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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Spend your holidays wisely

I know you are in a holiday mood and reading serious stuff is the least focus. Let me be brief this week and deliver a relevant and meaningful single message.

Life is short. We won't get to celebrate too many annual holidays. How can we make the next holiday season a more fruitful one? How meaningfully can we spend the holiday season to make our lives better and help others to achieve the same for the long term?

A significant feature in Christmas celebrations is 'giving'. The moment you think of giving or receiving what comes to mind is material gifts you can touch and feel.

While it's a nice thing to do, giving intangibles make more sense and helps people beyond instant happiness you get when you receive or give a material gift. Life doesn't end with a day's celebrations.

Happiness

We need new perspectives, insights, ideas, energy, motivation, time and lots of other intangible things that can't be bought off the shelf. Happiness is not under the Christmas tree but in the hearts and minds of people.

It shouldn't limit itself to traditional holidays or statutory holidays. It can sometimes be found on the most ordinary of Mondays. Sometimes it just blows in like a swallow in December. Sometimes when you want it most you can't have it. And sometimes you're up to your elbows.

Gathering

The holidays do not have to remain rigidly the same, year after year. By opening yourself to change and letting go of traditions that have become too difficult or expensive, you afford yourself an opportunity to shape your holiday experience to reflect your lifestyle and personality and learn something for the future.

It's what holidays are really about - the chance to properly renew friendships and spend long-overdue time finding out what's going on in everyone else's life. So a gathering of friends is always a nice surprise to spring on someone.

A good rule of thumb during the holiday season is to spend half the usual amount of money but twice the usual amount of time with your children.

Make people, not things, your priority. Focus on activities that bring your family together and that draw children's attention to the needs of others. These efforts will help reduce the madness and enhance the memories and meanings of the holidays. The holiday season is typically a time when extended family members spend more time together.

Leaving normal routines, hectic travel and decreased personal space can all lead to conflict with family members you ironically, want to enjoy with.

Offer and receive feedback - exchange ideas - mentor others or be mentored by someone who has something to offer you. There is no better opportunity than the holiday season to interact with people with an open mind. Enjoy doing what you like to do but also find time to try what I have advocated. You will discover new ways of improving your life while helping others with your new insights. This would offer sustainable happiness compared to a gift which offers instant happiness. A good balance between the two may be a good start. Happy holidays - enjoy and be safe.

 

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