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“Life is Like a Box of Chocolates”


Have you ever had that conversation with a friend or colleague where you ask “Where were you when [fill in the blank] event happened?” It was something so significant you can still recall the day or the place you were when you first heard the news. For most people, this occurs when a life event so meaningful happens you can totally rewrite those moments in time, minute by minute. Depending on who you talk with, their special event may be a wedding day or the birth of a child, or becoming a grandparent for the first time. Yet for others still, it’s their graduation, a college acceptance letter, a huge bonus, recognition, promotion or a new job offer. I still recall that afternoon in July of 1994, when I watched Forrest Gump for the very first time. Yes, of course there are many other special significant days I remember as well, but this movie had such a profound effect on me that I had to see it again the following week. Since then, over the last 20+ years, I’ve probably seen bits and pieces of the film at least 10 times or more and still counting. I continue to be awestruck by the life principles taught throughout the film. But before you laugh, let me remind you that the film grossed nearly $700 million in box office revenue, won 6 Oscars, including Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Special Effects and inspired a Monterey, California company to launch Bubba Gump, an American seafood chain with nearly 50 restaurant locations worldwide. I’m tempted to ask you how many times you’ve seen the movie, but instead I’ll continue with my point. Most don’t know that it was a novel before it became a movie; published in 1986 by Winston Groom. Forrest Gump, the main character, retells his adventures, ranging from college football to the Vietnam War; from winning ping pong championships to shrimp boating. Forrest has the opportunity to meet the President of the United States as he bumbled his way through American history. Forrest is portrayed as viewing the world simply and truthfully, but he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. He asks his momma, “What’s my destiny?” And she tells a young Forrest that he has to figure it out for himself. Then the feather starts floating in the wind.

One of the more difficult life questions that face most people is just what Forrest Gump was seeking -- their purpose. This is a question that starts early in your life, possibly beginning with, “What school should I attend?” Then, “What profession should choose?” Or perhaps, "What person should I marry?” Wouldn’t it be nice if a note would fall from heaven with all those answers? Some may say, “Do the best you can, and if you stumble on to it (your purpose), you’re very fortunate!” This describes the path that Forrest Gump took.

Do you know the plan that is right for you at this stage of your life and career? After spending nearly 30 years of studying law firm models and partner behavior patterns, I know there is more to this than just leaving things to chance, or following the floating feather. Given this is a blog involving career advancement and career choices, let’s take a deeper look at the question, “What is the Blue Print for My Life?”

At JAGLaw, we consider your questions with a great deal of sincerity. Understanding your priorities are important, but listening to your life journey is just as relevant. Oftentimes, our journey defines who we are today, not who we were when our journey began. All experiences, both good and bad, shape who we are. Those experiences give us wisdom, and yes, occasionally come with a few wounds. But throughout the process, there are generally many positive signs of personal and professional growth.

For a confidential discussion of your purpose, your journey, and/or where your feather might be leading you, contact us at teamjag@jaglaw.com.


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