We’ve all seen the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. It occurred to me, with the official Groundhog Day coming up in a couple of days, this might be a good time to discuss the theme of the movie. How many times do we go through life, just going through the motions, living virtually the same day over and over again?
I have to admit, I’m guilty of this myself sometimes! I wake up in the morning, go through the same routine, go to work, sit at a desk for 9 hours, come home, eat some dinner, watch a little TV or read to relax, and then go to bed.
Does this sound similar to your life?
Maybe your routine is a little different because you have kids that you get ready for school in the morning. Maybe your job requires you to drive around, or stand all day helping customers, or doing some kind of manual labor. Then you get home and maybe have a beer to unwind, or sit with the kids a little while, or work on a hobby.
“We don’t have a lot of time on this earth. We weren’t meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements.” – Peter Gibbons, Office Space
How many of you out there want to get off the “work-eat-sleep” treadmill of life and really do something different?
- Do you have a business idea that you talk about with your friends but never follow through on?
- Did you promise yourself this past New Year’s, that you’ll get in shape or lose weight, and just a few weeks later, you’ve already given up on it?
- Is there a new hobby or sport or skill you want to learn that you keep promising yourself you’ll get to “someday”?
- Is there a vacation destination you’ve always wanted to go to, that you just haven’t found the time for, or put off saying “maybe next time”? Even worse, do you repeatedly not even take the vacation time you’re allowed because you’re worried about what they might say or think at work?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these, what are you waiting for? No matter how many promises we made, how many To-Do lists we have, or New Year’s resolutions you made, there’s one remedy for the repetitiveness of Groundhog Day in your life. Are you ready for the deep, philosophical cure for apathy? Well here it is…
That’s right! The answer is get up off your ass and make something happen! Want to learn a new skill, whether it be computer programming, automotive repair, or a foreign language? Go down to your community college or career center and sign up for a class. Need to lose a few pounds? Go out for a 10-20 minute walk during your lunch break at work. Do 3 sets of push-ups and sit-ups during a 5 minute break in your office. Sign-up at a gym with a personal trainer. Just start moving! Want to increase your education level? Take some free courses online. There are courses available from Stanford and MIT and about 100 other schools all available for free. Want to make more money? Look into the ways to make additional income such as starting a blog, investing in the stock market or real estate, start a business part time, etc. There are many businesses you can start for as little as $100.
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers
In order to improve your situation and better your life, just try to take small steps in the right direction. Don’t shoot for new highs every day. Just try to improve yourself by 1% each day or each week. If your goal is to learn a foreign language, focus on learning 10 new words a week. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds, focus on doing 2-3 more reps or adding 5 lbs to the weight your lifting, or doing just 5 more push-ups per set. If you want to earn more money, focus on cutting your expenses just a little bit, maybe by bringing lunch to work rather than going out to lunch and investing the difference. Want to take a nice vacation? Put aside just $2 dollars per day, every day. In two years, you’ll have enough for a nice 7-10 day vacation almost anywhere in the world!
If you remember from the movie, once Bill Murray’s character decided he wanted to better himself and use the time wisely, he learned how to play the piano, how to ice sculpt, emergency first aid, poetry, and speaking French, among other things. We all have the ability inside of us to use our days more productively and more richly. Time is the one great equalizer in all of our lives! We all have the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year that Einstein, Mozart, Hawking, Lincoln had in their lives. The difference is they made the most of their limited time on this Earth and left an extraordinary legacy behind!
Ask yourself each day, “What will be my legacy that I leave behind? How did I better myself or better someone else’s life today?”
– What will your answer to these two questions be?