Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tip#54: Recognize Your Secret Training - Cinderella Man - Groundhog Day

Spring is definitely in the air. I feel a sense of freedom with the warmer weather and longer days of sunlight. It feels renewing especially with the unexpected challenges I went through that made the winter seem extra long. Thankfully I have learned to recognize that blocks are a signpost that it's time to train for a necessary new life skill.

Cinderella Man (2005)

In the biographical sports drama film Cinderella Man,for example, Russell Crowe's character finds new strength from an unexpected personal injury. The movie is based on real life boxer James Braddock who injures his right hand thus losing his primary means of income. Though devastated he continues to support his family by working at the local docks unloading cargo. And because he can't use his right hand he is forced to use his left hand to do most of the work.

When Braddock is finally asked to box professionally again he had a secret weapon. After using his left arm day after day he had developed a powerful left hook. Returning to the boxing ring Braddock was even more powerful. His initial block was the catalyst for the secret training he received.

Groundhog Day (1993)

In the romantic comedy movie Groundhog Day,Bill Murray's character was stuck in a time loop repeating the same day over and over again. Though he is initially frustrated and depressed about this situation he eventually looks at the brighter side. He sees the benefits of being stuck and later uses it to improve himself to cultivate more meaningful relationships and develop his creative skills.

Apart from learning to play the piano beautifully, he teaches himself how to ice sculpt a large block of ice. He creates this magnificent figure with wings. I love this metaphor because he ultimately took control of his predicament and made something positive out of his block.

And yes it can be a challenge to switch onto a positive attitude. I've worked hard to stay aware that my blocks are a positive signal for learning another necessary skill. I may not like the situations at first but over the years I've realized I will not move forward with a negative attitude. I just trust there is a bigger picture that I cannot see yet.

Keep in mind you will always remain stuck and in victim mode if all you do is complain, worry or get stressed over the problem. Once you start focusing on the secret training that's being offered you will have a stronger sense of clarity to the bigger picture.

Look Carefully

So look carefully at the blocks you are facing. What is it that you need to do to overcome this challenge? What new skill are you being guided to learn? Perhaps you are finding it difficult looking for a job. Maybe you are in secret training to become more resourceful and find new areas to apply your core skills. Maybe you are being guided to develop your life skill for being more patient or being more aggressive.

Perhaps you are stuck in a loop where a relationship you are in has the same unpleasant dynamics of many others before. Maybe you are being asked to analyze the reoccurring patterns, training yourself to see the starting point of where you get caught in the relationship dramas. And when you've learned to develop new awareness skills you will spot the clues in new people you encounter and say, "No Thank You" and not get drawn into another dysfunctional relationship.

Wherever you feel you are blocked start looking at it as secret training. Remember that problems in life can be solved and the answers may not arrive in the way you expected. Trust that there's a purpose to your block and stay open to the answers and teachers that will arrive to accelerate you forward.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
Buddhist Proverb

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I’m a former ROM Social Interactions student of yours and I wanted to say how extraordinary and uplifting your series of tips are and to thank you for them. You have a gift for helping people see the sunshine behind the cloud and inspiring us all to be more courageous in our lives!

Thanks for sharing!