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Run, Forrest, Run! 16 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump

Run, Forrest, Run! 16 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump

Just a few weeks ago was the 20th anniversary of one of America’s most beloved films: Forrest Gump. (When did we all get so old?!)

This fabulous film is equal parts funny, inspiring, and downright heart-wrenching. In fact, there are quite a few life lessons that can be learned from this fabulous movie—and not just about chocolates and running (although that’s definitely included).

Listen up, and prepare to have the intense urge to open up Netflix and start re-watching. (Yes, it’s on Netflix. You’re welcome.)

Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump

1. Don’t be afraid to be honest…

Forrest always blurts out everything that’s on his mind, and it cracks everyone up—or helps them realize something huge about themselves. Sometimes it can be mildly offensive…but no one really minds, because he always means well.

sea legs2

    2. …no matter who you’re talking to

    Whether it’s the lady at the bus stop or the president of the United States, Forrest treats everyone exactly the same – with equal respect, but also with equal honesty. Brown-nosing doesn’t exist in Forrest’s world, because no matter the status, a person’s a person.

    pee

      3. Always tell those you care about how you feel

      Forrest never hesitates to demonstrate and express his affections for those he cares about. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and everyone who matters to Forrest knows that they matter to Forrest.

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      forrest gump

        4. Don’t be afraid to love…

        youremyiglr

          Just like he isn’t afraid to express his care for others, he isn’t afraid to love deeply, from the bottom of his soul. He’s not afraid of getting hurt, and he doesn’t overthink – he just loves. A lot of people could learn from this simplicity.

          5. …and don’t be afraid to lose

          Forrest experiences multiple deaths of those he cares about. Just like all other emotions, he feels his grief strongly and purely. He doesn’t shut anyone out, but rather faces it head-on: by visiting their graves and speaking to them like he always did. He faces death with his mother’s advice:

          mama

            6. Always try new things, because you might be great at them…

            Someone asks Forrest to play ping pong. He takes the paddle and does it – and he lets his natural talents kick in. After all, who knows what you’re good at if you don’t try?

            ping pong

              7. …but if you’re not, that’s okay

              Well, at least you tried.

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              gospel

                8. Sometimes, you just have to do the right thing, even when everyone tells you not to

                Lieutenant Dan may have wanted to die on the battlefield, but Forrest wasn’t about to let that happen.

                Your heart may be pulling you in one direction, while others are telling you to go the opposite route. Always trust your gut instinct. It may just save somebody’s life.

                lt dan

                  9. Don’t ever let anyone tell you they’re better than you

                  Never. Mama knows best.

                  mama2

                    10. Because seriously, what does normal mean, anyway?

                    mama3

                      As the awesome Mama notes, society dictates what “normal” is. It doesn’t really have a true definition – it’s all relative. Don’t ever feel like you have to be “normal.” Let your freak flag fly.

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                      11. You never know whose lives you’ll change

                      elvis

                        Forrest doesn’t give a hoot about “normal,” and look what happened: he made The King famous and helped someone come up with the smiley face and a clever bumper sticker. And he had absolutely no idea. Be yourself, and remember that your actions matter in more ways than you know…

                        elvis2

                          12. Be careful what you say, because you can’t take it back

                          In my personal opinion, one of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie was when Jenny rejects Forrest’s marriage proposal, and he brings up a particularly cruel insult that she had thrown at him years and years ago.

                          love is

                            Think before you speak. Words can wound—and those wounds take a long time to heal.

                            13. Never take true friendships for granted

                            Casual friendships come and go, but when Forrest finds people he truly clicks with, he knows how special it is—and he doesn’t let that go.

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                            friend

                              bubba

                                14. Appreciate—and share—the little things

                                Firstly, ice cream is awesome. Always remember how awesome ice cream is.

                                Secondly, always share with a friend or loved one in need—even if that particular person dumps your offerings in a bedpan.

                                ice cream

                                  15. Do what you love

                                  Live your life how you want to. Participate in activities simply because you want to.

                                  running

                                    Not everything has to have a deeper meaning—but when you start doing what you love, it will develop a deeper meaning on its own.

                                    16. Finally, always remember…

                                    chocolates

                                      Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76791138@N07/9129073984/sizes/l via Bel Zamarbide

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                                      Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                                      10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

                                      10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

                                      Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

                                      You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

                                      Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

                                      You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

                                      Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

                                      1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

                                      If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

                                      Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

                                      When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

                                      Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

                                      So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

                                      Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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                                      2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

                                      Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

                                      Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

                                      • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
                                      • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
                                      • Answer a few Superpower Questions

                                      Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

                                      3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

                                      Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

                                      The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

                                      You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

                                      Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

                                      Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

                                      4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

                                      The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

                                      Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

                                      To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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                                      This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

                                      5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

                                      Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

                                      Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

                                      • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
                                      • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
                                      • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

                                      The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

                                      Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

                                      6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

                                      I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

                                      To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

                                      Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

                                      A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

                                      Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

                                      Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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                                      7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

                                      Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

                                      Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

                                      What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

                                      Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

                                      8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

                                      Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

                                      Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

                                      What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

                                      These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

                                      9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

                                      Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

                                      This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

                                      Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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                                      “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

                                      10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

                                      Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

                                      Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

                                      You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

                                      You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      Eleanor Roosevelt said,

                                      “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

                                      Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

                                      By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

                                      If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

                                      This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

                                      Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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                                      Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

                                      Reference

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