Have you ever wished that life had a Redo or Rewind button? Do you ever wish you could go back and change a moment in your past? Many people would answer Yes.
Time travel would be an ideal answer to fixing past mistakes. Life is a harsh teacher. If we could fix awkward moments, an error in judgement, or most importantly, regrets, life would be less painful.
Anyone who has made career decisions that took them off course or tried to start a successful business would agree that being able to correct the past would come in handy.
In reality, we don’t have the luxury of a rewrite or a redo. Still, we can experience time travel from the safety of our couch and learn valuable lessons to apply to our own lives. Here are five time travel movies that teach valuable lessons about careers versus experiences.
Constant Improvement Creates Major Results
What if you found yourself in a time loop, reliving each day because you couldn’t have the love of your life? In Groundhog Day, the main character wants to win the heart of his coworker, which he discovers is a lifelong mission.
Repeating the same day can be hell or a huge bonus. Since you can’t die in a time loop, you’re pretty much invincible, knowing everything will reset in twenty-four hours. Jumping in front of a car can’t be all bad.
However, should you find yourself in a time loop, you shouldn’t waste the time you’ve gained. After all, you’re not going to age, and everyone around you won’t know about your secret.
Our protagonist takes advantage of the perpetual Groundhog Day to learn new skills. He learns to play the piano, speak French, and help others.
Instead of focusing only on winning someone’s heart, the main character starts to approach life with an open mind. He takes the time to get to know the people he interacts with each day and puts other people before himself. As a result, he becomes a better person and wins the love of his sweetheart.
The protagonist’s formula for success is worth repeating. If you want to move forward in your career, increase your income, freelance, or start a company, first, work on building your skills. If you want personal success, also work on improving yourself. Take the time to appreciate the people around you as well.
Constant improvement through small changes each day will add up to major results. You may not notice it at first with each piano song you master, or each new word you acquire in a foreign language. But when you look back, you will see the total value of what you’ve accomplished.
Learning from the Past to Improve the Future
Imagine dying over and over just so you can learn how to defeat the enemy. Would it be worth the pain and the sacrifice? In Edge of Tomorrow, the main character is also stuck in a time loop, but it is paramount that he remember each detail from the life before. No pressure at all.
The lessons he learns with each repeat of the day are key to strategizing how to defeat the enemy: going left or right on the battlefield, striking or ducking. Each detail is vital to achieve success in the long run. Otherwise, all the losses are for nothing.
Imagine having that same advantage if you want to succeed in your career or business. Instead of regretting a decision you made, you can keep repeating the day until you get it right. If you failed job interview questions, you could keep redoing the interview until your answers are perfect, and you get to hear the desired words “You’re hired.”
It would be such a relief to a business owner who has made a bad decision to have a chance for a do-over. He could try different ways to market and sell his products until he finds the method that gets him the most sales. Or she could repeat a client negotiation that went badly until the conversation results in a contract.
The possibilities are endless. You can re-evaluate all your past decisions. Money lost in a bad investment could become be money gained. All you need to do is try different scenarios until you find the winning combination. Depending on how much patience you have, you could try this tactic to discover the lottery’s lucky numbers.
Live through the day, analyze, strategize, and learn from past mistakes to get the best possible results for the future.
Try and Try Again Until You Create the Ideal World
Each day, we find new inventions on the market that solve a problem, whether they save us time, money, or effort. Many entrepreneurs strive to create an invention that customers desire to buy because it improves their lives.
In this next movie, an inventor creates a time machine that has the power to make our lives better… or worse. In the Back to the Future movies, we see the best and the worst of time travel. However, when we invent something, it’s hard to tell at the moment what will happen. Time machines can’t predict the future.
At the end of the first movie, we find the lives of the main character’s family much altered from the beginning of the story. The bad guy gets what he deserves, and the main characters are more confident and live more successful lives. All these changes result from a past event when one character decides to stand up to a bully.
The effects of a single event can ripple through time, causing a domino effect. In another Back to the Future movie, possessing a book with sports scores gives one person an unfair advantage, resulting in a dark and sinister world.
If we possess a time machine, we can venture into the past and change the present. We can choose the road not taken and experience endless possibilities.
We can correct past mistakes, erase a regret, or try the career path we turned down. We can create the ideal reality for ourselves by changing our careers, bringing back a lost friend, or stopping a tragedy from occurring.
If you dislike shrimp, you could make them disappear from this century. No matter what path you choose if you have a time machine, the main lesson is the same: learn from the past.
Work to Live or Live to Work
Would you want to be a millionaire or billionaire? In this century, there are more millionaires than in any other time in history. It isn’t everyone’s goal to be rich, but almost everyone wants a life outside work. An exception is a person whose only love is money.
Life for this person becomes all about the acquisition of wealth. Family isn’t important. Relationships and people don’t matter. Money is what motivates people obsessed with wealth.
In this movie, a wealthy business owner would have lived a life surrounded by his money if three powerful ghosts hadn’t visited him one Christmas Eve. They show him what he has lost in life and what he still could potentially lose.
Many versions of A Christmas Carol have the same valuable message. Modern versions have switched the protagonist to a wealthy woman, but the story is the same. Like the original movie, she is also visited by three ghosts in one night.
Each main character wakes up on Christmas morning with a new outlook on life after their experience with the ghosts.
As we build our careers, we can become so focused on achieving our next goal that our jobs become our life. As business owners, it’s easy for our business to swallow us whole and become our life: long hours to reach monetary goals.
We can live from one day to the next without realizing that our careers are slowly devouring us. We don’t realize the change until we look back and see what our life was like before. It takes a lot of hard work to be successful.
It’s possible to reach six figures in one year if we have the skillset or offer the right product or service to the right target market.
However, as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future point out in the movies, we need to step back and rethink what we want from life: wealth in money or wealth in experiences and relationships. Some people are rich and happy. Others aren’t rich but they are happy.
If we are visited by the ghost of Christmas future, what would we want that ghost to show us about our future accomplishments? What relationships would we have with friends and family? Like they say, all that glitters is not gold.
What Comes First: Family and Self, or Career and Community
It is difficult for anyone to give up time with their family to serve the greater good. Sometimes, people don’t get to choose. What if they are the one person who can save their family – and the condition is never seeing them again?
Our careers can define who we are and what we must do. In the movie Interstellar, a father of two is the only person with actual flight experience in space. He is chosen for a mission to save humankind. The price is a quick goodbye and never seeing his father or son again. He leaves his daughter when she is a child and is reunited only at her deathbed.
The movie is a reminder that time can slip away on us. In the movie, a poorly made, split-second decision results in the loss of decades.
We lose time just as quickly in real life. The daily drudgery of the 9 to 5 from week to week can drag on forever. In the blink of an eye, a year passes, another year, and then you look at a photo of yourself and your loved ones, and to your shock, you realize you’ve aged.
What do we choose: family or career? From Monday to Friday, most of our day is spent at our job, away from family and friends. We cherish the experiences with the people we see on weeknights and weekends. For business owners, even more of their week is spent with their business instead of family.
We cannot put time on hold or freeze the people we love until we have the time to spend with them again. Children grow up.
How do we balance our careers with our personal lives? A movie like this, which accelerates time, is a strong reminder that we should think about what’s important to us. The average person with an average career spends 94,000 hours in their lifetime at their job.
Are the thousands of hours spent on our career worth it?
Everyone has moments they wish they could redo to vanish mistakes, improve themselves and create better a future. The ability to relive the day or jump forwards or backwards in time can do wonders to change our present lives.
If you had the opportunity to time travel, what would you do for self-improvement? How would you help others? What world would you create for us?
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