We all remember the scene from the movie Forrest Gump when Forrest is coming in to port in his shrimping boat and sees Lt. Dan sitting on the dock in his wheelchair. Forrest is so overcome with joy and excitement that he spontaneously jumps off his boat to greet his old friend. The wake of the departed boat is visible as Forrest swims to the dock. Forrest climbs the ladder of the dock and while dripping wet he enthusiastically welcomes his future partner. A short conversation ensues whereby Lt. Dan explains his desire and willingness to be Forrest’s first-mate. But as Lt. Dan warns Forrest that he won’t call him ‘Sir‘ and Forrest dutifully replies “Yes Sir!” … the Jenny crashes into the pier behind them. A startled Forrest first flinches from the crash and then simply states, “That’s my boat!”
It’s quite humorous and comical that a man would be so overcome with joy that he’d forget what he was doing — in this case attempting to dock a boat. And after a genuine and warm greeting of friends the boat crashes directly behind them. Rather than show embarrassment, Forrest simply states the obvious — That’s my boat!
Are you able to recognize and state the obvious when overcome with emotion? Do you let your emotions cloud your ability to see reality? In today’s business and economic climate, it’s more important than ever to be able to separate facts from emotions.
For example, trying to sell a home today is far different than it was 1 or 2 or 3 years ago. Homes comparable to the one you purchased 3 or 4 years ago homes are selling for 10% to 30% less today. Emotionally we think we should be able to make a 10% to 20% profit on real estate like we did throughout most of the 90s and 2000s. In reality and in real estate, the world has changed and prices have declined. If you actually want to sell a house today, you most likely need to sell it for less than you paid a few short years ago.
Another certainty of today is business expansion or lack thereof. Companies that were growing and hiring a few short years ago are today asking existing employees to do more. Finding a job is more difficult. Everyone from businesses and organizations to personal households are learning to do more with less.
As an optimist by nature, I’m not discouraged by this reality. In fact, there are countless opportunities just waiting to be discovered and exploited by enterprising, ambitious entrepreneurs. You could start a business like Forrest Gump did.
Letting go of the emotional wish of why can’t it be the way it was? will allow you to face the actuality of 2010. Taking a gump-like approach and simply stating “That’s my boat” may be the trigger you need to face today’s new reality.
Staying on your boat, keeping your hands on the helm, and your eye on the course that you’re heading is probably the best advice during these challenging times. But if your boat does crash into a pier, simply state “That’s my boat!” Then, assess the damage, patch any holes, and get it back in the water where it can be productive.
To learn more on this subject continue to explore the SpeakingGump.com website or consider having Steve Weber speak at your next company or association meeting. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that!
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Next Blog Date: May 27, 2010