Sunday, 21 December 2014

Happy Holidays - Day 22

Day 22
22 yards (known as a chain)
is the standard distance between the two wickets on a cricket pitch.
Other unusual measurements include a link (100 links = a chain),
A fathom, which is 6 feet (derived from Anglo Saxon faethm meaning an embrace, because
it is roughly the distance from 1 hand to the other if your arms are outstretched) and
a league (3 miles) which is the distance an average person can walk in an hour.

Today's seasonal post is by Christopher Demers. Based in Austin, Texas, Christopher is an influential figure in global HR, happy to share wisdom and insight with interested individuals around the globe. He has worked with Dell, P&G, Home Depot and Apple and is currently a Senior HR Consultant for Travis County, specialising in Talent Management, Organisational Development and Employee Relations. Christopher writes an excellent blog, ChristopherinHR, (as well as producing a weekly Best Blogs list to share others' great posts). You can tell from the below post that Christopher has a way with words (he is also a fine poet and public speaker). He and I first became acquainted on Twitter, his handle is @ChristopherinHR


Happy Holidays

It's that time of year again.

All of us – even Ebenezer Scrooge – manage a bit of a smile when the cold winds first blow and we realize the year is rapidly coming to an end.

"Scrooge Awakens" - illustration from the Diamond Edition of
Dickens' A Christmas Carol in Prose: being a ghost story of Christmas, 1860

Why doesn’t this beautiful feeling last?

Many people will tell you the key is to keep Christmas in your heart all year. A nice idea but this essentially waters down the notion of Christmas. Why not try to keep yourself in your heart all year? It might be easier.

When the holidays arrive feelings that have been muted take over. We become more forgiving, more gracious, more understanding. Is this not our normal self though? Think about the time you enjoy with your family and friends this holiday season: how relaxing it all is when the big feast is over, the presents unwrapped and the stress of holiday planning is a thing of the past. How can we get that good feeling all year?

The true meaning of Christmas is not that we can be happy and peaceful bringing good will to others every December but that we could do this all year if we wanted. 


  • Drop ExpectationsBy now you know the numbers: 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass, and the 10%, well somehow or other we learn to deal with that. Holding expectations of others simply sets us up for failure, since most of the time those expectations are unshared or at least unvalidated. Better to be in the moment and act consistent with your beliefs and perspective and stop assuming others will have similar views. Let people be who they are and go easy on yourself.

  • Take Time. So many of life’s needless conflicts arise because we are too quick to respond or assert ourselves. Feel like you’ve beeb snubbed in a meeting? You lash out at co-workers. Partner not appreciating you? You do silly harmful things to them. Friends taking you for granted? You skip the next happy hour widening the chasm between you. Stop it. Take a time out, and recognize you’re not the center of the universe. Give yourself a breath and see how much better things can be.

Print by print by Sarah Sherman Samuel
  • Acknowledge Others. Part of what resonates with Christmas is our willingness to drop our guard a little and tell others how we feel about them. But why don’t we do this all year? Because its risky. We have to take the first step, and might be rejected. But you might not be rejected too. You might find others happily reciprocating to your action. You might find the peace of satisfying relationships can be experienced all year. Recognizing others as a way of being will help you build stronger and healthier relationships all year.

That Christmas is a special time is without doubt. Yet, a few simple modifications in how you view yourself and others will bring the true meaning of Christmas – peace and joy – to you all year round.

Merry Christmas one and all.

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