4 Business Takeaways from the Movie Groundhog Day

“Rise and shine campers and do forget your booties because it’s cold out there today!”.  February 2nd is one of my favorite days of the year and it really has nothing to do with the ‘actual’ groundhog. I love this day because there is an excellent chance that some TV channel will be airing one of my favorite movies; Groundhog Day.

After watching it over and over and over again (ironically) I realized that there are some real life takeaways from this movie.

Are living the same day over and over and over?

Routines can be great, but are they making it seem like you’re living in your own personal Groundhog Day? Does what you are doing matter? Do you change the way you do things and take risks or do you play it close to the vest?

You can start by taking on new challenges at work that will keep you growing and engaged. Take time to meet new people around the office that you normally don’t work with.

I love the nervous feeling of getting out of my comfort zone and even if I fail in my quest, I feel much happier having taken the risk.

Use today to learn something new

In one scene Bill Murray’s character (Phil) is teaching Andie MacDowell’s character (Rita) to flip playing cards into a hat and she says “It would take me a year to get good at this” to which Phil responds  “Six months. Four to five hours a day, and you’d be an expert.”

What goals do you want to accomplish that seem like an eternity away but if you started today, you would be an expert in no time?

Programming is my cards and hat. I get very passionate about programming when I start to watch tutorials and read books but then I’ll see lines and lines of code and my eyes start to glaze over. I really want to learn it but it starts to feel impossible. In reality if I stuck to it for a few weeks, I would have the basics down and start to build off of that and pieces would start fitting into the puzzle.

What’s making you upset?

While Phil is stuck in a rut he tries everything he can think of to break out of it. At first he tries to enjoy his new ‘curse’ by eating whatever he wants and stealing money but that doesn’t work.

He also tries to take out those responsible (the groundhog) but that doesn’t work either. He then tries to escape by electrocuting himself, jumping off of a ledge, getting hit by a truck but he learns that there is no escaping this curse.

This can be us at work sometimes. We get excited about getting a new job or promotion for a little bit but then can find it bothersome or more work than we expected. We try to take it out on those around us that annoy us or that we feel are to blame but that’s never the real cause of our pain. You may try to escape to another job or department but that rarely works either

Take the time to do what makes you happy because in the end, it’s not about changing other people or circumstances; it’s about fixing yourself.

Everyone has a story

One of my favorite scenes is when Phil is trying to convince Rita that he is a God and to do this he introduces her to everyone in the diner and gives Rita a brief description of their life story. Over time he learned who everyone was, their unique backgrounds, their likes and dislikes and their dreams.

Isn’t that what networking is all about? Take time to dig deeper than names and job titles and learn who the people in your network really are. Most likely they have a pretty great story to tell, learn it.

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