Run, Forrest, Run!

Dec 26, 2014 1 Min Read


Taking on 2015, the Gump way

It’s that season again, the end of yet another year. It’s the time of the year where we reflect on the past 12 months that just flew past, time to start putting down our new resolutions and goals for the next year. For myself, 2015 is shaping up to look like an exciting, yet frightening year. It promises big changes and a few uncertainties. I’m sure many of you could relate to this.

A new year usually brings the prospect of new experiences, opportunities and changes. As we prepare to take on 2015, I’d like to share insights from one of my all time favourite movies, Forrest Gump. If you have not watched the movie, (I strongly recommend you do) please be warned that there are spoilers ahead.

The movie revolves around a man named Forrest Gump, who was a simple and gentle man. Throughout the many adventures and obstacles he faced in life, Forrest never failed to remain true to his good nature. He was brave, honest and ever ready to help those in need. Here are four inspiring lessons from Forrest Gump which could help you face the New Year:

Don’t be hindered by uncertainties

“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.” – Forrest Gump

The future is full of uncertainties. Like a box of chocolates, we get different flavours, Sometimes we pick up the sweet, creamy fudge filled ones (my favourite!) while other times we might pick the ones that are less pleasing to our taste buds. We can’t tell for sure what it will be like, eight months down the road.

Perhaps a great career acceleration opportunity is awaiting, or you might have to let go of something you hold to dearly, or move to a completely new environment. Although things may seem bitter and difficult at first, but there’s always a way to turn it around and make it into something wonderful.

Take a different approach to the negative things. There is a good thing to bring out from most situations. Things can get much better when you focus on the bright side. Most importantly, don’t stop yourself from taking on new challenges. The next chocolate you pick could be the best in the box.

Set your own path

Forrest: “What’s my destiny, Mama?” Mrs Gump: “You’re going to have to figure that out for yourself.”

We are so used to having people tell us what to do, and sometimes we tend to do what others believe is best for us, instead of what we want for ourselves. For the New Year, stop allowing external people to set expectations for you. Believe in yourself and set your own path to achieve the things you want to.

Look forward

“You’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”

We all have made mistakes and choices which we wish to correct. There’s no point in dwelling on past mistakes. Although it is good to sometimes reflect back on mistakes, instead of letting them burden you or wear you down, let them instead be lessons for you to move on. Mistakes and failures can be great teachers. Let the past remain in the past, and move forward to doing better next year.

Challenge yourself

“From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running.”

Forrest had to wear braces when he was a little boy to help with his mobility. One day, he decided to run, to flee from his bullies. He didn’t let the braces or his disability get in his way. He ran until his braces broke, and then he kept on running.

This is my favourite scene from the movie. It taught me that you are only limited by the limitations you allow yourself to have. Theoretically, Forrest’s disability should hinder him from running, but he challenged his disability. He didn’t just run, he ran fast. Because of his speed, he earned a scholarship for university.

We often limit ourselves from doing certain things because we believe that we can’t do it. Sometimes, all you need to do is just to start. Push and challenge yourself to do things you never thought you could. Get on that first step to start your new business, apply for that job you thought you weren’t competent enough for.

Break down those limitations and go, achieve what you are meant to achieve!

My hope for all of you is that 2015 would be a wonderful year, that it will be the year of great positive changes, a year of “first steps” for new things, and a year of positive impacts. Happy New Year! (throws confetti)

Hyma Pillay is operations leader for the Leaderonomics editorial team and she enjoys yelling “Run, Forrest! Run!” whenever she sees people running. She has watched the movie Forrest Gump eight times, and never fails to be awed by the movie. She believes that it is one movie that everyone should watch. You can email her at


Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 27 December 2014

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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 

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