Groundhog Day 2016 – The day where the decision of a woodchuck or Thickwood Badger determines the fate of a community. In the dead of winter in New England, sometime in the late 18th century folks began feeling serious cabin fever. They concocted a contest, likely of of boredom and maybe some hope. It has grown to the place where a groundhog named Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania forecasts the seasons by whether he sees his shadow when he crawls out of a hole.
The date took on a new meaning when in 1993 Bill Murray began reliving the same day over and over and over in a movie of the same name. Groundhog Day has worked it’s way into the colloquial and has been used to describe slow moving progress.
Regardless of the date, we can all get stuck in a rut that becomes motivation numbing and possibility blinding. In Groundhog Day Murray’s character, a weather forecaster named Phil, relives the same routine he has been experiencing for months, years. He wakes up on February 2 and plans on ‘phoning in’ his morning forecast. Things begin to repeat themselves and in the repetition Phil begins to try to change the outcome and eventually changes himself.
I have written about Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before where she says “If you want to make a change in your life you need to change something in your routine”. The book is about habits and how changing higher order habits can be liberating. I always thought tht habits were a handcuff but have discovered that when I make a higher order decision ( Live a healthier lifestyle) then most lower order decisions (run or not run) become moot. I get to change and improve every day because I chose something different from the day before.
A smaller lesson from Phil (both of them) is that you can’t really change things beyond your control (most) or other people. I, you, we can change and should change , especially today something in our routine but stay away from trying to force your colleague or family to embrace your change.
Tomorrow, I will let you know what I changed (big or smaller) and would appreciate if part of your Groundhog Day celebration includes letting us know what you changed in the comments.
Make Today Remarkable,