My Role Model – Forrest Gump

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My Role Model – Forrest Gump

US Hwy 163 Mexican Hat Forrest Gump point Utah USA

I still remember the first time I watched Forrest Gump when I was a kid. I don’t know what it was about it, but I always loved that movie. I think most people can agree with this, whenever you’ve been scrolling through channels on TV and Forrest Gump was on you just stopped and started watching, no matter what part of the movie it was on.

It wasn’t until recently that I really understood what I admired about Forrest. (Yes, I do realize he is a fictional character) My six year old daughter just watched it for the first time, and she loves the movie as much as the rest of us. I realized there was a lesson in the movie I could use while encouraging her during her track practice. Anywhere, here are the reasons Forrest Gump is my role model:

He gave 100% in everything he did. Think about it, he fully committed to everything he did and excelled. He loved Jenny with all of his heart (Although I don’t think she deserved it), he was a star football player, a war hero, ping pong champion, the greatest shrimp boat captain, and when he decided to go for a run he ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours. Now that’s commitment!

He was an inspiration to so many people. Most people he inspired didn’t happen intentionally, such as Elvis, the bumper sticker guy, smiley face t-shirt guy, and the numerous people that found inspiration from his run. However, he cared so deeply for Lieutenant Dan and never gave up on him through his darkest times. When Lieutenant Dan showed up to Forrest’s wedding clean shaven, with new legs and a seemingly very nice fiance you could feel the gratitude that he had for Forrest. That’s the part in the movie that gets to me!

He always did what he knew was right. Whether he was sticking up for Jenny, saving all of those injured soldiers, or giving Bubba’s family Bubba’s share, he continuously did what he felt was right no matter the risk or how many millions or billions of dollars it cost him. To Forrest, there wasn’t another option. He had the level of integrity we should all strive for.

He honored his commitments. Think about it, he had no reason to buy a shrimp boat other than his promise to Bubba. He didn’t know anything about being a shrimp boat captain, and I can’t imagine it was something that seemed very appealing. He took every dollar he earned through his endorsement from being a ping pong champion and bought a shrimp boat just to honor his commitment. He spent months on that boat without catching anything, but he gave 100% to keep his word. Once it finally paid off and he made a fortune, that nobody had a legal claim to, he gave Bubba’s unsuspecting family half of it.

He did what he loved, and loved what he did. Nobody can deny that Forrest lived an extraordinarily full life. Everything he did he loved. Even after making an enormous fortune he mowed the grass at the Greenbow Alabama High School football field for free. Imagine the criticism a billionaire would receive for spending their time mowing a high school football field. Even if he did receive any criticism, he wouldn’t have cared.

Honestly, I have more reasons and could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point. If any of us could demonstrate these qualities at least half as well as Forest Gump we would be on our way to a much more fulfilling life.


  1. Hello, I saw your post on LinkedIn and I was curious to learn more about your vision of Forest Gump. I found this post wonderful. Passion is everything ans Forrest has a lot to teach about that…

    • kevinmvandenboss says:

      Thank you for the comment! I had probably watched Forest Gump 50 times throughout the years, but it wasn’t until one of the last times I saw it that I really made the connection and thought about how great of a (fictional) life he lived.