One of my all time favorite Christmas stories is the classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, written in 1843. The reason I am so fond of this tale is that I love stories of transformation.
On the seventh anniversary of his death, Ebenezer Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley, appears to Scrooge to warn him to repent. After terrifying visits from the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future, Ebenezer Scrooge finally comes to his senses after nearly being scared to death.
The ghostly visits came because Scrooge had the misfortune of making a decision, at an early age, to serve money as his god. He lost the love of his life when she left him to pursue his fortune; he was a hardened miserable man, miserly; he was selfish and cruel to his fellow man. His view of Christmas and charity was Humbug!
Scrooge remained on the wrong path his entire adult life, at times, going out of his way to take advantage of people and soak up every penny he could find. It is inspiring that even though Scrooge was a despicable human being, he opened his mind and transformed his life into one of charity and goodwill towards man.
I owe my own transformation to similar inspiration, which I will not go into in this article, however, because of my own experiences, it is clear to me that such transformation is possible in both personal and professional life. Here are five lessons I learned from Ebenezer Scrooge to assist you on your own transformation.
Five Lessons Learned from Ebenezer Scrooge
- It is never too late to change the path you are on, take action now! Taking action toward your goals energizes you and builds momentum. Scrooge leapt from his bed and said; “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge immediately went to work on his charitable enterprise, for the rest of his life! A little action every day, over time, produces massive results.
- Dedicate your life to helping others. Everyone has a duty to help his or her fellow man. Plan to give generously of your time, money and resources to a charity with which charity you identify. Give for the joy of giving and for the benefit of others, not for notoriety.
- Celebrate success! Have fun with your newfound lease on life. In the Disney Movie, A Christmas Carol, Scrooge skids down the icy road as he hitches a ride on a carriage. He danced, sang and put on his best clothes to celebrate his epiphany of generosity and gratitude. You too can mirror this practice by celebrating milestones you reach while striving towards your goals.
- Make change a habit. Not only did old Scrooge celebrate Christmas like no other, he made his new attitude toward men and life a daily habit. He applied charity and goodwill to everything he did. He became a mentor, a philanthropist and a good citizen.
- Make gratitude a priority and you will have great joy. Give thanks not only for your blessings but also for your troubles, daily circumstances and challenges. A grateful heart is a joyful heart. If you are grateful for everything in life, you cannot help but be joyful.
I want to be like Ebenezer Scrooge because he had the courage to change. Scrooge realized he should help others; in fact, he dedicated his life to charity. He practiced his Christmas Spirit every day, habitually. He was grateful for his blessings and, most importantly, Scrooge did it with joy and happiness. Ebenezer Scrooge made his new lease life an inspiration to everyone he met and his story inspires others to transform their lives to this day!