Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Post: Secrets to Successful Living from Forrest Gump

This latest guest post is by fellow nostalgia enthsuiast miratemplen of growingupgenx.blogspot.com! Be sure to check out and follow Mira's blog for even more 90s! Take it away, Miratemplen:

It gave me a jolt when someone pointed out to me that it has been 20 years since 1990. (Has it seriously been that long? Twenty years is a young adult’s whole lifetime!)

… So I’ve lived through a few decades now. As I go into another one, I think about how much things have changed in the past several years. There are some things that I miss … and quite a lot that I don’t miss at all. You can read about my musings and reminiscing in

That business of going in and out of different decades reminds me of this person we all met back in 1994. While history changed around him, he also changed history - that’s pretty cool, even if he is just a fictional character. There’s quite a lot of inspiration we could pick up from that guy. I mean of course the smartest dumb person the world has ever seen, from the most quotable 90s movie, Forrest Gump.

Secrets to Successful Living
as Learned from Forrest Gump

(Images and quotes property of Paramount Pictures)

My name's Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.

1. Remember that smarts don't secure success

Stupid is as stupid does.

You have to do the best with what God gave you.
- Mrs. Gump

I’m not a smart man… but I know what love is.

- Forrest

2. Have a good mentor

Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.

3. Have people in your life who will enrich, challenge, and look out for you

Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.

Jenny taught me how to climb. And I taught her how to dangle.


I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. You know why we a good partnership, Forrest? 'Cause we be watchin' out for one another. Like brothers and stuff. Hey, Forrest, there's somethin' I've been thinkin' about. I got a very important question to ask you. How would you like to go into the shrimpin' business with me? Forrest: Okay.

4. Seek a sense of identity and purpose

Jenny: Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you're gonna be?
Who I'm gonna be?
Aren't I going to be me?

Forrest: What's my destiny, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself.

5. Know how to take instructions

Drill Sergeant: Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army?
To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant!
Drill Sergeant: God damn it, Gump! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard.

Lieutenant Dan was always getting these funny feelings about a rock or a trail or the road, so he'd tell us to get down, shut up.
Lieutenant Dan:
Get down! Shut up!
Forrest Gump:
So we did.

6. Have a good pair of shoes

Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.

My momma always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where the go, where they've been.

7. Maximize your assets
Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don't have to worry about money no more.

8. Invest in something that will outlive you

Death is just a part of life. It's something we're all destined to do.
- Mrs. Gump

His name's Forrest.
Like me.
I named him after his daddy.
He got a daddy named Forrest, too?
You're his daddy, Forrest.

9. Be resilient

Shit happens.

My Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks.

10. Put your faith in perspective

Lieutenant Dan:
Where the Hell is this God of yours?
Forrest: It's funny Lieutenant Dan said that, 'cause right then, God showed up.

11. Keep things simple

Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off.

When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go… you know… I went.

I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.
Quiet, quiet! He's gonna say something!
I'm pretty tired... I think I'll go home now.

13. Adopt a good attitude

Jenny: Were you scared in Vietnam?
Yes. Well, I don't know. 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 always 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's so beautiful.

My Momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

14. Share and inspire

Momma 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 Foursquare 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 momma Bubba's share. And you know what? She didn't have to work in nobody's kitchen no more.

In the land of China, people hardly got nothing at all.
John Lennon: No possessions?
And in China they never go to church.
John Lennon:
No religion too?
Dick Cavett:
Ah. Hard to imagine.
John Lennon:
Well it's easy if you try, Dick.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I hope you enjoyed revisiting some old friends from the 1990s! If you did, there are more of them (plus some stuff from the ‘80s) at growingupgenx.blogspot.com, Like, for example, Back When Everything We Needed To Know About Life We Learned In "Clueless". Have an awesome life!


Box of chocolates photo nicked from:: http://johnmuehling.wordpress.com


anonymous said...

I like number 4. I believe everyone should not just have a sense of identity and purpose but to "seek" for one. Good job miratemplen! :D :*

Robin said...

Great post, although I don't think that Jenny necessarily looked out for Forrest. Granted, she was a trouble and emotionally-damaged person, but she mostly went in and out of his life whenever it suited her, then went running back to him whenever he was her last resort.

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