Forrest Gump - 20 Years of Life Lessons

December 10, 2013

forrest gump

It's hard to believe that Forrest Gump first touched our lives on film almost 20 years ago. After all this time, this story still hits home just like it did when we first experienced it. The story of a challenged boy who grew into a loved and respected man against all odds still teaches us lessons about life each time we sit down to watch it.

Your outlook on life really does matter.

forrest gump

Forrest Gump was a boy who knew that he was different than the other kids at school, but this didn't stop him from overcoming obstacles. Although there were kids who put him down and tried to hurt him, he never felt bad for himself or needed anyone to console him for these events. On paper – and in interactions with others – he may have been less than intelligent, but he displayed a certain degree of courage and wisdom that we should all strive to attain. With encouragement from a mother who loved him and his best friend who passed no judgment for his shortcomings, Forrest went out into the world not with fear; but instead with love and hope in his heart.

Put everything you have into everything you do.

forrest gump war hero

Forrest discovered his first skill when he was a boy – running. This conveniently got him into and through college, and on his graduation day, he found the next chapter of his life. Early in his time in the Army, he was considered to be a ******* genius by his drill sergeant for the stellar answer to his question during boot camp and shattered the record time for assembling his weapon. He was a young man who was totally dedicated to being successful in the situations he found himself in, and the driving force behind this was his commitment to the people around him. Forrest, of course, became a war hero while trying to save his friend who was missing. Although it turned out that there wasn't anything he could do to save Bubba, he did save a number of others in the process, and he still would keep the promise that he made to get a shrimping boat.

Keep moving forward to reach your goals.

forrest gump loves jenny

Most of the motivation in Forrest that we saw had to do with the loved ones in his life. He loved his mother, his friend Bubba and especially Jenny. Forrest made his mama proud by graduating from college and fighting for our country. We know that Forrest became a go-zillionaire from his Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and subsequent investments in a certain "fruit company", but his real goal of keeping his promise to his best friend was the avenue which lead him to success. Another thing that Forrest wanted his whole life was to be there for Jenny and protect her when he could. This proved to be less straight forward because of Jenny's free spirit and transient lifestyle. Wherever Forrest went, though, he took Jenny with him. When she left his home in Alabama, he started running. Always moving forward to the next adventure, Forrest saw some of the most beautiful scenery of his life while he was out on the road, always thinking of his mother, his friend, and his beloved Jenny.

Sometimes in life we run into road blocks and become overwhelmed. Other times, we may be afraid to take a chance at something that we really want to accomplish. Although Forrest Gump may have had some lucky breaks that enabled him to accomplish all that he did, this film reminds us of how much can be accomplished even if the odds are against us. With the right mindset and the right things in our hearts and minds to motivate us, anything is possible. After all, life is like a… well, you know.

About the author: Brian is a freelance writer in Baltimore, Maryland. To contact him, use this email.

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