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Posted: February 02, 2010

Take the “Groundhog Day” challenge!

If Bill Murray could do it, so can you

David Behr

What does Groundhog Day mean to you?

A. Nothing

B. Another silly holiday

C. Prediction of a short or long winter

D. The valuable lesson from the movie, Groundhog Day

My answer is D. I love Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. It's worth seeing not only for the comedic value but for the valuable lesson it contains -- one that can alter the course of your life forever.

For Murray's character, Phil Connors, every day is exactly the same as the next. He wakes up every day to his alarm playing the same Sonny and Cher song, sees the same insurance salesman at the same time on the same corner -- then steps off the same curb into the same puddle.

Unfortunately, it's an accurate depiction of most people's lives. Do you feel as if your life is a bit mundane and has a little too much sameness? Consider this: If you change, everything will change for you.

In Groundhog Day, Phil started to become aware of the sameness of each day. Because he knew exactly what was going to happen next, he started to manipulate the outcomes by changing his actions. For example, he learned to speak French and play the piano, which allowed him to impress his love interest in the movie. Instead of stepping in the puddle everyday, Phil stepped over the puddle, which saved him from walking around all day in wet socks, shoes and pants.

Phil took advantage of knowing what was going to happen next by changing his actions. Changing his actions changed the results to his benefit. If it worked for Phil in the movie, why can't it work for you? Take the Groundhog Day Challenge! Challenge yourself to pick one thing you want to change. What one thing could you change in your life that would create a life that you really want?

Most people create bad habits and routines because they don't have a goal. So, first things first. What would you like your life to look like in 15 years? What do you want to achieve in your life? How much money do you want to save in the next 15 years? What country would you like to visit? Have you always dreamed of writing a book or starting your own company? The only thing holding you back is your daily disciplines.

What could you change in your life that would create the life you really want? Okay, now that you have a goal, let's look at your daily routine. Have you not written your book because you didn't have the time? Is it that you didn't have the time or that you valued your time doing something else, like watching television? Have you not invested in an IRA because you didn't have the money? Is it because you didn't have the money or is it because you were spending your money on trinkets?

It's time to stop making excuses and start creating the life you want. If you gave up one hour of television every day, you would have the time to write one page a day. If you wrote one page a day you could have a 150 page book written in less than 6 months. Don't think you have any money to invest in an IRA? What if instead of spending your whole paycheck, you disciplined yourself to save 10 percent of your check before you spent any of it?

A person only making $25,000 year could afford to invest in a $3,000 IRA. If you are like most people, you are saying. I can't afford to save $250 month. I would respond by saying, you don't think you can afford it because up until now you have had no reason to save $250 month. Since you now have a goal to invest in an IRA, you might start asking yourself, "What could I change?"

Let me help. Do you go to Starbucks everyday? How often do you eat out every week? What could you cut back on or cut out of your daily routines? If you are still not with me, let me suggest you start with canceling your cable. Not only will you save $100 month but you will also have more time to write your book, which means you could finish it in half the time. Now if you sold 7 or 8 copies of your book a month you could make another $150 dollars a month and you would now have your $250 to invest per month in an IRA.

So, take a lesson from the movie Groundhog Day: if you change, everything will change for you. Most people make New Year's resolutions on Jan. 1 and give up on them by Feb. 17. A lot of people get caught up in the excitement of being able to start over just to fall back to the sameness they were trying to avoid.

For things to be different, you must do something different. After reading this article, I hope the answer to the question,"What does Groundhog Day mean to you?" changed from a,b, or c to d. For the best results, continue to ask yourself, "What can I change?" over and over and over.

Happy Groundhog Day!

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David Behr's Competitive Edge Seminars have been credited for assisting in the success of companies world-wide, including Fortune 500s. His clientele include Wells Fargo, American Express, Edward Jones, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ReMax, Farmers Insurance, Pepsi, Bank of America, KB Homes, Del Webb, Hilton, Sheraton and more. He has presented to more than 5,000 audiences nationwide. Learn more about David and Competitive Edge Seminars at www.edgeseminars.com.

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