THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE
Imagine yourself as an old person. An old, old, old person who is a few breaths away from the end of life. You have lived a good life. A peaceful life. A mostly happy life. You haven’t achieved everything you had hoped for but that is for the young. Perhaps you really had to let go of your dreams because of various circumstances – the economy, you lacked resources, you weren’t born into the right family. Maybe you resented that. Actually, when you look at your dreams, you really had to abandon them. Life has been ok. When you compare your life to what it could have been, it is painful to consider. Thus, it is easier just to blame circumstances, smile at the pictures of your grandchildren, take a few more breaths and then call it a day.
DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY?
As human beings, we love to stay in our comfort zone. Our comfort zone is the most comfortable place we can be, and it is oh-so-comfy. Moses had a comfort zone and when called upon to step into his greatest possible role, a position that would make him famous for the rest of eternity that is still influencing life today, he tried to avoid it. Little did he know that his contributions to humanity would form the basis of Western constitutional law, the end of Black slavery, the basis of three major world religions and much more.
Moses was asked to speak to the King of Egypt but one of his various excuses was that he had “uncircumcised lips” (Exodus 6:12). In other words, he stuttered or had a speech impediment of some kind. Not only this, but he used a double excuse in one sentence, explaining that “the Israelites have not listened to me [in the past], so how will Pharaoh listen to me? I am a man of blocked (uncircumcised) lips”.
Let us segue to your excuses. Where are you blaming your body for stopping you from doing something? Where are you blaming your upbringing, your finances, your past? Here are some of the things I have heard from business coaching clients over the last year; “I don’t have a website so I can’t launch my business”. “I don’t have the funding so I can’t write my book”. “I don’t have the time so I can’t do this reallyincrediblyveryimportant project”.
Do you want to continue through the next 12 months blaming circumstances? Or do you want to step up into power, to take command of your circumstances? This call to action is now urgent – otherwise, how long do you want to wait?
Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the progenitors of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) taught that we can choose to be a victim of our circumstances or be a passive receptacle of nature. We can allow the winds of change to blow us off balance, or we can put a stake in the ground and become a force of nature. One of their most influential students, Anthony Robbins, taught that “if you don’t make decisions about how you are going to live in years to come, then you have already made a decision – to be directed by environments instead of shaping your own destiny”*.
CIRCUMCISE THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE
In A Christmas Carol, Dicken’s elderly miser Ebeneezer Scrooge is taken to see the results of his actions, discovers the disastrous consequences of what will happen if he continues on his current path, and he is inspired to change his life as a result. In the movie The Ghost of Girlfriends Past, Matthew McConaughey’s character is visited by haunting ghosts of ex-girlfriends on the eve of his younger brother’s wedding, and similarly inspired to transform his ways. Ironically, it is only Moses who gets to see a positive version of his future, in a Talmudic story where he visits Rabbi Akiva’s classroom several hundred years later and discovers the massively positive impact of his life’s work**.
It is time to circumcise your ghost of Christmas future. Where are you blaming your circumstances for your not achieving the success you would like? Where are you saying the equivalent of your lips being ‘uncircumcised’, in that you lack resources? The world is a plentiful place! It has been said that if you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, a place to sleep and food in your refrigerator then you are wealthier than 75% of the world’s population.
Go forth and make it a rocking 2014. Circumcise your ghost, work with the resources you’ve got and create HUGE success during the next 12 months!
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*p63, Successful Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Hodder Education: London, 2012), by Mo Shapiro.
** Talmud Menachot 29b.