Reset Your Reality: Lessons from Groundhog Day (Part 2)


Reset Your Reality

written by Josh Waggoner

(note to reader: Reset Your Reality is part two of a three part series on lessons / takeaways from the movie Groundhog Day. You don’t have to read them chronologically, but if you want to, check out part one, “Rollover Minutes” here.)

The Gist: Every day is a new experience. New opportunities. New challenges. New obstacles to overcome. Anything can happen. Therefore, we also need to be new. We must reset and refresh ourselves every day, otherwise, our past experiences will affect todays. Clear your mind, lighten your heart, and reset your reality because today (and every day) is too important not to.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
    - William Shakespeare - 

Throughout Groundhog Day, even though Phil’s day would reset and repeat itself, over and over again, what happened to him during a particular iteration was greatly affected by his mindset and attitude he brought with him. In fact, his day completely changed, depending on his mindset. So what gives? If he's looping through the same day, why is his experiences vastly different?

The only difference is his Perspective.

Lets look at some of Phil’s different perspectives:

“What if there were no tomorrow?” “That would mean there'd be no consequences, no hangovers, we could do whatever we wanted.”  

“I have been stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen, hung, electrocuted, and burned and every morning I wake up without a scratch on me, not a dent in the fender… I am immortal.”

“Ill give you a winter prediction: it’s going to be cold. It’s going to be grey, and it’s going to last you the rest of your life.”

Sarcastic, depressed, manipulative… the list goes on and on (like Phil’s day; snare-snare-crash)

“Your reality is as you perceive it to be. So, it is true, that by altering this perception we can alter our reality.”
- William Constantine -

Our perspective can make or break our day.

If we give in to negative, cynical, and-or bitter thoughts, our perspective will warp to those feelings, and everything will seem to be against us. Nothing goes right, the worst that could happen, does happen; Everything feels hopeless. We feel stuck in our despair, and frustrated by our lack of ability to make something happen, and change our situation.

But this is not reality. This is not Truth. It’s only our perception getting in the way of what’s real.

If your thoughts weigh you down, you expect everything to fail,  and you perceive failure as something that's bad and should be avoided, then you're spiraling into the fallacy of resignation: That nothing you do can will help, so why even bother?

However, if you view things as neither good nor bad, and rather view them just as they are, seeing hardships as barriers you must break through, trials you must overcome, and challenges rather than being the end of the world, then your perspective will become clear.

Things that happen, happen.

We act accordingly, and do what is necessary, because we believe that we can. Because we must.

And, at the very least, if everything goes to ‘hell in a handbasket’ we can control our perspective and attitude about it. We do what we can. Why go down without a fight? We must learn and train to face hardships and thrive. While everything is turning pear-shaped around us, we're having a picnic. (pear salad anyone?)

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
- Marcus Aurelius -
“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
- Anaïs Nin -

Change Your Perspective; Change Your Life.

Simple to say, hard to do. But, it’s something we can practice.

Don't let yesterday effect today.

We need to reset ourselves every day, take each day as something new, because the fact is, it is new; Our lives are constantly changing. Everything is different in some way. Therefore, don’t let the baggage of yesterday interfere with today. Remember, yesterday was yesterday. Today is today. En. Joy. It.

If life hasn't been working out for you, don’t carry yesterday's feelings of anxiety, worry and overwhelm to the next day. Let it go. Think of every day is a reset. A new day for new opportunities. Learn as much as you can from yesterdays actions, take what’s important, and leave what’s not behind.

Perspective is everything.

Action Steps

1. Reset yourself every day. Don't let yesterday’s feelings, failures, mistakes, and perspective cloud todays. Take each day with a clean slate.
2. Remember that you are not alone. Everyone feels despair and frustration sometimes, even if it doesn't seem that way. (I do too, more than I’d like to admit) Take stock. Remind yourself that this is just one perspective you can have. And if you don’t like it figure out how to change it.
3. Talk to someone you know who will listen; Someone you can bounce ideas off of.
4. View hardships as challenges, rather than hopeless situations.

Reminder #013: Our perspective can make or break our day. In fact perspective is everything. Don't let a negative / bad perspective get in the way of reality. Take each day with a clean slate. Don't let yesterday effect today. Yesterday was yesterday. Today is today. Remember: Change Your Perspective; Change Your Life.