Groundhog Day, the movie; your life

A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting “rat” (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the ‘following’ day he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realization that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day. Written by Rob Hartill

On awaking the ‘following’ day he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. I repeat this phrase because do you ever feel there is a certain sameness to your life, your work; doing the same thing again, and again, and again?

Everybody made their resolutions, right?

And when you walked back into your office for the new year, I’ll bet it was just like you left it last year. At least somebody could have come in and moved things around so it would at least look different.

We are now halfway through the year and how many are blazing toward their 2012 goals, or back to doing the same ol’ thing? We all know the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results…but that’s not us, right?

Routine is not necessarily bad because it provides certainty and ‘normalcy’ to your life, especially if you have a lot of drama going on for whatever reason. However, your routine can very well turn into a rut before you know it.

This excellent post asks the question whether you are just working in your business or truly working on your business. It touches on the trap of doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.  If that is working for you, then great, don’t mess with success, right? However, if you wonder why you are not achieving the results you expect then maybe it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your process.

What does it take to shake it up?

Losing your job, your spouse or your car will certainly do it; but most of those changes are not wanted.

Adversity though, is what it takes sometimes to force us out of our comfort zone. Some of the greatest successes have come after crushing defeats; the ultimate outcome is usually the way people perceived the setback and what they did about it afterwards.

My friend Adrienne Smith has been stepping out of her comfort zone lately and pushing the envelope, and if you ask her she will tell you it has been invigorating.

My other friend (yes, I have two) Riley Harrison talks about how he is adding variety and getting out of his rut to experience life more fully.

These aren’t the only ones I know ‘making it happen,’ but just examples of successes when you take the time and effort to try something different.

Yeah Dorman, you are certainly Mr Change

Hey, I have changed my theme 3 times since I started this blog. And just because it appears I am writing about the same ol’ crap content, it’s much deeper and richer now, right? Let’s not move too fast now, social doesn’t work that way….doh….

I would like to think my changes have been more subtle, but if nothing else, I do know how to adapt.

Jumping into social and the blog was certainly a change for me; but I have embraced it and glad I’m here.

In my day job, there have been quite a few changes internally since I started and it would have been very easy to resist. Even though some of these changes did get me out of my comfort zone, they were good for the health of the corporation and good for my professional growth.

And you know what; none of those changes killed me (I might have smelled like I was dead a few times, but it must have been someone else).

What is holding you back?

Change just for the sake of change, is not necessarily a good thing. However, if you can’t get your wagon wheels out of that deep rut, then why not?

Life is short, don’t be left with a bunch of ‘what ifs.’

Just remember, it is all up to you, nobody is going to make it happen for you. You can seek assistance along the way, but it will be you that has to make it happen.

Now get on it, the doctor has spoken!


43 thoughts on “Groundhog Day, the movie; your life

  1. Hey, Bill!
    It feels right for me right now to stop writing and work on what’s working IRL, and work towards changing things up online. It’s a bit stressful letting go, but the kids are out of school for another 2 months and I can’t fragment myself any more than I am!
    But, instead of it feeling like giving up or in it feels like a sabbatical would (I would imagine).
    Time to get to work and work on making more money by creating good things! You know?
    Have a great day, Bill! Thanks for the excellent and timely post!

    • Sabbaticals can be good and depending on where you are in your journey, most of us can just pick it back up whenever we get back in.

      Good luck on your summer and thanks for taking the time to stop by and say hello.

  2. Hi Bill, You have told us that things are going to be changing around here and you’re right. Each blog post is new and different!

    Tech has a way of changing daily. In fact, The Wonder of Tech is all about embracing change.

    Personally, I just celebrated the two year anniversary of a major change, moving back the the US from England. The first year back was a “rebuilding year.” This past year was adjusting to the changes we made after our rebuilding year struggles. Who knows what this upcoming year will bring?

    I wish you much success in what ever changes and challenges you face, Bill!

    • Your time in England will probably be something your girls will always remember; do they miss it, or glad to be back in the US?

      Yes, tech is always changing and I’m glad someone like you is keeping up with it.

      For now, I’m content to plug along and if I get the urge to chase some dream in here, it will have my full attention. Let’s see where it takes me……..

      Hope your 4th was a good one; I have taken the week off and just being lazy…:).

    • Hey, I’m for staying the same but getting better. In social w/ all the platforms and the way they change you feel like it is changing every day.

      Not deep deep, but food for thought at least. Sometimes it is good to step back and just mix it up just for the hell of it, huh?

      Good to see you sir; hope things are going well for you.

  3. Hi Bill,
    You’re right, we don’t welcome change and we certainly don’t seek it! Routine is comfortable – our brains like it that way! Even while here in the blogging scene, though, things do change – all the time! I wonder if it’s so much a problem of not changing things up as resisting the changes that are constant.
    I have to say, though, that if you’re stuck in a rut the blogosphere (and posts like this) are where you want to be spending your time!

    • In NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) there’s a belief that we can be either drawn towards change or sameness. I have found this to be true! I look for change and if things get too stable, I start to rock the boat. I’ve always been that way. My husband on the other hand, loves sameness and routine (much more common). There are times when we definitely trigger each other because of these preferences, but we also balance each other out (thank God).

      I look to nature, which is always in some form of change. That’s what helps me accept it, even in those times I didn’t quite seek it out!

      • Hey, nice new pic.

        What you said made me think of some people I know who have been married multiple times; do you think they gravitate toward change and once it gets too same it’s difficult to hold the relationship together. I guess it depends on what kind of change they are looking for, huh?

        There is plenty of change in nature, but also some ‘sameness’ within that change.

        Good to see you; hope your week is going well.

    • Routine can be nice and comforting and if it’s a good place for you, then you should embrace it. Just make sure you don’t have too many ‘what ifs’ built up and wishing you would have taken different paths along the way.

      Social does change with people coming and going; it can be hard to keep up with at times if you want to stay relevant.

      I think the both of us are doing ‘ok’ in our own little space, so let’s see where this journey will take us.

  4. Getting out of the comfort zone, especially if it takes a lot of effort and reshuffling can be painful. As you said, who wants to rock the boat? But if one wants to rock, change is the best thing. I thrive on it. One of the reasons I took up freelance work was the variety it brought and the ability to be involved in different things. I have two jobs 😀 for variety, that is. I love both. With routine – I only like the basic routine (wake up make coffee cook and all that must-do stuff). I shuffle everything else for fun. ‘eck, I even shift my furniture around into a new arrangement when I need to think. My Mom used to be relieved that Stevie Wonder didn’t live with us. Risk is good. Especially when we are mature enough to take responsibility.

    • Moving the furniture is something noticeable, huh?

      Some of your morning rituals are comforting but even when they get off track I try not to let things like that bother me.

      Going on your own was probably are pretty big change at the time. My job has the ability to deal w/ very different people every day and that variety is something I like.

      Taking responsibility it key; always. Good to see you, hope your week is going well so far.

  5. While it’s mid summer and kids will be heading back to school soon, this reminds me of what we ask our kids when we see them after school. We expect that somehow THIS day at school was different from yesterday, the day before, last week. But we get the same answer most of the time. Same with with our spouse/partner/friend/significant other asks how our day was.

    We believe others don’t want to hear how our day was really different from the day before, because, truthfully, it probably wasn’t much different. Sure we may have met with different people to discuss different topics, met new people on social media and read new emails and text messages. But, overall, was it really that different?

    Our business life gets to be pretty routine, too. We like routine. But it does turn in to Groundhog Day. And we do go about our day like bears picking up trash in Jellystone. It’s like that 1980s acronym – SSDD.

    Thanks for the gentle reminder to mix things up a bit.

    • So maybe if we go out and rob and bank that will be a good dinner topic, huh?

      I hear what you are saying; whereas there is a lot that goes on in your day, most of it still falls into the ‘routine’ category. It is sometimes hard to recall anything worth mentioning unless you do a blog and EVERY life event might have blog potential…….:).

      So good to see you, hope your 4th was fun and are having a good week.

  6. It is all the same until it isn’t. I learned that the hard way and have spent a long time learning how to become better at adapting to the changes that always come.

    Sometimes it is easier said than done, but the thing is that we really don’t have a choice. Some changes happen without our “permission” so the important thing is to learn how to roll with them and make them work for us.

    • It’s all the same until it isn’t. So true, and sometimes the ‘isn’t’ isn’t wanted but we have to deal with it. Most change is thrust upon us as very few of us just up and quit a job for now reason or take off on a backpacking tour of Europe, leaving your family at home.

      I guess responsibility has something to do with ‘sameness’ don’t you think?

      However, if whatever you are doing is not making you happy, but you keep doing it over and over and over, then maybe you should reevaluate what you are trying to accomplish, don’t you think?

      Good to see you; hope you had a good 4th.

  7. For those ready to make a change but feel they need some accountability in order to do so, I would highly recommend connecting with a coach or mentor. I agree with you, Bill, that no one else can make those chances for you, but it sure does help if we plan it out and know that someone else will hold our feet to the fire!

    You don’t have to spend tons of money to find a good coach or mentor. It could even be someone in your field/niche that you admire/look up to.

    Let’s reverse that as well. Maybe you’re further ahead on your journey and you know someone just starting out. They are where you once were. Help them out. It’s good for you. It’s good for them. It’s just good to give back! Doing so may even help to motivate and inspire you to do something new for yourself!

    • Yes, a coach or mentor helps tremendously; sometimes the difference between success and failure. Ultimately, you have to ‘want’ to do it, but if you have someone holding you accountable, it’s easier to get where you want to go.

      I do some mentoring for people in our office, would like to take a bigger role. It’s fun to help people succeed. I enjoyed coaching baseball and soccer too back in the day when my kids were still playing.

      Good to see you; hope you have a happy Friday.

  8. Changed your theme? That’s all you got. I changed my whole site. Try to keep up, would ya. 🙂

    I agree with Lori; we’re hard-wired to like routine and consistency. Unfortunately, those things don’t help you grow. It’s good to shake things up when you’re in a rut, but sometimes life does the shaking up all on its own.

    • Yes, much easier to take when the changing is on our terms.

      Routine and consistency can be comforting but can also lull you into complacency. Sometimes change is good just to keep things fresh.

      Hope your week has gone well; thanks for stopping by.

  9. Hey Bill,

    Well I love this post and the topic. Oh, and mentioning me too! Oh yeah, nice!!!

    Change, I use to be so darn scared of it. I know it’s all about the fear of the unknown but for the most part once I made the change it just wasn’t all that bad. Now there are some areas I wish would have stayed the same but then I’d still be living in the 70’s probably and that wouldn’t be fun. I would have been left in the dust not having advanced at all. Yuck!

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who sometimes hits that bump. Sure is fun to celebrate those milestones though. Oh yeah, keep em coming…

    Thanks Bill and great share. Hope you have a fabulous day and a really fun weekend. See ya next week my friend.


    • If we can change on our terms it seems much more palatable; when it’s forced upon us sometimes it takes time to see if it was a good thing or not.

      There is comfort in routine, you just have to be careful to not get too complacent and keep willing to learn and grow. If you can do that, it will keep you ‘in the game.’

      Good to see you, hope you have a great weekend.

  10. Hey Bill,
    It seems to me that we need a balance between routine and newness. Routine is needed for anchoring purposes and stability in life and newness is needed for stimulation. What’s the idea balance – don’t know. When everyday begins to look like the day before, I go in search of adventure. When I’m overwhelmed or exhausted by newness, I take refuge in the ordinary predictable experience in life.

    • That’s probably a good attitude to have because sometimes you do need the comfort in stability. I know a few people whose lives are one drama after another and they typically bring it on themselves; that might be a little much for me.

      Good to see you, hope you had a good week.

      • So. How’d ya do? I can’t seem to golf two days in a row. Always too stiff on the second day.

        Change, huh? I have a hard enough time remembering to change my underwear (ouch, TMI). Yeah, I look at it like this: change what is not working and look for ways to make what’s working a bit better. Never stagnate. I agree, the tough part is not changing something for change sake.

        Our “Quote of the Week” this week was from Steve Jobs and fits right into the idea of recognizing the opportunities when change is necessary. If you get a sec pop by and go to the homepage and check it out. You might actually be impressed.

      • I didn’t do too bad, a 91 on the tight course and an 88 on a ‘kinder’ course.

        Sometimes it’s hard to step back and recognize a change is needed, or how to do it.

  11. The tibetan book of living and dying taught me one key thing. Impermanance. There is only one thing guaranteed in life. Change. How we decide and handle it is huge.

    Great example. How many music acts die because they don’t change? How many die because they do change?

    So what will your readers think of you when you become a Yankee fan next year?

    • Nevah in my best Red Sox accent….I actually watched their 2nd game last night and thought the Yanks were going to smoke them again. Those kids the Sox pulled up from Triple A really came through. It’s always fun to watch the Yankees lose…

      Yes, some get stuck in what works for them and soon become yesterday’s news. Others try to change to stay relevant but can never find the groove again. Who knows what the right amount of change is. Especially with music; you don’t just lose your talent, but it’s hard once you reach a certain level to go backwards.

      Sometimes it is good to stay under the radar so people don’t even know if you have changed or not, huh?

  12. Change is permanent. And that is what I have always lived by. Though I hate change, I will have to make my peace with it.

    And if we really are sick and tired of being sick and tired then we really have to do something about it ourselves. We just can’t keep blaming others for what has happened unless we start and be the change we would like to see.

    But yes, I blame hereditary for my weight… and that will, probably, never change…

    • Hey, don’t be kicking your parents under the bus………..:). Hereditary, it is what it is and there is only so much you can do.

      Sometimes it takes getting ‘fed’ up and eventually jumping out there and making that change. Some change will get you out of your comfort zone and of course, that’s not comfortable. We do need to be able to take responsibility for our actions, right?

      I hope your weekend went well; I’m coming off a week off from work so getting ready to get back into my ‘routine.’ Good to see ya….

  13. This is the second time today that I’ve read a blog post about a movie I haven’t watched. First it was field of dreams at Jack’s place, and now yours. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I didn’t watch a lot of movies, because I really love movies 🙂

    I need to add Groundhog Day to my list of movies to watch too.

    You just described one of the reasons why I started my own business. I wanted to be in control and do new things every single day. There are no such things as a “ordinary” day at work anymore 🙂

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