In reflecting on the self-help industry, as we think about improving our lives, making changes and pursuing new goals, this is an opportune time of the year for each of us to ask ourselves, “What am I looking for? What do I really want in my life? What is truly important to me?” We begin the holiday season with Thanksgiving at the end of November and suddenly we are surrounded by lights, holiday music, Christmas carols, decorations, shopping, parties, family gatherings, baking, and gift giving. It is during this last month of the year that we see signs of Santa, Christmas trees, Hanukkah lights, manger scenes, and major buying sprees. Yet, most realize that beyond all the merchandising and shopping hype, this season is really about gratitude, giving and receiving. All those holiday classics, “A Christmas Carol”, “Miracle on 34thStreet”, “A Christmas Story”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, even the kids’ holiday shows ask us to examine our most basic values…the importance of love, relationships, family, honesty, selflessness, generosity, sacrifice as well as the place of wonder and awe in our lives. So as we end this year and begin another, maybe we should all consider:
- As I seek to grow, do I lose sight of the growth I have already achieved?
- As I look to find greater financial satisfaction, do I nurture the relationships in my life that bring me emotional satisfaction?
- Do I give of my time, energy, and talents to others even as I try to improve my time management, increase my efficiency and improve my talents?
- Am I grateful for what I have or do I only seek what I lack?
- Do I allow myself to feel and embrace simple, awesome beauty, or am I consumed with worry and anxiety about what I am seeking?
- Can I forgive others for being less than what I would like them to be even as I fall short of all I can be?
- Is the power to change within me or contained in a power beyond me? OR is the desire and ability to change both within and beyond, contained in the timeless wisdom of this season of love.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays!