Josh is a forty something average guy. He’s worked pretty hard most of the time and has a good job that he likes most of the time. He is married and has a couple of young children about to enter their teens. They’re both good kids, but he’s worried about his youngest son who just seems to be mixed in with the ‘wrong crowd’ at the moment. He’s got a home mortgage, has a loan to repay for the family car, and is worrying about their decision to send the children to public school rather than private school. His wife works full time as well and enjoys her job, and while their relationship is good, they don’t get to spend a lot of personal time together anymore, other than maybe watching something on the TV and getting to chat during the advertisements. Pretty much Josh hasn’t been thinking about how happy or content he is, but he just feels that something is missing and that maybe he’s in a bit of a rut. Maybe, this is what the mid-life crisis is all about. He can’t put his finger on it, and he starts to question what’s really going on. He doesn’t consider talking about it with anyone, and lately, he just seems to be a bit more on edge, a bit less patient with his family, and wonders where the years have gone. He’s got all the modern ‘toys’ that most of his friends have, the big screen 3D tv, the latest smart phone and tablet, the coffee machine, designer clothes, and now Christmas is approaching, he’s wondering, for himself, his wife and his children… ‘what else’ and ‘what’s next’? What used to be a real time of enjoyment for him, Christmas is now just a headache of what to buy for whom?
The pursuit of a happy, flourishing and prosperous life can sometimes wrongfully end up being the zero sum game of keeping up with the Joneses and buying the next ‘big thing’ that can supposedly change the way we live.
Around Christmas time, as the retail world and the marketing spin hits fever pitch, the pursuit of more can potentially create less real happiness. The pursuit of more can increase the stress associated with higher credit card debt and less cash flow.
Christmas is a time of giving – unfortunately, in the materialistic world that many of us find ourselves living in, instead of a time of giving being the main focus, it becomes clouded by Christmas being a time of buying, a time of spending.
Now, before you think this message is all bah humbug about Christmas and that I’m tapping into my ‘inner-Scrooge’, my intention in writing this post is to take this moment to STOP and instead of just thinking about what you’re going to buy, think about what you’re grateful for.
Intentional Continual Thanksgiving
The Americans celebrate Thanksgiving before Christmas, and there’s a bigger ‘life’ message in the idea of celebrating that which we are thankful and grateful for… and it oughtn’t be celebrated just once a year and then forgotten until the next year.
This is not a message about not buying. It’s a message about the powerfully positive inner contentment that focusing on that which we are grateful for in our lives can bring to each of us. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for, not just the material things that you possess in your life, but on the relationships and the experiences you’ve shared with others throughout your life.
Intentionomics is about the economics of your intentions – the impact of your intentions on yourself and on others. When you have the intention to give with gratitude and to receive with gratitude, it brings an even more special feeling that can often be missed at this special time of year.