The plot:

A romantic comedy about an American family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple. Gil and his fiancée, Inez, are in Paris, having a vacation with family and by chance with friends. Gil is a successful but dissatisfied Hollywood screenwriter, now working on his first novel. Inez and the others are very demeaning both to Gil and the idea of him writing a novel.

While alone walking at night, Gil gets in a car with some friendly strangers. Gil soon discovers he has been transported to the 1920s, an era he admires and idolizes in his to-be-novel. While there, he encounters and interacts with famous literary icons and artists who help him with his novel and his life.

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And here is the lesson to remember from this movie…

In the end he discovers that longing for a “golden past” is a recurring theme of any time period, as some prefer to be nostalgic about a romanticized past rather than accepting the messy present and uncertain future.

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When we read about the lives of the great achievers of the past, we are often impressed with their accomplishments. What we fail to realize is that many of them had their own struggles and daily frustrations to deal with.

Just like us!

The grass always seems to be greener elsewhere.

But is it really?

The challenge at any given time (or era) is to use the resources that are available to us in the best possible way.

And before you start making excuses, try to rembember this quote from Jackson Brown, the writer,

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per daythat were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”
 
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We can increase our efficiency and our effectiveness by becoming better and better at our key tasks. One of the most powerful of all time management techniques is for us to get better at the most important things we do. Our core competencies, our key skill areas, the places where we are absolutely excellent at what we do, are the key determinants of our productivity, our standard of living, and the level of achievement we reach in our field.

Think of all the great achievers for a moment. Albert Einstein apparently couldn’t remember his own phone number. Why ? because it wasn’t important to him. He said that he never bothered to remember things he could find in a reference book. He didn’t want to clutter his mind with non-essential information.

Now think of Céline Dion. Does she know how to cook? Yes, of course she knows how to cook. But cooking is not her greatest talent. Singing is HER GREATEST TALENT. So for the last 30 years, she invested most of her energy on her greatest talent.

Me? I run a small business, and if you ever managed a small business, you know that we always have limited resources compared to big corporations and the public sector. I used to try to do it all, try to know it all and not sleep at all. But not anymore. Why? Because it’s impossible. For the last 10 years or so, I have been working and using mostly my talents. What I don’t like or what I’m not good at, I try to find people who can perform these tasks better than I ever will. The book that really woke me up to this fact is this one;                                                                               

Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to Build Your Strengths and the Strengths of Every Person in Your Organization

I recommend each one of you to read this book and fill up the online questionnaire to get to know your own strengths.

Thinking of yourself now: what is the single skill ( if you developed and focused on it completely) that would have the greatest positive impact on your life?  What is the one skill that determines the speed at which you complete your major tasks and achieve your goals?

Hints ? Usually it is something that you enjoy doing very much and it doesn’t feel to you like it’s a job

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What is the difference between efficient and effective?

Effective: How well YOU do it.
Efficient: Is the best way to do it.