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Life Lessons From "Forrest Gump" on Its 20th Anniversary

Photo by Barry King/Liaison(LOS ANGELES) -- Sunday is the 20th anniversary of Forrest Gump, which was released on July 6, 1994.

Tom Hanks played the titular character, a simple man who was involved in significant moments in United States history during the second half of the 20th century.

Based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, Forrest Gump, which also featured Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Sally Field, was a financial and critical success. Not only did it make approximately $330 million at the domestic box office, it also won six Oscars, including best picture, best actor for Hanks, and best director for Robert Zemeckis.

Forrest Gump even inspired a global restaurant chain, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, which has more than two dozen locations in the U.S.

Forrest Gump is one of the most quoted movies of our time, as the lessons Forrest taught and learned are eternal. Here are a few of the life lessons from the film:

1. You'll Never Know What You're Capable Of If You Don't Try

Forrest was born with a back that was "as crooked as a politician," requiring him to wear braces on his legs. A constant target for bullies, his only childhood friend famously advised him to "run, Forrest, run!" when they began picking on him. He broke free of his braces and later enjoyed a successful career as a college athlete. (Then he ran across the country for three years, but that's another lesson.) Always try. You may surprise yourself.

2. To Have Good Friends, Be a Good Friend

There were no better friends than Forrest and Bubba, whom he met at war in Vietnam. Not only did they sleep back-to-back to avoid the mud, but after Bubba died, Forrest lived out Bubba's dream of being a shrimping boat captain. Forrest was a good friend to Bubba because Bubba was so loyal to him. It's simple: Be kind.

3. Pay Attention

During Forrest's run across the country, he became the inspiration for the famous smiley-face yellow t-shirt and the bumper sticker, "S*** happens." Always listen when people are speaking to you and keep your eyes open.

4. Do What You Love, No Matter What

Forrest loved mowing the lawn so much that he did it even when he was a "gazillionaire." From the outside, that must have looked foolish, but he didn't care: He was always true to himself. Be honest with yourself about what makes you happy.

5.Stay Positive and Focused

When Lieutenant Dan lost his legs in the Vietnam War, he grew depressed and did everything he could to distract himself from his problems. However, after joining Forrest on his shrimping boat and later investing their earnings in a new technology company by the name of Apple, his life turned around dramatically. Stay positive and always look ahead. Better days are coming.

6. It's Great to Give Back

After earning a fortune, Forrest gave Bubba's portion of the shrimping boat business to Bubba's family. "There's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off," he reasoned. "So, I gave a whole bunch of it to the Foursquare Gospel Church and I gave a whole bunch to the Bayou La Batre Fishing Hospital. And even though Bubba was dead, and Lieutenant Dan said I was nuts, I gave Bubba's momma Bubba's share. And you know what? She didn't have to work in nobody's kitchen no more." If you can share your wealth, it's worth doing.

7. Expect the Unexpected and Be Open-Minded

Like Forrest's mother said, "Life is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're gonna get."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio