In Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser of a boss (“Bah! Humbug!”), Dickens created one of fiction’s most enduring characters. In the opening scene, Scrooge scolds, “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding.” But then he takes time to reflect. And for many of us Christmas gives us the opportunity to look back at what we have achieved and what we have yet to achieve.
This reflection time can be so beneficial. It’s a time to put things in proportion, to get the balance back into our lives. We can all take time to examine our own Ghost of Christmas Past. What progress have we made this year? What are the things we wanted to do but haven’t yet? This information will start to shape some of your future outcomes. And now can be a good time to set these aims – what do you really want to happen in your life, and what will getting it do for you?
We can visit the Ghost of Christmas Present and take stock of our ‘here and now’. If we were to have our wishes now, what would be different? What resources do we currently have that will be useful? What extra resources do we need? What do we get from carrying on as we are – is achieving our aims worth the cost, time and effort?
And we can visit our Ghost of Christmas Future. What will it be like when we have achieved our aims? What could stop us, and what help might we need? What is the next thing we have to do, the first step in achieving our aims. And above all, is this in keeping with your sense of self – is it right for you? Just as Ebenezer discovered his old way of being wasn’t what he wanted for his future, so might you. So take the time this Christmas to reflect and ask yourself ‘what do I really want?’
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