Lessons from Groundhog Day!

With dedication and the right mindset, real change is possible.

Happy Groundhog Day! It looks like the groundhog saw his shadow today and we’ve got more winter in store unfortunately!

Despite the result this year, I always like to think about the movie Groundhog Day, and to re-examine the film’s valuable life lessons……          

Groundhog Day focuses on a big-city weatherman named Phil (Bill Murray), a self-centered, egomaniacal man who is unhappy with his life.  Despite his protestations, Phil is assigned to cover the holiday in tiny Punxatawny, PA, where he soon finds himself caught in a time loop that only he is experiencing.  Seemingly doomed to repeat the same day of his life over and over, Phil initially attempts make the most of the situation by taking advantage of those around him.  His behavior rapidly deteriorates, but he soon realizes that acting upon every impulse is not bringing him happiness-he grows less fulfilled and more despondent with each day.

Eventually, Phil comes to realize that there are no shortcuts to success and that he is unhappy not with the world around him, but with himself.  He finally begins to understand that he needs to make a change and focus on improving himself.  By putting his seemingly endless time to good use, furthering his personal growth and maturation, Phil’s life begins to improve.  He begins to see himself differently, and so do others.

You’re probably familiar with W.L. Bateman’s saying:  “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” Well, it’s true!  It’s extremely difficult to do what Phil did; to begin to turn things around and take steps toward real change.

Real change occurs when you have the Desire.  Phil was miserable and really wanted to be more comfortable.  Then you need Focus.  Phil began to focus on how he could help others, make more friends and learn new skills.  Change requires Courage, like the kind Phil developed as he took small steps each day toward his goal.  Finally real change takes Repetition.  In the movie, Phil practiced over and over again-until he got it right.

We may not all have the benefit of unlimited time to work on ourselves, like Phil did, but the film’s message of self-fulfillment and personal growth is universal: with dedication and the right mindset, real change is possible.

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