It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Shops and houses are decorated, toy sales have started and Christmas Carols are playing in the stores. Something my family enjoys doing at this time of the year is to watch Christmas themed movies. Watching these got me thinking. Not only are they enjoyable family movies, but there are also lessons to be learned from them – for life but also for business.
You have to have a plan: Home Alone – This is one of my all-time favourite movies. My family loves the slapstick and jokes. But after watching the movie again, I realised that the reason Kevin was successful in saving his property and not being caught by the robbers is because he had a plan. At the start of the movie he didn’t have a plan, and that left him feeling scared and alone, but by the end of the movie Kevin had worked one out, then he successfully implemented it. Take a leaf out of Kevin’s book and make sure you have your business plans up-to-date, it’s also a great time to start thinking about the year ahead.
Past, present and future: A Christmas Story – Who can forget mean Mr. Scrooge? After living a hard, lonely life, wealthy Scrooge is visited by three ghosts and faces the fearful facts about his future. With no close family or friends, Scrooge’s visions and encounters with the Spirits remind him of the person he once was and the person he still can be. Life lesson – “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the past, the present, and the future.” Business lesson – “Don’t forget where you currently are, what you have done to get there and what you need to do to get where you want to go.”
Don’t leave things to the last moment: Jingle All The Way – Who doesn’t remember Arnold Schwarzenegger running around frantically on Christmas Eve trying to get his son the one thing he wants for Christmas, Turbo Man. Often leaving things to the last moment can lead to disappointment, or a huge rush and lots of stress. Know your deadlines and work to them. Break projects and larger pieces of work into smaller tasks and make yourself accountable. Just because something isn’t due for months, it doesn’t mean you can’t begin work on it now.
Do what you love: Elf – If there’s one lesson to be taken away from the film, it’s this – do what you love. Buddy, being the positive elf that he is, loves doing a lot of things and they aren’t the “normal” things most adult men love to do, but you know what? He does them anyway. Buddy makes his own path and finds ways to spend time doing the things he loves to do. We should all follow Buddy’s lead and be honest with ourselves about what we truly love to do. Once we’ve identified our favourite things, it’s time to put that love into action because doing what you love to do is one of the best ways to be positive and present.