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How to Reboot your Groundhog Day Existence

The time has come to revel in the successful accomplishments of another year because no matter how stressful the year has been, we have had many wins….and we should salute the glory ….. and continue on our road to prosperity and progress, elevating our human spirit…

Goal Scorecard – Satisfied or Unsatisfied?
It is also the time to review our current situation, qualitatively weighing our scorecard – comparing our sense of progress against our sense of achievement … resulting in the net evaluation ….. Are we dissatisfied (unhappy and frustrated) or just unsatisfied (driven to achieve more)???? Those who make things happen will feel unsatisfied whereas those who watch things happen will probably feel dissatisfied and discouraged…. and those who wonder what happened? …. Well who knows how they feel…. Perhaps they feel nothing at all………………….

I vacillate between being dissatisfied and unsatisfied ……

Groundhog Day-
Every year this time the movie Groundhog Day comes to mind. Phil (Bill Murray) an egocentric, calculating,  Scrooge like  weather forecaster is caught up in a time loop of limited consequences, which means that no matter how he behaves, hedonistic or even suicidal, he is condemned to wake up to the same day over and over again. Until he is prepared to allow his suffering and the fear of near death encounters to be felt deeply, he remains stuck living semi-automatically, in a looping day. Phil is a man exiled from his feelings, arrogant, sarcastic and totally absorbed with his own discomforts, cut off from others, unable to learn and grow from any type of feedback because he believes that he is a plaything of fate. The only way he can liberate himself from a looping day is by converting from a negative reactor of fate to becoming a positive pro-actor of change. He eventually learns how to do this, becoming a more compassionate, authentic self in which intimacy and creativity come naturally and thus is able to get out of his loop of despondency.

It is only recently that I began to realise how many of my limiting beliefs are keeping me rooted in my Groundhog Day … what about you??

Adapt to changing or die!
Are you living your own Groundhog Day, refusing to adapt to a rapidly changing world? Are you ignoring the consequence of global competition to your survival and ultimately to your success? Today getting a job is easier than keeping it, therefore performing at your best at all times is as important, if not more important, than ‘who you know’ or ‘what you know’. Hence you need to work from a position of strength, from your core or natural abilities, reinforced with learning, and adapted into an offering or a work related identity, which must be redesigned periodically to remain in tune and in touch, holding life-long relevance, or else you are dead in the water!

Your job, my job, everybody’s job exists purely because a customer need has surfaced and someone has to satisfy it – directly through sales, or indirectly through accounting. Adapting to the new products and new technologies that pop up continuously is of paramount importance in our effort to satisfy customers and to continue to prosper… and for that we need feedback… from customers, from managers, from peers……

Feedback – Your Weapon of Mass Sensation – Feel the Feelings!
Feedback is a powerful tool that when used correctly can improve performance by allowing you to evaluate your delivery. Heeding advice, criticism, and the views of those you respect, is a necessary pre-requisite to learning – and true learning can only be created when feelings are allowed to respond fully to feedback. These feelings, pain and pleasure, are the navigators into unchartered waters. Having the courage to feel your own suffering and discomfort can transform you to a new state to transcend the repetition, the looping of your Groundhog Day. Don’t be afraid to laugh, to cry, to walk the walk of shame…. That is the only way that you can change your paradigm, to grow out of the unending cycle of pain and misery, to stop running on the same spot over and over, again and again, and to get to where you want to be.
Have the courage to respond appropriately to your world, to fully experience your feelings, to allow your sensations to become conscious. Feelings are your software and once you have brought them to the surface, once you have fully felt them, you need to reboot…..

Mental Nudge – Reboot or Rewind? What is the Difference?
We all need a mental nudge to turn our focus on empowering activities. A do-over is something we all want, a second chance, to start over, hopefully more consciously, more awareness, do things better and faster. We can’t go back in time because in the words of Heraclitus, ‘no man can walk into the same river twice, because he is not the same man and it is not the same river’, everything and everyone changes. Getting a second chance means taking another shot, learning from feedback and applying new learning in the new circumstances with new hope for success, in other words rebooting, rather than rewinding that is, doing the same things and expecting a different results

Although rebooting and rewinding sound the same they are substantially different. Rewinding means we are playing the same thing over again, even though the circumstances change, without changing the self, not factoring our lessons learned from experiences and feedback, responding in a way that keeps us looping into a Groundhog Day existence. Rebooting on the other hand, means we restart but this time our experiences, both painful and pleasurable, are absorbed, modifying our knowledge and beliefs, aligning new learning, adapting our actions, and getting unstuck from our Groundhog Day, and moving forward. Rebooting aligns any conflict between body and mind, heart and soul, often the cause of inaction, preventing you from breaking the unending cycle of the status quo. In contrast, rewinding or repeating our anticipated stance does not work as we continue to repeat our inappropriate response to the circumstances in our life…..
Although a reboot does not recharge your batteries it certainly allows them to work more efficiently.
And the best time to reboot is NOW! This time of year between Christmas and New Year is the rebooting season, filled with all its rituals of rebirth, focusing on compassion for others, and a more altruistic existence, is a perfect time for renewing ourselves. Feedback in the form of confession was very much part of this ritual, has fallen away, very much conspicuous by its absence. It is not surprising that without the guidance of meaningful feedback so many people focus on superficial changes like getting fitter, acquiring more education, building better networks, which are certainly important, but contribute little meaningful change to their lives. Rebirth requires more than changing a few habits or acquiring more skills, it requires changing our mental filters, our limiting beliefs, our self-centred stereotypical view of others; it means assisting fate in giving us what we need in order to get what we want.

We all want to be given another chance to respond more appropriately to the condition of our life however unless were are willing to feel our disappointments and our hurts, the second chance becomes a rewind rather than a reboot, stuck in the past, allowing a recursion of time, and rehashing the same results. A rewind does not improve anything, just repeats what went before, whereas a reboot allows you to operate at a faster, clearer, more energised manner and renewed effort, realigning your aspirations, refresh your offering, and redesigning your strategy to get to where you need to be.

Everyone needs to reboot, whether you are aging into the formal workplace or aging out of it.


The new workplace is tough, unrelenting, and requires having a grip on what is important and of paramount concern to all of us. The most important items in your career toolbox are competence and desire for performance excellence. Nothing is more powerful on a CV than a proven track record of brilliance. As a productivity evangelist, I would like to suggest that 2012 becomes the year of Excellence in South Africa. We are ALL collectively and individually responsible for building this country, we should therefore pledge our commitment to work hard, to do our best and to do it with a sufficient thrust to make a real difference. Let us accept feedback without playing the race, or gender card. Let us get out of our Groundhog Day and move forward. Let us reboot and change the way we look at ourselves… from ‘having’ to ‘doing’- from having ‘paper qualifications’ to ‘delivering excellence’, on time, every time…. From having a title of leader to doing what effective leaders do and build and energise teams ….. Whether in government or private sector, teaching or street sweeping, young or old, black or white, each person can make a difference… that is the true spirit of peace on earth…..

May we all have a prosperous and performance excellent year……

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