Elf On A Shelf Book And Doll (Photo credit: Michael Kappel)
Are we holding on to familiar places, experiences and even our hometown too tightly that we can’t grow as people? The answer, of course, is a solid, set in stone yes and no. I may raise more questions than answers with this post, but reality is that there is no real answer. I am all about growing myself and growing my readers as people. That is the essence of finding your “awesome”. This question is best answered by taking a step back and making sure you take a good self-evaluation and understand yourself, question your motives, and challenge your own status quo.
I love the Chevy Chase classic Christmas movie “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation”. As far back as I can remember, we have watched it multiple times during the Christmas season and usually on a loop in the background on Christmas Day. It simply would not be Christmas without Clark Griswold locking himself in the attic watching old family films. But really, would it? Another great tradition for my family is the Mission Inn Festival of Lights. This is a beautiful display of Christmas Decorations and vendors against the back drop of the historical Mission Inn in Riverside Ca. As I write this, I realize that my family has attended the Festival of lights 2 or 3 times. I am 37 years old. In the past five years, we have attended this event 2 or 3 times (I sincerely can’t remember), and I am willing to emotionally tie my Christmas holiday’s success to attending this event???
In these modern days, with very little worry over our next meal, we are eager to fulfill a different hunger . We seek nostalgic experiences. Marketers love this. Most people within a normal psychological spectrum have a cluster of relatively harmless “hungers”. We didn’t make it to the Fesitval of Lights last year, and we still enjoyed a wonderful holiday. Rest assured, I am locking us in for attendance this year. Two years missing in a row would be a travesty.
Most normal, hardworking and ambitious people however, have 1 or 2 significant weaknesses that go well beyond family holiday traditions. These are emotional ties to something that holds them back from further success.
It may be fear of moving away from a hometown and the memories, thus limiting career advancement. It may be holding too tightly to the past with regard to relationships and marriage such as comparing the new spouse to the previous, causing personal problems that likely ripple through all aspects of life. It could be a holding on to childhood emotional securities such as keeping parents and grandparents too close and not “cleave [ing] to his wife”, as God commands in Genesis 2:24.
It’s likely that most people deal with a bit of this in one form or another. Some may have significant clinical issues well beyond this. That’s another post, another day. I am reaching out to you stuck in the middle. Mediocrity is not as bad as failure, but it is not at all our goal of “awesome”. Are you holding on to things that are holding you back from success? It’s time to reevaluate yourself and your priorities. Let’s get intentional about making a change.
What traditions are absolute deal breakers for you?