Forrest Gump had a few words to say about how to be successful in life. Earlier, we shared five of his life lessons. Today, we’re back to hear six more. It’s Gump Wisdom. And it’s timeless.
“I gotta buy me one of them shrimpin’ boats as soon as I have some money. I made me a promise to Bubba in Vietnam, that as soon as the war was over, we’d go in partners.”
6. Keep your promises.
Forrest made a promise and Forrest kept it. He didn’t know how he would keep it. He didn’t even rationalize how he could get out of it.
All he knew was that he had made a promise. And that meant it must be fulfilled.
“Now, Bubba had told me everything he knew about shrimpin’, but you know what I found out? Shrimpin’ is tough.”
7. Hard work is necessary and always rewarded.
Forrest didn’t have immediate success in the shrimpin’ business. He failed mostly. But he also kept going back and trying again. He worked, he prayed, and he waited for God to show up. He knew he was only responsible for doing the work, God would take care of the results. And did God ever.
“He got me invested in some kind of fruit company. And so then I got a call from him saying we don’t have to worry about money no more, and I said, ‘That’s good. One less thing.’”
8. Worry less. Live more.
Forrest had a huge gift. He knew how to live in the moment. He took each second as is and let the future worry about itself. In doing so, it freed him to give all his thought, passion, and energy into whatever was happening around him. Tomorrow would only get his attention when tomorrow became today.
“Now, Mama said there’s only so much fortune a man really needs, and the rest is just for showing off. So I gave a whole bunch of it to the Four Square Gospel Church. And I gave a whole bunch to the Bayou La Batre fishing hospital. And even though Bubba was dead and Lieutenant Dan said I was nuts, I gave Bubba’s mama Bubba’s share.”
9. Live generously.
Forrest gave away half his fortune and did it without a second thought. How? He knew how to be content and contentment allowed him to want less, do more, and live unburdened even by his own wealth.
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road, and when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. Now, thinking since I’d run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama.”
10. Live each moment.
Forrest loved to run. And so he ran. When he got to a stopping place, he chose to run more. And so on. And so forth. He could have sat and mourned his broken heart. He could have wished for a different life. He could have wasted his days with regrets. Instead, he ran. Because he loved it. Because that was what he knew to do and he’d rather fill his moments by doing something rather than nothing.
“Sometimes it would stop raining long enough for the stars to come out. And then it was nice. It was like just before the sun goes to bed down on the bayou. There was over a million sparkles on the water. Like that mountain lake. It was so clear, Jenny. It looked like there were two skies, one on top of the other. And then in the desert, when the sun comes up, I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It was so beautiful.”
11. Look for the magical.
Forrest sought out beauty. He recognized it during the worst moments of his life, even when he was frightened and miserable and waiting to live or die. He found it when his heart was hurting. He saw it when he had no idea what to do next. He kept his eyes always seeking those moments of wonder. And, in turn, those moments sought him out, too.
Forrest, your mother was absolutely right. You really can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear, like where they are going and where they’ve been. Thank you for letting us walk a mile in yours.