A phrase first coined in 1994 in the iconic movie Forest Gump. The lead character Forrest (played by Tom Hanks) said “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

I’ve always been a chocolate fan from as long as can remember – the little ones on the Christmas tree, Easter eggs, selection boxes and boxes of chocolates. I’ve always loved the choice that comes with a box of chocolates, it has always signified special to me and contains opportunity to try new things and choice which I suppose is what I strive for in life. Pondering further about the metaphor I can see why it’s used, life isn’t always sweet or soft / easy, sometimes its bitter or hard.

I have recently watched the Forrest Gump movie, a repeat viewing for me but a premiere for my kids. The quote made me think of all the different ways life is truly like a big Thorntons box of chocolates. How we don’t always know what we’re going to get, and that’s more than okay, it’s great, that’s how life is a beautiful unpredictable journey through time. We may not know what each day will bring exactly, but we can be confident that within each day will be something amazing.

How life is really like a box of chocolates

  • Each individual chocolate is unique. Much like life, each day has a unique gift to offer and we must embrace the beauty in the days that come.
  • The chocolate bite we take is the journey of our choice. It can be soft and easy, hard and chewy, bitter or sweet.
  • The experience is personal – some may find something too sweet while some too bitter. It is indeed a challenge to get that perfect bite all the time.
  • Not every kind of chocolate is our kind of chocolate. Sometimes in life we encounter a situation that may not be pleasant, but we must move forward with a positive mindset through it all.
  • Chocolate is not meant to be rushed – slow down and enjoy the experience that is life because each day is meant to be cherished and enjoyed to the absolute fullest.
  • Life, like chocolate is great when shared with someone – but there are also times when its absolutely the right thing to be enjoyed alone!

Is this the ultimate life lesson?

So what do we do when we don’t like the taste of that chocolate? Well maybe that is the ultimate life lesson from this metaphor – you don’t make a big deal of it, you don’t dwell, you simply pick another chocolate and move on. I always live my life with a back up plan, if my plan isn’t working, I adjust my plan. If I don’t like the taste of my chocolate I’ll choose another. With a flexible mindset, challenges become sweeter and actually make life’s journey smoother. So next time you pick a box or chocolates or chocolate from a box, pick it wisely because life is indeed like a box of chocolates.

Forrest Gump was a sweet and definitely a wise man who cherished each day he had.

Cherish every day you are gifted. It’s never too late to start enjoying a box of chocolates.