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What 'Forrest Gump' Teaches Us About The Power Of Habit

"Forrest Gump" is a film that never gets old. Although I’ve watched the film several times, I’m always in awe at how at a seemingly unintelligent character managed to accomplish so much.

Benzinga · 03/13/2020 15:22

"Forrest Gump" is a film that never gets old.

Although I’ve watched the film several times, I’m always in awe at how at a seemingly unintelligent character managed to accomplish so much.

The 1994 film starring Tom Hanks tells the story of a kind-hearted man from Alabama, who, despite having a low IQ, managed to accomplish great things while also positively influencing the lives of those around him.

In the movie, Forrest demonstrates that you don’t have to be the smartest, most popular or bravest person to achieve greatness. All you need is to adopt a few positive character traits.

Here are four Forrest Gump traits that you need to adopt to achieve success.

Single-Hearted Focus

This is perhaps one of Forrest's most admirable traits.

Forrest was able to maintain maniacal focus in everything he did. Even when performing repetitive and boring tasks, he never complained and always completed them to perfection.

His single-hearted focus is first noted during basic training, where Forrest assembles a gun in record time. While in Vietnam, Forrest’s focus on saving Bubba made him a war hero. While trying to rescue Bubba, Forrest ends up rescuing other soldiers in the process.

After returning from Vietnam, Forrest shifted his focus to playing pingpong. He even played when he had no one to play with.

This maniacal focus allowed him to play pingpong on a world stage and, in turn, fix trade relations between the U.S. and China.

In the book "The Power of Habits," Charles Duhigg explains that success often requires performing quiet, boring and repetitive tasks. By performing such tasks, you gain mastery.

That's what Forrest Gump did. 

Living From Your Heart

Part of what contributed to Forrest’s maniacal focus was that he was passionate about everything he did.

This childlike innocence allowed Forrest to express himself and his abilities without worrying about failure or what people might think.

This is first noted when Forrest decides to rescue Bubba. Despite being urged to stop, he still runs into the jungle to look for his friend. He doesn't allow other people's opinions to deter him from his goals.

Even when he decides to go into the shrimp business, he does it wholeheartedly without the fear of failure, and in doing so, becomes uber-successful.

Forrest’s decision to start running after Jenny leaves him is not a thought-out one. As he says, “I just felt like running.”

By following his instincts. Forrest became a national celebrity who influenced multiple individuals across America.

Humility

Forrest was an All-American football player, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, met three presidents, was featured on magazine covers and founded a thriving shrimp business.

But despite his success, he still remained humble.

He considered his achievements as everyday accomplishments and never looked down on other people.

Even when he became a "gazillionaire," he still enjoyed cutting grass at the football pitch.

Most people often let their success go to their heads. Don't be one of those people. Be like Forrest Gump.

Don’t Focus On Outside Noise

Since its release, "Forrest Gump" has been criticized for patronizing and ridiculing various instances of political activism in the U.S.

Throughout the film, Forrest is blissfully unaware of the political conflicts occurring around him.

This ignorance allows him to focus on his journey and his loved ones, rather than get emotionally drained by issues he had no control.

Before changing the world, first, change your situation.