At the Movies

Still new to this Blog thing, so trying out a range of different topics to see what captures my attention. So today a short review of a book I recently read. I'm not going to drill down into the real detail of the tools and techniques but rather upon where it sits in that self-help spectrum of books I suspect most of us have a selection of.

I've always been a fan of the cinema, one of my passions being my home cinema and nothing beats kicking back and losing yourself in the magic of motion pictures. One film which I've always enjoyed is Groundhog Day a brilliant movie starring the sardonic Bill Murray. Where he is forced to relive the same day over and over again until he has learnt to be a better human being and of course won the heart of the woman he loves.

Paul Hannam has taken the premise of the movie and used it to illustrate an approach to life, personal success and I'd say business as well. If like me, you have read an entire library of self-help and business books the chances are that you won't be finding anything that is earth shattering or new.

However, that doesn't mean that I'm being dismissive or critical of what Paul offers here. I actually like it a lot on many levels. Firstly, if there was a perfect system for self-help, personal performance what you want to call it then we wouldn't have thousands of texts, theories, workbooks, seminars etc. Secondly the reality is that plugging those gaps in your personal amour is very difficult most people have the audio books, certificates, lapel badges and yet still feel that they are as flawed and imperfect as before. The reason for this is that is very hard to change yourself, is it impossible not sure, experience has shown me that external intervention in the form of coach, mentor or exceptional friend makes the process easier.

Forgive me the following digression to back up my last paragraph, look at NLP we've all got the t-shirt right? Yet peoples’ opinion of the effectiveness or range of NLP application is both wide and diverse. Where NLP truly hits its stride is on a good master practitioner course and this happens because of one key thing. We need to combine the theory found it the books with practical training. So the average self-help book outside of a course setting lacks sufficient impact to create anything but a superficial change.

Ok back to the Wisdom of Groundhog Day, where Paul has hit on something truly powerful is in linking the self-help topic to a narrative that for many is already embedded deep into memory. Even for us in the UK, who in the majority had never even heard of Groundhog Day before the movie. Simply mention the film and the narrative, inclusive of the lessons Paul draws out is vivid and clear. Consequently, even for those un-jaded by the avalanche of cookie cutter self-improvement babble the lessons are like discovering gems we already know. Now the influence of our unconscious drivers can be a barrier in many areas and derail our best intentions. In this book these drivers have the potential to be positive and life affirming as we appreciate Phil Connors as worse than us at the start and better than us by the end.

Like I said it is not original in content but in the structure and form it really hits the spot presenting life lessons through stories and metaphor is a very powerful tool and this one is even fun.

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