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How to Be a Much (Much) Better Agent by Ground Hog Day

A couple nights ago I got caught up watching the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray. It’s a fun movie I’ve seen before, so you can imagine my surprise when I realized how much I was learning from this character.

Murray plays Phil, a weatherman doing an on-the-scene report covering Punxsutawney Phil, the famous Ground Hog that looks for his shadow on February 2nd. The twist is: Phil finds himself awaking each morning… to the same morning! It’s February 2nd again and again and again. What does he do? At first, he does what most of us would probably do, he tests the limits: he flirts, he overeats, he steals money, he even tries to kill himself, just to see what happens. But each morning, he awakens to the same Sonny & Cher song on the radio, and the same day repeated outside.

Eventually, Phil begins to improve himself. He takes classes and he learns new skills; he seeks out people who need help and through it all, becomes a better man. He learns, albeit slowly, the power of… the moment. The moment is that brief instant when a decision is made; the decision may lead to years of work or an immediate change, but either way a course is set. (Of course, the opposite applies too: a moment passes without a decision, and a course is set as well.)  So Bill Murray’s character Phil, begins seizing those moments, and begins improving his life in ways he could have never imagined.

By the end of the movie, Phil has become a new man; even the locals treat him differently (and remember, to them it truly has been only one day). The motivation behind making those decisions is ultimately unimportant; to improve as a man, to win the heart of a woman, or just to make more money; the “why” is less important than the “what.” He has transformed himself, one decision at a time, one moment at a time.

You may not wake up each morning to “I’ve Got You Babe” on the radio. And you’re most likely not waking up each day only to discover that it’s the same day all over again. But are you waking up to anything that much different? Is it the same you, doing the same thing, around the same people, in the same area, and having the same results? Imagine how your life might change if TODAY, you make a decision to take a class, or improve your skills, or simply meet more people. Imagine how your life might change if TODAY, you decide to grab that moment…

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