5 Lessons about Eternal Recurrence from Bill Murray

What if you lived today on repeat, would you be happy?

5 Lessons about Eternal Recurrence from Bill Murray

My family loves Bill Murray movies from the 90s. Our all-time favorite is What About Bob, but Groundhog Day is a close second.

If you’ve seen it, you remember Bill Murray is living the same day over and over again.

At first, he did whatever he wanted—ate anything, treated people poorly, and even stole money. But he wasn’t happy.

Eventually, he realized he could make different choices that had a positive impact on others. As he started doing good deeds, his happiness skyrocketed.

By the end of the movie, he was living a life worth repeating each day.

Every time I watch this movie, I think about what it would be like to live today over and over again. Would this be a day I’d want to repeat?

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote about a thought exercise called Eternal Recurrence. It's where you think about living your current life over and over again, in perpetuity.

This reflective exercise is as a way to think about how our choices today impact our future. If you were to live the same day forever, would this be horrifying or exciting?

Eternal Recurrence challenges you to embrace self-responsibility and intentional living. It pushed you to give up the notion of waiting for a future ideal life and instead prompts you to start actively crafting your best life today.

I believe many people wouldn’t want to live the same day repeatedly. They have regrets, things they wish they’d done differently, or goals they wanted to pursue but never got around to. If they were to live a day over and over again, they'd want to make some changes.

Several years ago, this was true for me. I wasn’t living the best version of my life. I was making daily choices I wouldn’t want to repeat for eternity.

But after doing my own version of Eternal Recurrence, I started seeing how I could make the right choices today to impact my future. Now, I’m living a life I would gladly repeat.

Your life is happening right now. It's not starting tomorrow or in two years. It's happening at this very moment.

Why not start living the live you want to live today?

Here are five reasons to try this exercise of Eternal Recurrence:

  1. Authenticity: it encourages you to live authentically and take full responsibility for your choices. If you had to relive every moment of your life, would you enjoy it? Create a life without regrets.
  2. Motivation: thinking about living today for the rest of your life makes you realize that your choices shape your life’s path. Think about the choices you make and how you’re shaping your future.
  3. Create Your Story: Eternal Recurrence inspires you to strive for a life you would love to embrace. Instead of just accepting your circumstances, you to actively create your life story.
  4. Embrace Challenges: you reframe suffering and obstacles as part of life’s process. Instead of avoiding pain, you learn from it and see it as part of your overall story.
  5. Gratitude: you create a positive mindset. You makes think about both the good and bad parts of your life as chapters and are grateful for how both contibute to your overall story.

Eternal Recurrence is all about self-responsibility and intentional living.

Stop waiting for the perfect future and start crafting your best life now. Make choices that resonate through time, shaping your reality and future positively.

So, how do you feel living your own Groundhogs Day?

For your own Eternal Recurrence exercise, here are three questions for you to reflect on:

  1. What moments fill me with so much joy that I’d love to relive them?
  2. If every choice I made was repeated forever, what choices should I prioritize?
  3. If I died today and someone wrote my eulogy, would I like what they’d say? If not, what should I change starting today?

Your actions have a ripple effect in your life.

If you want to live your best life, start by taking action on your goals today.