In order to spend a chill night in my couch, I watched for the 98th time the masterpiece « Forrest Gump ». As always, I discover something new, a new angle, a new idea, a new insight on society and our personal lives. In this article, we’ll see why we should imitate Forrest Gump in order to reach our dreams!
Accept random events
What stroke me this time is that the movie gives the impression that Forrest Gump lives all of his success « inspite of himself ». Whether he goes to the army, in the football or ping-pong team, he does a speech in front of thousands of people or that he opens a shrimp business, everything is done without premeditation. Forrest lives these adventures because he’s dragged in, or rather, he accepts to take par in every one of them without asking questions.
How many times have you thought about changing job, starting new studies, changing of partner or leaving for a foreign country? Among all these times, how many dreams have you realized? I suppose that most of these ideas never passed the embryonic stage. Why? Because we constantly question ourselves with our past, our future and we forget to live the present moment. By acting like Forrest Gump, we accept new challenges and engage in adventures just because we have the opportunity. Without asking ourselves if it’s good for our CV, for our career, or thinking about the pros and cons of this decision. Learning to accept random events and seize opportunities that come is a powerful drive for action and novelty.
Beat your fear by action
Be careful, I don’t tell you to let everything down without thinking. We all need a minimum of structure and long-term goals in order to guide our life and decisions. What I criticize is the paralysis that the fear of not reaching our goals brings in our lives. « If I go abroad for 6 months I might not find a job as good as the one I have right now », « I’m too old to start new studies, in addition my salary would decrease. Maybe I should stay where I am ». This kind of intern dialogues, which we try to describe as cautiousness or wisdom, is nothing more than fear of the unknown and of getting out of your comfort zone. So be like Forrest and seize the opportunities that come to you!
In order to beat your fear, Tim Ferriss (in his book The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich) proposes to list your fears on a paper. Take a piece of paper and write down your deepest fears, those who prevent you from taking action. Imagine the worst-case scenarii that could happen and evaluate the real impact that it would have on your life. Evaluate then how long it would take you to come back to your initial situation. You’ll probably note that a lot of your fears are exaggerated and that many « catastrophic » situations would only have a limited and short impact on your life.
Keep the « supreme capital » in mind
Tal Ben-Shahar, a great positive psychology professor in Harvard who wrote (among others) the book « Happier: Can you learn to be Happy? », explains that happiness is the « supreme capital ». He notes that the majority of our actions have happiness as main goal. However, we have a tendency to forget it and pursue other goals like money or fame as ends in themselves. It’s important to remember that the goal to pursue is happiness and that money, social status, material possessions or whatever else should only be considered as means to reach it. This will maybe help you reduce your fears of starting a new project. It doesn’t matter if you earn less if your reconversion increases your happiness! Forrest Gump also shows that, even being a billionaire doesn’t affect his way of living and he takes advantage of it to give money to those in need. Well, by keeping in mind that your real capital is happiness, you’ll be more serene when you’ll have to take decisions and start new projects.
It’s simple: RUN FORREST! RUN!