Last night I watched one of my favorite versions of “A Christmas Carol”. Being raised in the 80’s makes me preferential toward the George C. Scott incarnation of the Dickens’ tale. Since the story is well over a century old, it truly is a Christmas classic. Regardless of which version you prefer, the basic story is the same. Scrooge is given a chance to turn his life around after decades of being a rich but stingy and hard-hearted man. In the night leading up to Christmas, he is visited by three spirits who show him visions of what his life has been and will become. Through this experience, he makes a drastic change in his mindset toward Christmas and his fellow man.
Although the story is well known, I doubt that the experience of Scrooge is one that many have had. A full sensory experience where one’s fundamental flaw is put on full display through the years. An awakening to the realization that a part of one’s personality has kept joy and fulfillment at bay would be heart-wrenching but also transformative. While I doubt that any of us has “Scrooge-level” personality defects to attend to, each of us has kept our best self from shining through at times. Perhaps a look at our past, present and future through the lens of a habit that we know we need to change is exactly the gift that each of us needs.
So take five minutes and choose a habit that you know you should change. For a minute, think about all of the ways that this action has held you back in the past. Put the picture in your mind and see the things that you’ve missed out on or lost. Then take another minute and reflect on how this is affecting you in your present life. Just like with Scrooge, the most powerful is probably the future. We can justify our pasts in a variety of ways. However seeing in your mind’s eye, all of the ways that your future can be impacted by an action may just carry enough weight for change. Since this has a greater possibility for impact, take two minutes with these pictures. Finally write down some notes on the experience. If you were interested in changing, maybe the thoughts that you had about your future will be enough of a catalyst to make it possible. In the end, Ebenezer changed himself. The spirits only helped him along the way.
God bless us everyone!