Lessons from Groundhog Day – The Movie

billmurrayI hadn’t watched the movie, Groundhog Day in a long time but with the snow melting outside and thoughts of the new year, Time Management Month and personal life-changes in my head, I decided to watch it again. It’s a classic and there’s no other movie like it. I find there is something comforting about this movie with scenes of a cozy small town getting so excited about an age-old tradition like watching a groundhog and predicting the length of winter. I also think there are some life lessons to be learned from Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors.

To summarize the plot: Phil is a self-entered jerk of an anchorman who gets caught in the loop of waking up everyday in the same place, Punxsutawney, PA where he is covering the events on Groundhog Day. At first his reaction is disbelief and curiosity about what is happening. Then he decides to take advantage of the situation and steals money, picks up women, etc. He then starts to wonder about how he can break this spell. When he believes he can’t, his mood turns to depression and he even attempts suicide. For a while he is just apathetic, going through the motions of the day not caring about what he does because it has no effect. He will still wake up and tomorrow will be Feb. 2nd again. Finally, he decides to use this time warp to his betterment. He takes piano lessons, learns to speak French, and make ice sculptures, etc. At least he is getting more out of life!  When he finally decides to use his predictable life to help those in need, he finds happiness and love and the spell is broken.

Lessons I pull from this story:

  1. We’ve all had a point in our life when we wake up and feel like we are stuck doing the same thing everyday and not liking it
  2. Routines can make us feel safe, calm, relaxed and comfortable but…
  3. Doing the same thing everyday can quickly get boring and leave us miserable, or apathetic
  4. Taken to an extreme, that boredom can turn to carelessness & hopelessness
  5. If we change the way we look at our routine we can make the most of our time each day
  6. Taking up a hobby or learning something new is a great way to break up the monotony
  7. There are people we see everyday. We can choose to ignore them, or talk to them and take an interest
  8. If we use our time to help others and make them feel good, life will turn around for the better
  9. Even if our life is predictable, changing our attitude and our actions can make us feel more productive, happy and hopeful.
  10. Don’t drive angry.

Leave a comment about what you think of the movie: