Leaving Bah Humbug Behind
I recently sat through A Christmas Carol musical. I have witnessed this Charles Dickens story, in one form or another, nearly every Christmas holiday.
In case you don’t know the tale: The main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is focused on money, money, and money…and not in a generous way. He is paid a visit from three spirits: The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. They basically frighten him into examining his life choices and priorities.
This year, the story landed more personally for me because I’m acknowledging I used to be a bit of a Scrooge.
As a kid, I was possessive with my money. My brothers can attest to that. They once borrowed 1 of the 100 precious pennies from my piggy bank to play with in the public pool….and they lost it! I was beside myself, being left with only 99 pennies! They didn’t seem to understand my dismay.
As a workaholic for much of my career, my main focus was helping the company (wherever I worked) lower costs, increase revenue and margin, and ultimately raise shareholder value … you know … money, money, money. While I succeeded in that, I lost in other ways. I could have applied some of my more admirable strengths, deepened valued relationships with colleagues, and further progressed a higher agenda for how business can support community, to name a few.
Like with the three spirits who visited Mr. Scrooge, I’ve gotten an opportunity in recent years to examine how I’m living and what’s most important to me. Money is no longer a main measure of success. Instead, I focus on how I treat others and my impact on the community. While you don’t have to run your own business to focus on what’s important to you, doing so has allowed me to prioritize relationships. And great relationships can and do, as I’ve learned, result in many forms of success.
As I look towards the end of 2021—a year full of personal scarcity and loss—I’m choosing to leave behind any ‘bah humbug’ (Scrooge’s famous exclamation of displeasure with all that Christmas represents…sacrifice, generosity, love, etc.). I am focusing on what I have to give, and give freely when I can. This is one way I am growing my leadership, positively impacting people around me and experiencing a different kind of gain for myself through giving.
This Week’s Challenge: Think of one thing you want that can help you create a more positive impact with people in your life. Then, identify one thing you are willing to de-emphasize or let go of to help achieve that. Whether or not you make New Year’s Resolutions, set an intention for 2022 to become more grounded in what’s important to you.
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