LYH44: The Forrest Gump Guide to Authenticity

Oroiginal or copy
Play

Show Agenda

  • Featured Presentation: The Forrest Gump Guide to Authenticity
  • Daring Greatly – Dr. Brene Brown [affiliate link]
  • Leader Eat Last - Simon Sinek [affiliate link]
  • The War of Art - Steven Pressfield [affiliate link]

Featured Presentation

You can find the full blog post on this topic at haroldarnold.com/forrestgump

I love movies. In fact, movie watching has been a favorite hobby of mine for many years. In a true testament to how fast time flies, I recently realized that one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump, celebrated its twentieth anniversary just this past year (2014).

What made Forrest Gump the blockbuster that was the top grossing film in North America that year and still ranks in iMDB as the 13th best movie of all time?

The Face of Authenticity

There are many reasons for its success including excellent actors, a creative story, and several really signature sound bytes that still carry a punch even twenty years later.

But, I believe there is one other factor that propelled Forrest Gump into the record books and cemented its place in American movie lore. 

That reason is authenticity.

  • Authenticity is what makes you uniquely you.
  • Authenticity is what allows you to wield influence in places inaccessible to everyone else.
  • Authenticity is a magnetic force that draws people towards you.

The Face of the Resistance

Your creativity, the very reason that God placed you here, is crumbling under the weight of doubt, regret, apathy, and guilt. Steven Pressfield in his book, The War of Art calls it “the Resistance”. In the Holy Bible, Saint Peter calls it “the Adversary”. It, in fact, goes by many names.

This Adversary is dark, evil, and intent on destroying your unique influence by accomplishing one single goal—making you a copycat.

  • The copycat feels accepted because he does what everyone else does and sounds like everyone else sounds.
  • The copycat doesn’t get targeted for criticism because he chooses to run with the pack rather than stand out.
  • The copycat feels comfortable because he stays in his zone, his comfort zone where he is safe.

The problem, of course, is that the copycat is a fraud. God did not make any copycat. Not one. Copycats are human derivations.

What is your favorite line from Forrest Gump? What connections do you see between the movie and your own call?

Check out the blog post HERE to read more about this.

Please do me a huge favor and click HERE to go to iTunes and leave me a rating and review. It will only take 2 minutes of your time. And, it means so much to me. And, just for you, I’ll give you a shout out on the next show.

The Forrest Gump Guide to Authenticity

I love movies. In fact, movie watching has been a favorite hobby of mine for many years. In a true testament to how fast time flies, I recently realized that one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump, celebrated its twentieth anniversary just this past year (2014). That is certainly hard to believe. This unorthodox romantic-comedy-drama  chronicles the coming of age story of Forrest Gump (played by actor Tom Hanks) who doesn’t realize that he is mentally “disadvantaged” according to societal conventions. His uncanny optimism, encouraged from a young age by the unwavering positivity of his mom, led him on an amazing journey that influenced the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact.

Authenticity through the Eyes of Forrest Gump

What made Forrest Gump the blockbuster that was the top grossing film in North America that year and still ranks in iMDB as the 13th best movie of all time? What is it about this low I.Q. hero’s story that captured Best Actor, Best Director, and the vaunted price of Best Picture that year? In 2011, what the Library of Congress to select Forrest Gump for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

The Face of Authenticity

There are many reasons for its success including excellent actors, a creative story (which at the time I didn’t know was actually based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom), and several really signature sound bytes that still carry a punch even twenty years later. But, I believe there is one other factor that propelled Forrest Gump into the record books and cemented its place in American movie lore.

That reason is authenticity.

LYH43: The Day “I” Died: 5 Affirmations to Live God’s Will [PODCAST]

The Day "I" Died
Play

Show Agenda

Featured Presentation

You can find the full blog post on this topic at haroldarnold.com/idied

Don’t doubt in the dark what God gives you in the light.” – anonymous

Pastor Rick Warren starts his NY Times bestselling book, “The Purpose-driven life” (affiliate link) with what for me has become one of the most influential sentences ever written. It goes like this “It’s not about you.”  This timeless book challenges me to re-orient the starting point of my dreams from my own happiness to God’s pleasure. For me, that has changed everything—a turning point. That was the day “I” died.

My “I” (and yours) has to die because it stands between you and God’s will for you. Here are a few examples:

  • “I” focuses on himself as the starting point.
  • “I” sets self-serving goals—intended to stroke his ego.
  • ”I” defines his own parameters for success—based on his own aspirations.
  • “I” misses or rather ignores Pastor Rick Warren’s assertion that it isn’t about him because it threatens his very existence.
  • The frustration, desperation, anxiety in my life (and you in yours) are the work of “I”.

But, here are the five daily affirmations to bury your “I”.

The Day “I” Died: 5 Daily Affirmations to Live God’s Will

Pastor Rick Warren starts his NY Times bestselling book, “The Purpose-driven life” (affiliate link) with what for me has become one of the most influential sentences ever written. It goes like this “It’s not about you.”  This timeless book challenges me to re-orient the starting point of my dreams from my own happiness to God’s pleasure. For me, that has changed everything—a turning point. That was the day “I” died.

The Day I Died

For many years, I have desired to be a person that positively influences the lives of those around me. I pursued a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy to understand how to give hope to marriages and families in crisis. I wanted to be a voice for hope. I wanted to challenge families  to tap into the internal and external resources to save a marriage, improve their parenting skills, or help establish a more nurturing family climate. I wanted to help the family.

After finishing my graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, I went on to complete my doctorate in Psychology. I had long wanted to earn a Ph.D. Here was my opportunity to pursue that dream. The day I graduated was one of the most satisfying and proud days of my life. I had dreamed about that day for a long time. I felt empowered.

In addition to the intrinsic satisfaction  of attaining the degree, I envisioned the doors that it would open for me. I wanted to be seen as an authority figure on the subject of relationships, organizational culture, and leadership.

I wanted to help organizations establish more relational cultures. I wanted to show teams how to leverage cross-cultural strengths to become high performance teams. I wanted to consult with profit and non-profit organizations on how develop more family-friendly cultures.

With these graduate degrees in my rearview mirror, I set out to write my first book, Marriage ROCKS for Christian Couples. I wanted to document my own model for helping couples see the connection between the spiritual and relational aspects of their marriage. I wanted them to understand marriage as a sacrament. Though there are tons of marriage self-help books on the shelves, I believe I had something unique to share. I wanted to help Christian couples better leverage their spiritual identity to improve their marriage. I wanted to help Christian marriages learn to thrive.

In the years since, I have conducted countless workshops and seminars. I have written dozens of articles. I have appeared on numerous television and radio programs. I have tried to approach every one of these endeavors with a a spirit of excellence. I have given what I felt was my best. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I felt like I had done as much as I could. But, the doors that I though would fly open didn’t even crack. The book that I thought would sell itself, has barely registered on the radar.

Something was amiss. I’ve frustratingly wondered to myself “what am I doing wrong?”

Affirmations from the Graveyard

“Don’t doubt in the dark what God gives you in the light.” – anonymous

The course of events that I described took place over the course of more than fifteen years. You might read that journey and see a lot of success. That is true. Certainly, I am quite proud of my efforts.

But, when I’m most honest, I can admit the frustration. I don’t feel like a failure. But, I can acknowledge that I often feel “a day late and a dollar short”. I am fearful that my life will fall short of its potential.

If you glance back at the first six paragraphs of this article, you will see the pronoun “I” a total of twenty-seven times. Yes, twenty-seven.

“I” focuses on himself as the starting point.

“I” sets self-serving goals—intended to stroke his ego.

”I” defines his own parameters for success—based on his own aspirations.

“I” misses or rather ignores Pastor Rick Warren’s assertion that it isn’t about him because it threatens his very existence.

The frustration, desperation, anxiety in my life (and you in yours) are the work of “I”.

When considering my own purpose-driven life, I can see that I am at my very best when I destroy my “I”—when my “I” dies.

God has you and me here to pursue His intentions for our lives. God desires to replace our “I” with His will.

Indeed, Jesus models this for us in Luke 22:42 as he speaks to the Father as his sacrificial death is imminent. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Jesus’ own “I” sought to avoid the suffering. But, Jesus firmly establishes that God’s will takes priority over his “I”. Jesus’ “I” died that night in the Mount of Olives as he prayed to the Father.

Certainly, if even Jesus has to slay his “I”, so much more so must we.

For me, the battle with “I” continues. I must continually struggle with him to pursue God’s design for my life with a spirit of joy and expectation. It’s a daily battle.

Today, I push through the iron gates of the graveyard one more time. For me, it is a familiar scene. I was just here, yesterday in fact.

But, today is another struggle—different yet somehow the same.

Again, I must bury my “I”.

I’ve learned the routine—just five affirmations will do the trick. But, sometimes they are so hard to really believe. Really hard.

Despite the resistance, here I go.

Five Affirmations to Live God’s Will

  • Affirmation #1: “God, I trust you to direct my path. Today, I will believe in what I do not yet see.”
  • Affirmation #2: “My gifts do not belong to me. My creator entrusts them to my care. Today, I will sow the best of my gifts and be content with the fruit that appear.”
  • Affirmation #3: “Within me is a wellspring of hope that flows from a divine source. Today, I will drink from that fountain and lovingly share it with my neighbor.”
  • Affirmation #4: “I rely on God, not myself or others, to be my daily bread.”
  • Affirmation #5: “It’s not about me. It’s about the God in me.”

With a heart of belief, the deed is done.

I can once again leave this austere place, content that my “I” is buried.

I leave here with the confidence that God is using me as an instrument of His will.

Yes, His will be done.

But, yes, I know. Tomorrow is another day. I’ll be back.

Today, however, I’ve made a difference. My “I” is slain.

How about yours? I’d love to get your comments. Please SHARE if you find this helpful.

Masked – by Dr Harold

Masked

Expressionless faces

Scarred by sundry blemishes

Tarnished many times over

By different people, different places.

 

Disguises created by exigency

protect me from a cruel world

Concealing these weary eyes thus

closing the windows to my psyche.

 

Like an island, I remain

Isolated from these tangible dimensions

Sheltered in an armor of self-sufficiency

Oblivious to worldly pain.

 

Revelation will come tomorrow

Facades all forgone

Beholding all my natural beauty

unMASKED for all to know.