than that. Be stupid enough to keep going and patient enough to enjoy the ride.