Happy Groundhog Day!

Well it’s Groundhog Day, again. Which is one of my favorite days of the year. Not really because of the actual groundhog weather forecasting by Punxsutawney Phil, but because I’m a fan of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. [WARNING: GROUNDHOG DAY MOVIE SPOILERS AHEAD]

On the surface, the movie is an entertaining romantic comedy about an egocentric weatherman living the same day over and over (some estimate for 40 years). However, critics have noted the movie for its spiritual meaning which could be described as Buddhist-themed. Over the course of the movie, we see Bill Murray’s character (Phil Connors) living the same day again and again, first using his unique knowledge of the day in pursuit of his own selfish, self-interests. This, however, grows tiring and Phil falls into despair over the prospect of continuing on in the face of a vapid, meaningless existence.

The tuning point for Phil begins when he shifts his inward focus from pleasure to self-improvement. He uses the endless time he has to learn new skills and repeats each day with increasing efficiency and success. Over time, Phil eventually shifts his focus from improving himself into helping and improving the lives of the people he is surrounded with. By helping others with no objective other than to see them happy, Phil becomes a vibrant and respected member of the community.

Are you living your own Groundhog Day? Is every day the same as the day before? The thing to remember is that when every day is the same, the only thing that changes is you. Now to put things in a sport context, can you imagine how difficult it would be to perfect your basketball jump shot if every backboard was at a different height? Or what if every football varied in weight? Achieving consistency would be difficult and improvement nearly impossible. Living the same day, with the same people, again and again gives you the opportunity to improve yourself and positively affect others. Use the daily consistency you have to make incremental changes in your life; small changes lead to big improvements. In all likelihood, today is going to be the same as yesterday. Be sure to take advantage of that. Have a great day and happy studying! 

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