FORREST GUMP Can You Compete Out There?
By Jessica Sitomer
Forrest Gump’s Momma teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. She said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Choosing destiny. That’s what you’ve done, isn’t it? You made a choice to pursue one of the most desired industries- entertainment. Millions dream of being in entertainment, but few actually follow their dream. I know sometimes it seems that the competition is insurmountable, but when you break it down, it’s really not so bad. Here, let me do it for you:
Imagine an acting class with 24 students (and you can substitute any job in entertainment for this lesson). One girl analyzes her competition. Is it the other 23 students? No. Here’s the break down: 12 are male. Of the 11 other girls, 4 are much older, 3 are characters compared to her ingénue type, 3 don’t take class seriously. The 1 ingénue, who is left, like the girl, learns her lines, focuses on her business, and has talent. She, is a blond, the other girl, is a brunette. Hair color can be the difference between getting a job or not.
What was so wonderful about watching Forrest, was how he simply went with whatever situation was dealt to him. Like that box of chocolates, he never knew what he was going to get. Because he never judged his life as it unfolded he experienced so much.
Are you trying to figure out what’s inside the chocolate before you bite into it? Or have you stopped eating chocolates completely for fear that you’ll get a flavor you won’t like?
Are you ready to finally enjoy the pursuit of your career? Here’s some advice:
If you watched Forrest Gump backwards, seeing all he’d accomplished, you’d never suspect how his life started out. You are no different. While I am a great advocate for planning ahead, and setting goals, I also recognize that years from now, when you’re looking back at your life you’re not going to see your plan. What you will see, are a series of events that were your life. I bet, you’ll even be able to see it as a maze; how many of those events connected to advance your career and how some were dead ends.
This maze that is your life is continually unfolding. It is a personal challenge for you, not a competition with others. If you want to enjoy the pursuit of your career, approach it with the curiosity of an exciting maze, with wonderful outcomes as you move forward. And the dead ends? They are simply in place to set you back on course. Getting stuck is unproductive. Instead, know the path you took wasn’t the right one, and move on, because there’s something much better in another direction.
Another danger in a maze is getting too focused on a specific outcome, one direction. It’s okay to know what you want, as long as you’re open to the many possibilities for how to achieve your goal. Just because you hit a dead end in the pursuit of a job, doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the wrong destiny. Find another path to a job.
When you look at a character like Forrest, you may realize that sometimes, you may be outsmarting yourself. He may have been naïve, or simple compared to most, but it worked to his advantage. Can you allow yourself to let go of some of your “smarts” and just bite into a chocolate? See what happens when you throw away your expectations of outcomes and just be in the moment.
Examine your life as a maze up until now.
1. What events have moved you closer to your desired outcome?
2. What were the dead ends you ran into? How long did it take you to brush yourself off and go in a new direction?
3. At what pace are you going though your maze? And if you continue at this pace, how long will it take to make it out of the maze?
Go on and eat the chocolates! So what if you have to spit a few out. The ones that taste delicious are soooo worth it!