10 Things You Can Learn from Tom Hanks

Actor Tom Hanks with a guitar
Actor Tom Hanks with a guitar

Tom Hanks or Forrest Gump? Who do you recall and love more?

Welcome to WatchTank and today we are counting down picks to reveal the ten most valuable lessons that we can learn from the famous Hollywood actor Tom Hanks.

In a real sense of the term, Hanks is a polymath. Through his entire career span, Hanks has successfully implemented various roles of actor, producer, writer, director, and app developer.

Who do you think is the most desirable actor in Hollywood? Who else but Hanks. He has done it all while maintaining his reputation as a pleasant guy in Tinseltown.

Tom Hanks has also shown great versatility as an actor. Why?

We don’t doubt the fact owing to the variety of characters he has played in his movies. Tom Hanks is also a well-qualified and has everything it takes to become a genuine hero of life.

With the words above, now let us have a session of the important things that we can learn from this splendid actor. Start learning now!

10. Take the plunge and overcome every fear

It is a huge thing to quit the job and start your own business. Did you ever think of that?

Choosing entrepreneurship over the well-settled, 9-to-5 employment is a big step. You are at stake, risking your time, money, and reputation. But why take so much risk? Simple, for chasing your dream which is difficult to fulfill. However, once the risks pay off, take inspiration from the troubled times you had. Entrepreneurs are aware of this, along with Hanks.

To quote his words, “My work is more fun than fun but, best of all, it’s still very scary,”. You are always walking some kind of high wire… If I didn’t have the chance to do what I do, it’s that I would miss more than anything. That terror makes me feel alive. It’s a wonderful feeling, unlike anything else in the world.”

9. Think of improvisations

Have quick thinking of all the Tom hanks movies, and the various roles that Hanks have played on- screen. Done with that?

Now, think of the roles where Hanks was the hero. In every case, be it Miller, Lovell, Phillips, or Sullenberger, the leader or the heroes were aware of how the structure was designed. Hanks also had the

confidence to work and then had the self-confidence to go off script and improvise whenever needed. Do you improvise as well?

If yes is the answer then you are doing great.

8. Nothing comes for free in this world

Again, to quote Hanks’ words, “Something important happened in high school. I took a drama class that determined my career… So, I majored in theatre arts… I went to Chabot College, where they had a great theatre department. I started out operating the lights and building the sets. Later, I performed and went off to the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland as slave labor. That was my big break. I went back to Sacramento as a professional actor and then went to New York with my wife and child. It was a war of survival, really… I was on unemployment and trying to act. This went on for two years. Finally, I got a job in a low-budget movie, and after that, I got a development deal with ABC and we moved to California.”

Hanks has reached the success of traveling through hardships and failure. So, to aim for big in life, make troubles and hardships your companion.

7. Look for the bright future

Tom Hanks when he was young
Wax Figure of Actor Tom Hanks

While you are preparing for big and difficult, for which you have done no prior experience, picture the entire thing. Just have a rough thought on how you want the things to occur and for an alternative if things didn’t turn out that way. That makes the work easy, right?!

All the characters portrayed by Hanks played did that. For aiming high, just ask yourself two simple questions, i.e. “What am I trying to do?” and “How do I need to show up to do that?” These two questions make the work smooth.

6. Don’t let success change your inner self

Hanks, in his interview with Playboy in 1989, quoted that, “When you have a hit, you get so much attention paid to you. Splash made $80 million, and Bachelor Party made $40 million. You think, ‘Oh, I know how to do this.’ But you can’t know anything after two movies, though you can get arrogant and lazy.”

Gaining success is a tough job. However, with the first sweet taste of success, it may be tempting enough to feel great about oneself. The best entrepreneurs have always stated that maintaining success is more difficult than gaining it. So, play well and be yourself.

5. Practice makes everyone perfect

Tom Hanks with beard
Tom Hanks at a Movie Premiere

Preparation and training never go in vain. Think about all the heroic roles portrayed by Hanks in his filmography. The soldiers of ‘D-Day’ had an immense practice for months before the actual invasion took place. Jim Lovell had spent innumerable hours practicing and training for both pilot and astronaut on missions before Apollo 13. To add, both Captain Phillips, and Sullenberger had spent their years of experience.

So, what if you don’t have the years of experience behind? Compensate this with years of well-guided practice.

4. Failure is the biggest opportunity to learn more

To quote Hanks, “You learn more from the things that don’t work out than the things that do. I worked harder on Turner & Hooch than I did on 80 percent of the films I’ve made”.

The first step of learning is to get hold of the difficulties and make them work. Making mistakes is okay. We need to learn from mistakes and later, triumph in life.

3. Have an inspiration

When asked who inspires Hanks, he replied, “Robert Duvall. All he has to do is walk across the street. And Jack Nicholson. And Robert De Niro. I would see whatever Jason Robards did. Steve McQueen; he was cool. Also film directors. Stanley Kubrick was a huge thing for me.”

What was the learning here? Look up to someone for inspiration and advice. Think of a person and then consider why you think he/she can serve as the guiding light.

2. Always be at par with your audience

Tom Hanks waving to his audience

Hanks’ greatest ability lies in connecting with his audiences. The way Hanks portrays his roles as an average person makes him approachable to the crowd.

Now, before we add the final lesson, here are a few honorary mentions.

  • As per reports, Hanks’ films have made a total collection of more than USD 4.3 Billion at the U.S. and Canadian box offices. Globally, the amount increased to more than $8.5 billion worldwide. This made Hanks the fourth highest-grossing actor in North America. Hanks experiences have made him choose movies that would have a wide connection with the audiences.
  • Hanks has made his simplicity and down-to-earth nature more prominent in the years that have come. Thus had enviable success when compared to his contemporaries.

1. Being passionate is always desirable for work

Hanks knows that passion is a very important thing to succeed. To quote him, talking about his young days, he stated that, “I had lived in New York for a couple of years and had developed, guess, a defense mechanism when it came to auditions. And that was not to care about them too much. So, I could go in and be so casual, so nonchalant about impressing those people I’d screw it up — as opposed to trying to show them how great and unique a talent you are. People hate you when you do that.”

People should be immensely passionate while dealing with work. You need to have a belief in your work to make the others believe your thoughts.

Tom Hanks has provided us with life-changing lessons that would be fruitful for every sphere of life.

On that note, we end here. Did you find this list insightful? What lessons did you learn from this? Do you have more to share?

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