Groundhog Day, The Definition of Insanity, and Fear

Phil: What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?
Ralph: That about sums it up for me.
(From the movie Groundhog Day)

My dad’s favorite movie is Groundhog Day. While I don’t appreciate the movie nearly to the level he does, I love watching my dad watch it. This also means that it’s a movie I’ve seen many many times. And with a movie that repeats as much as this one does, that feels like about 1000 times more than it actually is. Happy Groundhog Day, Dad!

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Clearly, Phil Connors has moments of insanity as he is stuck, repeating Groundhog Day, over and over and over. Through the process, Phil moves from curiosity, frustration, despair, to finally making forward progress and positive life change.

After he kills himself in just about every reckless manner he can imagine, Phil decides to look past himself and starts finding ways to help others in the community. He transforms from utterly selfish into a person who puts others ahead of himself. And he learns some mad piano skills in the process.

What you can learn about fear and the definition of insanity from Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

How often are we stuck in our own personal Groundhog Day? I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself repeating the same mistakes, or getting frustrated over the same situations.

The truth is, I can’t always change the circumstance, and I definitely can’t change other people, but I can change myself.

I don’t know about you, but many of my repeated ruts can be traced to a root cause of fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of people, you name it.

I’m (slowly!) learning to step through the fear, own what I can control and let go of the rest.

Like Phil Connor, I’m learning to stop focusing on the future and make the most of where I am today. And even when it feels like I’m not making forward progress, I can look back and see just how far I’ve come.

Phil: Do you know what today is?
Rita: No, what?
Phil: Today is tomorrow. It happened.

What’s your tomorrow?

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