Monday, May 4, 2009

Face Your Past As It Was, Your Present As It Is, And Your Future As It Will Be

I often tell my clients that I am the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future all rolled into one person for them. I make them see their past as it was, face their present as it truly is, and given the current course of life, show them the brutal facts of where they are headed to in the future.

Although it's not Christmas time, I wanted to share this story because Spring is the season of change. And I thought "A Christmas Carol" has as much relevance today as it does in the middle of the Winter.

To me, the old story of Charles Dickens isn't about Christmas or the "Greed" of Ebenezer Scrooge, it is a story about "letting life" get in the way of what you want to be become - of who you really are.

In his present life, Scrooge lost his way. He became obsessed with money and ignored everything else in his life - but more than that, he lost his "vision". He had become so focused on satisfying his immediate needs to forgot to focus on what he really wanted from life - he forgot what was most important to him - what he was about.

How many of us has a dream when we were younger - a dream of who we would become or how our life would end up? And how many of us are living that life right now? Or are even on the course to live it?

If you are, that is wonderful. But if not, why not? Why aren't you doing what you always wanted to do with you life?

Are you waiting for "some day"? I've got news for you. . . it never arrives.

Are you hoping that your "Fairy Godmother" is going to come in and change your life automatically for you into what you've always wanted it to be? Again, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Fairy Godmother was killed in Shrek 2.

Stop waiting for tomorrow, or the next day, or something magical to happen to give you a sign to start living your dream. It ain't coming. But, I do have some great news for you. The same news that the Ghost of Marley told Scrooge - it's not too late to change who you are and therefor change who you can become.

Think about it. What would the Ghost of Christmas Past show you? What did you dream about growing up? Where did you see yourself in the Spring of 2009? Where did you see yourself in Spring of 2019 for that matter?

Then look at where you are today - how does this compare to what you dreamed of? Did you give up, or did life just get in the way, as it did with Scrooge? Were you just too naive to think that dreams could come true when you were younger, or are you too hardened now to still believe?

Your life probably doesn't compare to that of Scrooge - forgetting everything that mattered to you, but how much is gone. When was the last time you listened to the voice of your inner child?

And then stop and think. If I don't change the way I think, where will I be in 10, 20, or even 30 years? Who will come to my funeral? Will I be alone at the end? Will I look back and smile at every dream that I fulfilled, or will I die with regret?

These are all hard questions, but ones that you should sit down and ask yourself regularly - even though you may not like the answers. The good news is that if Scrooge could turn around his life just from finding the answers to these questions, imagine what you can do.

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.
William Arthur Ward

1 comment:

  1. JJ,

    This brings to mind the story of my life...

    Everyone, at some point has to face their past. The good, bad & the ugly. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was face my past. When I really sat down & did it, I found out that I really had a screwed up way of thinking. Well, not so much screwed up as just not understanding why I did the things I did or felt the way I did. I figured out I was blaming myself for stuff that happened when I was 10 years old. In order to understand this you really have to understand my history. I've never done this but, here it goes:

    My mother was brutally murdered when I was an infant. Now, I was a baby so this really didn't affect me like you might think. Except that circumstances left me in a real bad spot. I was raised by my grandparents for the first 10 years of my life. You might think this was great that these people were there to take care of me but this only leads to more tragedy. My grandfather was a terrible alcoholic, which I believe was probably caused alot by grief over my mother's death, but that's still no excuse. But things weren't brought to light like they are these days. Not alot of people knew what to do with people like him, just take him to jail & let him sleep it off. My grandmother of course, was miserable with him & took pills to deal with her grief & misery. You didn't talk about things or seek rehab. You just lived it. Everyday.........Until you couldn't live it anymore, so my grandmother took me & left. That very well could've been a happy ending but instead it turned into a terrible tragedy that would forever change my life.

    For the rest of the story, go to