Groundhog Day was a 1993 film, in which the main character has to live through the same day repeatedly. Every morning, he wakes up at the same time, and has another opportunity to try again. I won’t spoil too much of the plot, but suffice it to say that self-development becomes a theme of the film.
Like most good pieces of art, the film helps us to reimagine our own lives in a new way. What if, in fact, we are not really living different days, but are simply experiencing repeated opportunities to improve our own preparedness for the next time we wake up in the morning? What if we can only truly move on once we have learned some key lessons?
We might notice how often the same themes come up in our lives. Common phrases that reflect this are: ‘This always happens to me.’ ‘Oh no, not again.’ ‘Why me?’ Often, we blame other people, but if we examine our lives more closely, we might see that we are the common factor in all our experiences, and have a dramatic influence on what happens. That is not to say that our environment has no effect. But it is to say that we only really ever have an influence on one thing, and that is our own behaviour. Everything else is affected through the vehicle of our own behaviour.
Attitude is a key part of behaviour. It is the pattern, or conformation, with which we face the world. If our attitude is open, honest and patient, then we are more likely to experience openness, honesty and patience, because we live in our bodies, and the behaviour of our own body is therefore the biggest part of our experience. If our attitude is closed, dissembling and impatient, then we are likely to experience the world in this way.
What this means, is that what we do, we experience. Other people are so sensitive to the signals we give out, that we can quickly alter the emotional temperature of a room, or a relationship, without being particularly conscious of it. Because we have a bias towards blaming others, we may then notice the change in their behaviour, and attribute any change in atmosphere to them, rather than us. If we do this often, then we end up blaming the world for our own unhappiness, convinced that other people are causing all our problems.
To turn things around, it can help to imagine that we are, in fact, living out the same day repeatedly. Each time we wake, we are being given another chance to develop our ability to live well and help others. We can either vent our frustrations on other people, creating a bad atmosphere; or we can take up an attitude of optimism, kindness and creativity, creating an atmosphere of hope and positivity. It really is up to us.
What unhealthy and negative patterns of living am I repeating, again and again?
Do I spend time each morning building motivation, in preparation for the day ahead?
Is it possible, that the universe I live in is highly responsive to my own attitude? Is it possible that some of the unhappiness I experience bears quite a close relation to what I do?
In all my days on Earth, what have I learned so far, in terms of emotional intelligence? Do I apply my own wisdom?
If I create a positive atmosphere, then I will experience positivity, because my own attitude and actions constitute most of my experience.