In the fourth quarter of yet another banner year, a successful business owner is visited by three spirits. Although profits are up, personal spirits are at an all-time low.  Holiday cheer is in the air, decorations adorn cubicles, but the mood is, well….dour.  The clock strikes midnight and the visitations begin. One by one, the business owner wrestles with a ghost from the past; one from the present, and a foreboding spirit from the future.  Sound familiar?

The ghost from the past reminds you of a simpler time but also of opportunities lost. The feelings of regret mount the further you stroll down memory lane.  The stress from the first meeting is compounded as the ghost from the present arrives early.  Urgent demands constantly clamor for your attention throughout the meeting with this second spirit, leaving the present clouded, murky, and unclear.

Before you know it, you find yourself on the doorstep of your final appointment on this dark, wintry night.  The cold, harsh wind blows as you reach out toward this ominous apparition.  Although you try to grasp this spirit, you find nothing of substance brushing against your extended right hand. That is what is so frightening about this ghost. You stare into the cold, dead eyes of a stranger, and imagine your worst nightmare overtaking your once promising dream.

Maybe that is what is behind your blue mood this holiday season.  You are focusing so much on the short-comings of your past and the unyielding demands of the present that you no longer have a tangible vision for your future.  We’ve all been there; dwelling on past mistakes rather than learning the lesson and moving on.  Or, allowing the tyranny of the ‘urgent‘ to encroach upon and attempt to extinguish that which is truly important.

Take a moment this holiday season; a moment to enjoy the triumphs from your past.  Or provide a well-deserved moment for your staff and thank them for the great job they do, day in and day out.  But most importantly, make the time to get away from the fray. Use this moment to draw from past experiences, to learn from present difficulties, and project where you want your company to be in the future.

Now, take the important step: Write down your vision for the organization.  Then, write down your goals for 2019. You will find this exercise will keep you grounded in your roots and give you a firm grasp on the future making it easier to deal with the demands of today.  Your outlook will turn from blue to bright in no time.

Learn the lesson from these ghosts, make this moment happen and do it soon. After all, you may still have the time to buy Bob Cratchit the prize turkey in the window AND enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Best wishes to you and your family. 

Tom McTee, Super-Genius
On-Hold Concepts, Inc.
Woodstock Media Group

Tom McTee