In my last blog post I outlined the 3 key character traits of Forrest Gump along with the 4 areas of life where Gumption makes the biggest impact.
Let’s remember the four areas of life that Gumption is most impactful: your Choices, taking advantage of Opportunities, dealing with Adversity, and Communication.
The three key character traits Forrest demonstrated throughout his life were integrity, presence, and receptiveness. We recall the famous line “A Promise is a Promise” … that speaks to his Integrity. Forrest’s Presence is revealed in scenes when he plays ping-pong, runs across America, mows the lawn, or simply sits at the bus stop with Little Forrest … no matter what Forrest Gump was doing, he was always fully present. He was always focused and in-the-moment with the task or activity at hand. Finally, his Receptiveness is amply demonstrated when he learns he’s a father … accepting Little Forrest and inviting both LF and Jenny back to his home in Greenbow. But more than that single incident, he spent a lifetime being open to new ideas, being interested in others, and non-resistant to life’s ebbs and flows. Forrest Gump utilized and lived these three character traits consistently throughout his life.
Why is it that using these 3 traits in the 4 key areas of life can allow simple ideas to become amazing success?
Consider individually each of the four areas of life identified as most impacted by using Gumption:
- Choice: Every day we make thousands of choices starting with what time do we get out of bed to what to wear to what to have for breakfast, etc. If you accept that you individually have 100% control over all of your choices AND you make each choice with integrity, presence and receptiveness than blame completely disappears. Learn to choose powerfully and forgo the victim mentality.
- Opportunities: Since we’re in the choice business, others and other’s choices are constantly bumping into our own choices. Viewing other’s interests as opportunities and dealing with them with integrity, presence and receptiveness eliminates win-lose battles and creates win-win scenarios.
- Adversity: Setbacks, roadblocks and detours often arise in (or occur as a result of) your choices and opportunities. Being present or in-the-moment can lead the way to seeing a new path so adversity doesn’t derail opportunity. Taking short-cuts or lacking integrity might work sometimes but rarely works in the long-run. Being receptive or accepting of adversity is the most productive energy one can use to combat adversity?s negative influences.
- Communication. If you’re a monk up on a mountaintop, you may have found eternal happiness … but no one else knows it. We live in a social world. Communicating your choices to others, conveying your intentions towards opportunities, proclaiming solutions to adversity are vital in our society … if no one else knows, nothing has been accomplished. Communicating with integrity, presence and receptiveness is the difference between leading and manipulating.
Consider that Forrest Gump achieved amazing success by consistently using the simple ideas of living with integrity, always being fully present to a task or a moment, and being consistently openly receptive to others and their interests and their ideas.
Adding integrity, presence and receptiveness to our daily choices, opportunities, adversity and communication is a simple idea that can lead to amazing success. It worked for Forrest Gump … want to try it?
Next Blog title: Forrest Gump Learns He’s a Father
Next Blog date: June 14, 2010