Are you feeling miserable, tired and longing for better days? Do you dream of an escape, or a big change that will take you away from all of this? Whatever you are going through author of The Wisdom of Groundhog Day Paul Hannam tells how a classic comedy can help you not only beat the winter blues, but also set you up for the rest of the year. The film is Groundhog Day, and Hannam wrote a book about how it will improve your life one day at a time.
If ever there was someone who suffers from the blues, it is Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors. He is trapped in a town he despises reliving the same freezing, bleak day not just for the winter – but for eternity.
He cannot escape so he is forced to change himself. The way he transforms his experience of this dreary winter’s day is a powerful lesson in how to be happy and fulfilled that you can use to feel much better whatever the weather.
For most of my adult life, I have hated the cold. I even moved to Southern California for 5 years to avoid it. I believed that if I could live somewhere warm and glamorous, then I would feel happier. Well, it worked for a few weeks but then I noticed that my mood reverted to how it had been before. For, I was treating the symptoms, not the cause of my low mood.
There is no reason to suffer from winter blues as opposed to May or August blues. It is just a state of mind. Research from the field of positive psychology shows that the weather, and most of our life’s circumstances, like money or status, have a minimal and temporary impact on our state of wellbeing.
The real cure to the blues lies in shifting our mindset, and Groundhog Day shows us the exact steps. Through trial and error, Phil Connors learns how to transform the worst day of his life into the best day of his life. The weather stays the same, the place stays the same and the people stay the same. What changes is his mindset.
Phil learns how to make the best of his predicament. He discovers how to be resilient, how to be optimistic and above all, how to be happy. You too can learn these life changing skills that are far more valuable than 2 weeks in the Caribbean. A holiday will give you a temporary boost; becoming more resilient and positive will give you a permanent improvement to the quality of your life. The inner journey is far more powerful than the outer one.
Indeed, the greatest lesson of all is that you can be unconditionally happy today and for every day wherever you are and whatever you are doing. You do not need to wait for conditions to be just right. You do not need warm weather, a salary rise, the perfect body or the perfect partner. Like Phil, you too can discover that you have everything you need to be happy now. So stop what you are doing and follow this two step process now:
1 Say to yourself ‘I commit to being happy today no matter what’
2 Write down 3 things that you are grateful for today. It could be a conversation, a great book, a warm fire or how about the gift of being alive.
Seize the day and choose to be happy now. Follow Phil’s journey in Groundhog Day and shift from dissatisfaction to appreciation, from complaining to celebration. Enjoy the splendour of winter and every other glorious season!
About the author: Paul Hannam has extensive experience as a writer, entrepreneur, academic, consultant and powerful motivational speaker. He has taught a wide range of courses on psychology and business and was an Adjunct Fellow at Oxford University, where he taught Organisational Behaviour and related programmes.
Today, Paul has developed a number of websites dedicated to improving people’s lives, including iPerform, a new online performance improvement programme, which he founded with Olympians Roger Black and Steve Backley.
The Wisdom of Groundhog Day
Yellow Kite, £14.99