Learning from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

If your Christmas season isn’t quite so merry as you’d hoped this year, can I offer a few perspectives?

Borrowing from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol - in order to move you beyond your past failures and present difficulties into a bright future, you’re going to have to learn…from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come.

First, let’s learn a little bit from the Ghost of Christmas Past. Is your past full of failure and disappointment? Perhaps the failure was all your doing. Perhaps it came from circumstances well beyond your control. Maybe there was some of both.

No matter. Don’t be defined or chained to your past. If you want to be different, you can be different. It won’t be easy, and for that reason most of us won’t even try. But if you want badly enough for your life to be different in the future, then you have got to start with you. 

Not being chained to your past means there are some things that belong in your past…and not in your present. That may mean people that bring out the worst in you. Or self-destructive habits. Or toxic attitudes. What are those things that you need to leave in the past? 

Next, let’s learn from the Ghost of Christmas Present. Today, it’s all we have. 

The past is a memory, for better or for worse. We can do nothing to change it, though we can learn from it.

The future is notoriously difficult to predict and even harder (impossible!) to control. The only thing we can do for the future is to influence it, for the better or for the worse. 

All we have right now is today. But…we have today! We can act today to influence whatever future is coming our way. 

Do you want better relationships in the future? Then determine what you can do today to influence that future outcome. Do you want a better financial life in the future? Then determine today what you can do to influence that future outcome. 

Don’t burden yourself with trying to fix 20 years’ worth of mistakes in a day. Do what you can do today: Make a phone call. Save money this month. Pay an extra debt payment. Sign up for that course that will help you advance your career. 

Finally, let’s learn from the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come. The future will come at the end of a long string of todays. And that future will be heavily influenced by what we did (or didn’t) do during each of those todays. 

You cannot be tomorrow what you will not be today.

If you want a future of love, health and financial stability, it’s going to be because you lived a long string of todays that were full of decisions that would lead to love, health and financial stability. You may not BE there today, but you must BEGIN heading in that direction today.

Christians celebrate Christmas because of their hope in a very special baby born in a manger. C. S. Lewis said, “The Son of God became man to enable men to become the sons of God.”

Whether or not that’s your belief, you can at least appreciate the immense hope that this faith brings to the life of one who embraces it.

May this be the Christmas that marks the beginning of a new hope in your own life…one marked by learning from your past, embracing the opportunities of your present and influencing the quality of your future.

Merry Christmas.

Offering you Wisdom on Wealth, I’m Byron Moore.

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