Christmas Eve. Some of us frantically wrap presents, some visit friends, but for many it is a time to relax and watch that old classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. For those unfortunate enough to not have seen this movie, on the surface it looks like a disastrous family get-together but in fact there are many wise nuggets of information that we can all use in our personal and professional lives. And it is funny to boot! I thought this Christmas I would share some words of wisdom from the legend himself. So what can we learn from Clark Griswold?
Dare to Dream – Did Clark get caught up in his day-to-day existence as a food additive designer? Nope. He had plans, big plans for a fantastic pool in the backyard that all his family could enjoy. What do you want your next big career move to be? What new levels do you envision for your company? As we all know, but forget once we get busy, the only way to get there or anywhere for that matter is to have a plan. So what are your big plans?
Beware of New Fangled Gadgets – Did Clark test out that spray before he put it on his sled? Did he think of what may happen, or was he caught up in the moment? When have you been seduced by a new piece of software or office gadget? Did it deliver in the end, or did it end up in the scrap heap like a burnt-out metal saucer? Change is great, but take your time to look out for improvements or new ideas, and of course run them as a project. It will save you time, lots of money as well as less headaches in the end.
Loyalty is Everything – Everybody has a cousin Eddie in the professional world. That acquaintance you know who always says the wrong thing, sometimes seems to make poor decisions, or lets their dog named Snot trash a living room chasing a squirrel. But who will have your back when things go wrong? Not everyone would kidnap a boss because they thought that is what you wanted. A loyal and good hearted friend can sometimes be hard to find in the business world. Hold on to them and ignore the little annoyances.
Take Time to Enjoy the Journey – Whether it is enjoying the glory of putting up a million lights on a house for decorations, sipping eggnog from a moose mug, or even looking at all the milestones you have achieved in your professional life over the last year, everyone should take time to appreciate the positives. It is easy to get caught up in the nuts and bolts of business life or worried about upcoming deadlines. Take a time out to look back on achievements, such moments are well deserved and needed as food for the soul.
You have worked hard, why not enjoy it!
Just remember the next time you are zoning out watching Clark getting into trouble, or camping out by the TV and you hear Eddy talking and his colourful language about how the toilet was full. There is wisdom everywhere, and most importantly, not to take ourselves too seriously and have a bit of fun!
Words of Wisdom “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a fullblown, four alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny Kaye.” Clark Griswold