In the romantic comedy, Groundhog Day , Bill Murray plays a self-centered, egotistical TV weatherman. He's exasperated to discover that no matter what he does, he can't escape from his least-favorite day - the annual Punxsutawney Groundhog Day celebration. This same day becomes his own personal hell, repeating itself, day after grueling day.
Murray grasps for every alternative. Since no one else notices the day keeps repeating, he's on his own. At first he pretends it isn't happening. Then he asks others for help - no luck. Finally, he stops trying to escape the cycle, and looks for ways to tolerate it. He overdoses on human pleasures - eating, drinking, women and money. But that soon gets old and he finds himself wishing for something he can't have - the affection of a woman who thinks he's a jerk. So after learning what qualities she wants in a man, he spends the endless succession of Groundhog Days working on himself until he's met all of her outward qualifications. But because he's still a jerk on the inside - she still isn't interested.
Most will enjoy the movie for its comedy - Bill Murray is perfect in the role - but the underlying message is far more valuable.
Many of us are locked into our own endlessly repeating Groundhog Days. Clinging to wrong thinking creates the very problems we fight so hard to change. We fail to realize that changing external situations - a house, a job, a spouse - do nothing to remove us from the source of our problems - something flawed inside ourselves. Even though Bill Murray becomes a concert pianist, an accomplished ice sculptor and fluent at French, the woman of his affections still wasn't attracted because inside he remained a jerk.
We are very similar. We'll go to great extremes to change anything and everything to avoid changing ourselves. Until we change the root of the problem - our own thoughts and values - we'll continue to encounter the same problems over and over again - trapped in our own personal Groundhog Days.
After Bill Murray had exhausted every other possible external action without results, he finally cast aside his jerky ego, and changed positively on the inside. Then, not only did he get the girl, but his endless succession of Groundhog Days came to an end as well.
There's a beautiful simplicity to the movie's underlying message. We cast the shadows we see in our lives. Once we stop throwing them, they disappear - and we get to move forward with our lives.
Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike's offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz