Dan is joined by cohost Raj Lulla to explore the many ways our past experiences shape the present and future through the lens of the classic Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Raj Lulla is a partner and brand strategist at Fruitful. Design and host of the Growing a Fruitful Brand podcast.
Dan Cumberland is your host and founder of The Meaning Movement. He helps entrepreneurs love their lives and businesses again.
You can find shownotes at: themeaningmovement.com/christmascarol
You can also download Dan’s Annual Review Guide at: themeaningmovement.com/Review22
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Software Generated Transcription:
Dan: Raj, welcome to this very special, uh, Christmas edition episode of The Meaning Movement Podcast. How are you doing today?
Raj: Great. Merry Christmas, happy New Year, all that
Dan: I had this on my calendar as, uh, Raj and Dan’s Christmas carols, and my wife said, are you and Raj going Christmas caroling? which I had to disappoint her and say that that was not in the plans for today.
Raj: I would do it. I if I were in Seattle with you, I would do it
Dan: Well, let’s just, you know, uh, just jump right into the topic at hand. Why, why are we here and what does it have to do with Caroline
Raj: well other than my passing resemblance to Indian Santa Claus, um,
Dan: could actually pull it off pretty well.
Raj: Yes, yes. I I think my kids are convinced saying it was brown, but, um, , the real,
Raj: the yeah, the real reason, uh, that I’m here on the Christmas episode is I saw a, a post the other day that talked about how we’ve been reading a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. For too long and, uh, you know, it’s one of my favorite books.
I try to read it every year at Christmas. And then also a Muppet Christmas Carol is like one of my favorite, probably the, my favorite Christmas movie of all time.
And it is one of the most faithful adaptations of the book, believe it or not, even with Muppets in it. And, um, So I was very, I was very interested in this post where this gal said that we’d been reading it wrong because we tend to think of scrooge, like a, the megalomaniac billionaire, so your Musks of the world, your Bezos of the world, and that, uh, you know, we, we see him as just, you know, filthy rich and uncaring towards other.
And while it is true that Scrooge is wealthy, he is, he doesn’t act like the billionaire type that we kind of have in our minds. In fact, he’s very miserly in the story. He, he lives in a cold, dark house by himself. And, and so he, he doesn’t really spend lavishly, in fact, he does quite the opposite. He’s, he’s very mildly, very spin thrift.
And so what the poster suggested was that, uh, Scrooge was actually living. His trauma that he was, uh, poor as a boy, uh, be because of the decisions and actions of his father. And, uh, this is similar to Dicken’s own story. And, uh, and so, um, what he was really doing is he was trying to avoid the same fate of, uh, that, that his family grew up in his, I believe his sister had died, um, you know, because of the conditions and, uh, again, because of her father.
And, uh, and so he was trying to avoid that. But in, in doing so, he became, More or less what he didn’t want. He was alone. He was, he had money, but he didn’t spend it in, you know, to the betterment of, of other people in his life. And, uh, and so then he, he kind of became this, or at least he lived in the same kind of conditions as a wealthy man that he did as a, as a poor man.
So sc screw’s, redemption in a Christmas carol isn’t so much that he went from being a rich person who spent all of his money on him. It’s more that he went from living at his trauma, being a hoarder of money to caring about other people in the same way that he wasn’t cared for as a young man, as a boy.
Um, and so I brought this idea to you because it reminds me of something that you say a lot, which it, it, you ask asked people the. Do you have more control over your past, present, or future? And almost everyone says, present or future, and you make the argument that you actually have the most control over your past. This was the first time I’ve ever heard this. It was when you told it to me, it was helpful to me for to hear you say it. So I’d love if we just started there and,
and talk about what do you mean when you.
Dan: I love it. Such a, such a great setup and I’m so glad that you mentioned the Muppets Christmas Carol. I was gonna ask you which rendition of the Christmas Carol was your favorite? Mine is also the Muppets Christmas Carol. So, uh, shout out. Shout out to the Muppets. Um, we’re on, we’re on. Good, good common ground there.
Um, so. Yeah, let, let me just kind of talk about this, this idea of, of past, present, future. We think of time being linear, flowing in, in that, that order, past, present, future. And usually when I’m kind of talking about this idea, it’s, it’s, it’s getting us thinking about how do we create the future that we want.
And, um, and. and where is the starting point of that conversation? Where do we have the most, uh, ability to, to, to produce change? And my, um, my theory, my, my thesis, I guess you could say is that the past is where we should focus our efforts, at least to start. And the reason being is that, um, as you know, you, you, you know well as someone who studies story and works with story professionally, um, humans are story making machines, meaning making machines.
That means that anytime we encounter facts, we try to find some sort of narrative to weave those facts together. Um, the facts that fit in that. end up being the ones that stick, the ones that don’t fit in that narrative, end up being the ones that, um, drop to the, to the wayside. I think this is, um, and this is kind of a, a, I don’t know, this is a realization I had at 3:00 AM the other night of like, um, you know, , laying awake, wishing I was asleep, and thinking about why, why do we, why do.
Gravitate towards story so much. Why is story so important? And the, the realization I had is that like, what story does for us is it shows us how our brains work naturally. And a story is an author or, or director or writer has done, uh, for us in a very consolidated, concentrated, um, What our brains are always doing, which is picking and choosing the bits and pieces and, um, focusing on them in a certain way to lead us down a path towards some sort of conclusion, hopefully, you know, redemptive, um, in the end.
And so all of that to say, just come full circle back to why you have, why I say the past is where you have so much power and so much ability to make change is. We can’t change the facts, but the facts are not a story. And what we can change about our past is the story that we tell about the facts that have taken place in our lives.
So the better we understand the facts themselves to begin with, and the meaning that we assign. To those facts, the more we can change the way we view ourselves, the way we understand the reality that we, we live in, uh, the place that we are in the world, the things that we’re trying to accomplish. And then it’s really through that lens, through the lens of the past, the story that we tell ourselves about our past through that lens that we, we look into the future to see what’s possible for us based on that.
PO of possibility is how we, uh, decide and choose to act in the present. So that’s where I always, you know, like to say like, we, time doesn’t go past, present, future. It goes past, future, present. And in order to change the present, we should start on the the past to change our future and then change how we live in the present in order to move towards that future.
Raj: That’s, that’s so great. I like how you talked about how, you know we can’t change the facts cuz one of the questions I was gonna ask you is, you know, there’s people who have had things happen to them in the past that they would say, I had absolutely zero control over that. And, and so it’s almost insulting to those people to hear like, oh, you have control over your past, um, but you’re not talking about changing what happened.
You’re talking about changing the story that we tell
Dan: Yes, yes. I have a great, a great, this is just from, like, this is fresh for me and I’m, I’m a big fan of, you know, speak, speak your truth while it’s fresh. Two nights ago I got, I like blew up at my four year old daughter over something stupid and yelled at her and, um, my wife like got in between me and her.
I was like, Dan, this is not. This is not who you are. This is not how we parent. And I had to like, take a breather, walk to the other room, not my finest, one of my worst, honestly. Parenting, parenting moments. And, um, my daughter was, you know, quickly was over it. Um, but I was not over it. Um, you know, partly, partly what happened, but mostly my, my reaction in that moment, and I was.
Beating myself up about it was like really felt really discouraged, really down all evening, and then even had a hard time sleeping. again, reoccurring theme here, Dan. Dan doesn’t sleep well. . Um, but again, at, at like two 3:00 AM thinking about. The events that had happened, and I realized that this thing was happening in my mind that I wasn’t even aware of, that I was telling myself this story, that the event that happened, which was this big blow up at my daughter, was, was a, a part of this trajectory of, of, uh, of story of, of me being a bad dad or me being a dad who has, has anger problems or me, you know, a a, a dad that yells too much or whatever it might be, and.
I realized that like I kind of, at that moment, I’m at a fork in the road where that could be the story that I tell about that event. Or I, I could tell the story of like that I’m a good dad and I made a mistake and learned from that mistake and got better because of that event. Um, and like, and it’s, I know that sounds like simple, like saying it like this, but for me it.
Like, it was just so, almost like an out-of-body experience to in the moment realize like, I’m at this fork in the road and I can choose what I do with the event that just happened to me. And the same is true to, to more traumatic, more violent, more, um, you know, damaging things in our past. Like we can choose.
To be a victim, to say that this was the start of our deterioration into, you know, whatever, um, level of, of, uh, powerlessness, um, that resulted from it. Or we can choose to say, this is a moment in our story that was really dark at which we began to take. Back some of that power and choose to not be defined by the events that took place.
Um, and so I’m not here to minimize trauma, and I think capital T trauma is definitely something that if you, if anyone listening, uh, watching has experience, like you should get professional help with that. But also know that because it happened doesn’t mean. That it, it doesn’t mean to d need to define who you are.
And that by engaging with him, especially with if it’s capital T trauma with a therapist, you can begin to, um, to find new meaning in those really hard, really scary, really, um, damaging moments.
Raj: Yeah. Yeah. You. I’ve worked with a lot of nonprofits and some that focus on abuse and you know, even human trafficking. And one of the things that they do pretty much in common across the board is. They shift from victim language to survivor language, uh, those types of words because, um, you know, the victim language keeps people defined by the trauma.
But survivor language keeps people defined by their strength and their characteristics that keep them going every day.
Um, what’s interesting though, that kind of popped to mind as you were saying that, is that sometimes it’s also important to. Tell the story accurately. I think about how alcoholics need to say, I’m an alcoholic.
In order to have, in order to move forward, because the story that they have been telling is that it ha that it’s not a problem that, you know, I can quit whenever I want to. That, uh, you know, that it, it was just that occasion and that, um, you know, circumstance, whatever. And, and if it weren’t for those things that then I wouldn’t.
You know, I don’t really have a problem. It’s just a series of events strung together and, and admitting that you have a problem is actually a different way of telling the story, of saying, look, this is, for whatever reason, genetic, whatever, uh, has, is part of my identity or that I have to deal with. And it doesn’t have to be the only thing about me.
It doesn’t have to be the even the most important thing about me, but it is something that I have to tell that story accurate.
to have the future that I want to make the changes right now that I need to. Cuz if I don’t, then I am too, uh, open to, or I’m too vulnerable to, uh, to falling back into
Dan: yeah, yeah. And repeating, repeating the pattern, just like Scrooge in the, the, uh, you know, the Christmas.
Raj: Yeah. So yeah, let’s talk about that. He’s got so many opportunities throughout the book. Um, if, if you’ve never read it, um, you know, for anybody who’s listening, I highly recommend. The movies are great, but it’s also the language in the, in the book is so great. If you’re not much of a reader, I highly recommend, uh, Patrick Stewart’s.
Uh, Audiobook version of it. He’s
such a great performer and, uh, he even will do some sound effects throughout, and it’s, it’s
Dan: that out. That sounds really fun.
Raj: especially if you’re nerdy enough to have grown up like on Star Trek, like me.
So, um, , it just, just a lot of like n Nerd Pathways converging there. Um, So, but, uh, but yeah, I highly recommend, uh, listening to it, reading it because it’s more than just the moments that you see with the ghosts in the book.
You, you have, uh, or in the movies, you, you have these moments where, You know, Scrooge has an opportunity for love, for, uh, allowing people into his heart. I’m so thankful that, uh, Disney is restoring the version of the movie where, uh, he, he actually does have a love interest and there’s a really moving song that,
uh, you know, that happens between them.
And they took it out because they thought it made, made kids cry too much. And it does. But it’s important. It’s one of those life things that needs to happen. and, but he’s got all these moments where he, he can turn another direction and, and he, he doesn’t, and that can lead to, I think in, in his mind, kind of a perception sort of, that he’s never really been loved, that he never really had the opportunity for a different future.
And that’s where the ghosts come in. Uh, uh, so let’s talk about, okay. That Ghost of Christmas passed and, and the things that the ghost shows him. Um, why do you. Yeah. Like why do you think that that is so powerful? Why, what do you think about any, maybe even any of the particular moments that the ghost shows Scrooge that, that kind of stand out to you as
Dan: Yeah, it’s such a good question. I, I wish that I had, you know, before recording, before this recording, like revisited. Cause it’s been a, a year or two since I’ve, I’ve watched, um, I, I’ve, I’ve watched or, or read or read the book broadly what I want to say about. . Um, what’s happening in those moments is, is that very healthy process that we’re talking about here, of like looking back and saying what are the events?
And, um, what stands out to me of the story is the way that Scrooge, I feel like was able to confront for the first time some of the feeling. Of like for himself, for the, for the, the, the, um, who he was in those moments, um, and parts of himself that he hadn’t, um, allowed himself to feel, you know, the, the, the grief, the loss, all of those, all of those ideas.
Um, and that, that’s a big part of what was happening in those moments in the story. But since it’s fresh, more fresh with you, what, tell, tell me more. What, what you saw in those, um, in those.
Raj: Yeah. When the ghost of Christmas pass takes Scrooge into the past, it’s interesting because most of what the ghost shows, Scrooge is actually joyful moments. You know, it’s, um, you know, being at school and, uh, and having a lot of promise. And then, you know, again, having a love interest in his life. And then also, um, you know, fuzzy Wiggs party or Fozy Wigg if you
are a Muppet, uh, truist as I am. Um, and, and I think that that’s really powerful because it’s such a juxtaposition. From who Scrooge has become. And I think anybody who’s ever made any major changes in their life, you have to have those moments where you realize that, for one, it wasn’t always this way,
and for another, it doesn’t always have to be this way.
I know for me, like my, my personal journey with, with health, there are times where it’s like, look, it doesn’t matter if I eat cookies or if I exercise, it’s just gonna be a struggle my whole life. So, uh, so cookies, it is, you know, because it’s like, cookies feel good exercise doesn’t, um, exercise does feel good.
And, and again, that’s kind of even a rewriting things too. It’s like, um, you know that the exercise doesn’t feel good and it’s like, well actually. A heck of a lot of endorphins from the exercise. Uh, but you also get some muscle ache and you know, so it’s, but with cookies, you can get a tummy ache. So it’s , you have those trade offs, but you,
you pick what part of the story to tell yourself.
Yeah. Um, you know, so he’s got those moments and, and he gets to see himself having joy in those moments. And I th uh, it seems to me that, that in the, in the world that he lives, you know, it’s like his business partner has died and that, that’s like one of the first words of the book. You know, Marley was
Dan: Marley was dead. I
Raj: Yeah. and, and so he lives in the dark. He no longer has a business partner. It’s the streets of London and coal dust and you know, kind of all the other, it is very bleak at the beginning of the story and it’s easy to think. It’s always been that. But it, it actually wasn’t, he had teachers who cared about him.
He had a great boss who he thought was sort of foolishly generous, but uh, as it turns out, was actually kind of more of a model for what he should be. Uh, he had a love interest who cared about him, sort of despite his, um, trauma that he was bringing into the relationship. She wanted to get married. She was on board, and, and he kept putting it off.
He, you know, of, uh, uh, we’ll wait until we have more money. Wait until we have more. And, and it was all from a very noble place in a way. He didn’t want to raise a family the way that his father had raised a family. And, and he didn’t want to like bring a wife and children into what he kind of saw as his disaster, his mess.
And so it was from an honorable place. It just, he just didn’t realize, he didn’t pay attention to the fact that he would be stronger with her. He
would. He would make better decisions with her and that she was along for the ride. That she wasn’t tricked into any of this. Like she was, you know, she was strong and independent, and we know that because she walked away from the relationship. And so it’s not, it’s not like. , you know, just a, a victim of the times, the way that, you know, people had to get married for economic survival back then. She walked away from her, probably her best shot at economic survival because, uh, she valued herself. As much as Scrooge should have valued himself. So I, that, that’s what I see in those moments is that, um, you know, we tend to look back on our past a lot of times with shame
and we go, Ugh, I shouldn’t have been that way.
And so we, we kinda see all those moments. And, and I will say too, the ghost. Shows him in each of those moments, they’re all kind of tinged with this sadness. They’re not, they’re mostly joyful, but they’re kind of tinged with this. Um, you know, he was happy at school, but then there was also that time that his sister asked him to come home because dad is different now.
And, and he didn’t believe her kind of maybe, perhaps rightly. Um, and then that was the last time you saw her, I think. And. You know, his, his fiance left him and, uh, you know, Fezziwig, you know, was no longer a part of his, his life. And, you know, he kind of missed out on these opportunities. And so he saw how they were tinge with sadness, but instead of looking back on them with shame, I think the real lesson he took away was he was capable of joy.
That he was capable of love, and that part of him is still.
Dan: And I think, and also like seeing that sadness as an invitation to, rather than say, well, that was that, but you know, making my money and being, you know, Scrooge, Scrooge as we know him is more important and better. Like to feel that sadness of, oh, that was really good and I miss that and that was really beautiful and joyful and all of those things.
And there is loss. Like the choice that he’s made to put that aside and then become who he is, you know, today. And by engaging, I think in that loss then is the invitation for him to then reengage in his future and maybe bring some of that past into his future. You know, the future that he’s making.
Raj: Yeah. And you know, you and I have talked a lot. It’s been a hard year, uh, for us, uh, for me, uh, personally and
Dan: And for me, I want, and I wanted to talk about this cause I feel like this is so relevant to like where you and I both have been with our businesses and many other entrepreneurs, right? Like 20 20, 20 21, 20 22 people listening are like, yeah, it has been a dumpster fire for years now help.
Raj: Yes. Yeah. Um, you know, you and I last week, we, we kind of went through my entire year, uh, personally, professionally, um, but focusing mostly on work. And, uh, at the end of it I was feeling this kind of grief. And, uh, I, it was interesting cuz I’ve been in counseling for, you know, several years now and this is not even my first go in counseling.
And so it was a little disheartening cuz it was like, I thought I had dealt with.
And, um, and so then you and I unpacked it a little bit and, um, you know, I found this like false correlation that I had created about something that had happened, and then the things that happened after that, it seemed causal. You know, it seemed like this happened. And so everything happened a afterwards as, as a result of this. But what really it was, was that this thing happened. These other things were going to happen anyway. And because I made a decision to have, you know, sort of short, temporary pain in that moment, and it was painful.
It was really painful. Um, it, it. Prevented a lot of other pain that hap that could have happened for the rest of the year at a grander scale, uh, more advanced and, and longer term. And so, uh, it doesn’t change the fact that a very, very hard, very hurtful thing happened this year. Um, but what it did do is it allowed me to kind of take it out, examine it, and, and say, wow.
I didn’t even realize that, like you said, how I was thinking about it, that I had this weird connection in my brain that was not wired correct. It was objectively. It was the right thing to do, even though it was hard.
uh, and then I had to make these decisions going forward. And, and they weren’t causal.
They, they were, uh, you know, corollary. That means they, you know, they happened and they all happened, but they, it didn’t happen because of that thing. And, um, and that was, uh, It was, it was hard, but it was powerful to be able to look back at that and, and say, I don’t have to carry that anymore. I don’t have to feel like, I don’t have to worry if I made the right decision because I actually, there’s actually a lot of data to say I, I made the right decision,
Dan: I, I love hearing that cause I, and I’ve been curious where you’ve gone with, with that since we did that exercise And that exercise for anyone listening is, is the, the first well, is two things I wanna, wanna invite people to. Um, if you’re listening in real time, well actually anytime, just go to the meeting movement.com/uh, annual.
Review, just do annual, I’ll put a dash in there, annual dash review, and you can download an exercise where it walks you through this, this process, which Raj, I did, which also is a part of the first movement of the, um, the accelerator that, um, I’m launching at the beginning of, of 2023, where we’re getting to do this kind of work together.
Because again, one of my theories, my thesis in, in, in life is that, Is human. And as humans in business and all the things that happen, like we still carry them, they reside in us, they take space, uh uh, they take up space in us. And if we don’t acknowledge them, work with them, find the story, um, and maybe even rewrite some of that story, then they have control and power over us.
And so part of the process, especially in in the Accelerator with what I’m doing with this group of people, Doing exactly that. Like what are the, what are these moments, what are these moments that are, you know, both good, both bad, and what are they, you know, what’s the story that that, that we’re telling about them?
And I love from what you shared there is, it sounds like there was this moment that was really painful and you, you’d recognized it, the many, much of the pain in it. But it sounds like through that reflection piece came to see like, okay, there actually is something to be proud of here, that you made a hard.
And um, and it was a good call. Um, and yes, it was painful. Yes, it was. Um, it hurt, but, um, but it was the right, the right decision. And, um, I hope in that you feel some pride, you know, welling up in you that like, it’s not just like, yeah, things were hard and that was, you know, you know, a really defeating year, but also like, yeah, actually you overcame a lot and like, there’s a great story that’s emerging here.
Raj: and, and a lot of it was to protect other people too, you know, and, uh, and so, It’s, it’s an opportunity to see that even though sometimes we have to make choices or things happen to us that we don’t have control over, or, you know, don’t, don’t like that I was able to identify that I was actually very much living in alignment with my values.
And sometimes your values conflict, sometimes, you know, the thing that you want to do to, you know, restore a relationship or, you know, uh, keep things moving forward. It’s just not possible because you need to protect other people or even sometimes that you just as simply as you need to be able to continue to provide for your family and you have to leave a certain situation or end a certain situation because, uh, because there is a higher value that you have to live up to.
And that is not something to carry shame into. It’s something you, you can be proud of and, and know that you’re living up to the, the person that you want to be. And honestly, even if you make the wrong decision. Um, you know, just having a moment to say, okay, now I know what I don’t want to do.
And that’s powerful too, because none of us get to do this twice, you know, , like, it’s not like we sh uh, the should have known better thing.
I think that’s, that’s a thing that I have struggled with my entire life and I’m now figuring out that there is no such thing that, that for the most part, every experience that you are going. You’re experiencing for the first time, you’ve never experienced anything like it, and you can only draw on things that are similar in your past to go, okay, I think this is what I want to do here.
But the more and higher stakes situations that you find yourself in, sometimes you’re gonna get it right and you go, yes, that was in in accordance to my values, but sometimes you’re gonna get it wrong and say, okay, I never want to do it this way ever again.
And that is gonna help make you who you want to.
Dan: Yes. I love that. Yeah. And some, some, some of us just have to learn. I don’t know. This is probably a story I need to rewrite for myself, even, even as I’m saying it, like I feel like some speaking for myself. Some of us just have to learn the hard way. I feel like there’s so many things that I’m like, yeah, I couldn’t have known better because I have to, I, I, I, even if I had known better, like even if I knew in theory what I know now, if I didn’t know it in lived.
There’s no way that I would’ve made a different choice.
Raj: You know, I, I would maybe even push that a little further and say, Most of us, or maybe even all of us, have to learn the hard way. If you think about stories, the stories that we, we all really find interesting, um, you know, I’ll go back to to Star Trek here.
I don’t even know why, but, um, you know, the, the JJ Abrams, star Treks movies that came out in the, in, you know, the late two thousands. There, there’s this kind of recurring motif that JJ Abrams does with Captain Kirk where he has him end up hanging off of a cliff or a bulkhead or something like that at many times
during the, the movie. And one of the things that was great about his version of these movies was that Captain Kirk is not invc.
That he, uh, that he frequently finds himself in life and death situations often because of his own idiocy and . And frankly, his story is more exciting. His story is far more exciting than, like, we don’t make movies about the cadet whose dad was in Star Fleet and showed in mc the exact path and he found the right branch of science to study the exact first time.
Met a nice girl while at the academy and they settled down and had kids and like, nobody makes that movie because it’s, it’s boring. Uh, and also, frankly, unrelatable because who actually gets all of those things right on the first try? And, uh, you know, and so it’s like, yeah, I would, I would make the argument that anybody who’s living a story that’s halfway.
Is making a lot of mistakes because they’re experiencing new situations that they’ve never experienced before. And that means they’re growing. That means they’re changing, that they are expanding their horizons into things that are more and better and interesting. And, uh, you know, instead of just living out a playbook that was written for them by, you know, being like generationally wealthy or
whatever, like that, that just set them up for a very successful but boring.
Dan: yes. I love that. I love that. Well, and maybe even just to kind of bring this full circle all the way back to. Um, I’m gonna say Uncle Scrooge. It’s not Uncle Scrooge, but Scrooge, um,
Raj: You’re thinking that because of Disney, like
Dan: I know exactly. And I imagine that’s where Scrooge Uncle Scrooge came from,
Raj: yeah. Oh, it is? Yeah. Screech McDuck.
Dan: story and then he stuck.
But coming back to Scrooge, uncle or otherwise, um, I don’t know, just something that as, as your time that kind of jumped out to me is like that. Another reason that I feel like this conversation and, and really is spending more time with, with the Christmas Carol story, um, is so fitting for the meaning movement is how much Scrooge’s personal stuff.
Was, uh, affecting his business. Like the, the story starts as a business, a story about a, a businessman, right? Um, and then it’s like, goes into his personal stuff. But, um, but like, how, how a a again, I just, I just am endlessly fascinated by how much culture, uh, tries to separate and, you know, business is business and personal is personal.
And I’m always like, it’s always personal. , it’s always, you know, for me it’s also always business, but, But I don’t know. I feel like there’s some, there’s more there that, that we need to speak to.
Raj: Well, so I think that takes us to the ghost of Christmas present. I know you like to go past, future, present, but the ghost of Christmas present, uh, is again, especially in the, the Muppet version, takes him to Bob Cratch it’s house, takes him to his nephew’s house, people that you know, his nephew you see at his business earlier in the movie. and then, uh, and he kind of blows off his nephew and his invitation to Christmas party and tells him that people who celebrate Christmas are foolish. And, uh, and then he gets to see what happens when he’s not there. And he’s the butt of a party joke. And, you know, his nephew kind of reconciles the situation, tries to not, you know, have his uncle too terribly, Dr.
Uh, you know, dragged through the mud. But at the same time, he also recognizes. I mean, what you’re saying is true and he can’t even really defend him. And, um, and, and then he sees Bob Crotchet and he sees tiny Tims, uh, you know, suffering. And, uh, that’s, that’s apparently preventable with the right amount of treatment. And, uh, you know, and so I, I think the kind of one thing inside that is that in work we can get. Tripped up in, in like our own story and not realize what’s happening with people around us and you know, whether that be our coworkers, our clients, whatever. Whereas I, I would argue that a lot of those times, if we put ourselves in the shoes of people who are on the other side of the table for whatever reason,
Then, uh, we’d probably either make better decisions or the decisions that we make, we’d make more compassionately, more aligned with our values, whatever it be that we would, you know, we, it just gives us perspective.
That’s really kind of what it comes down to is that goes to Christmas present was about perspective. It didn’t show Scrooge his life. Now Scrooge knows what his life is now. It showed Scrooge what everybody else’s life, who he touches
Dan: So good, so good. And that’s, that’s where the meaning comes from, right? That’s, that’s why like, that’s why we do this. That’s why we’re, you know, mission-driven entrepreneurs. We’re, we’re not, we’re not in it just to sit and count our counter coins like, uh, like, like scrooge and balance our ledgers, but to like impact people.
And so, um, Yeah. I, I feel like that’s the, that’s the perfect, the perfect place to, to take, to take, even though I, I do feel like Dickens should have put the present at the end, but I’ll, I’ll, you know,
Raj: Well, he does. That’s a funny thing. He, he come, he comes back to it because then Scrooge sees the ghost of Christmas future, and he does that thing where he, he, it’s like, let’s extrapolate from where we are now. To,
to Where this will go if you don’t change anything. And so, um, and I, I think I could be wrong, but I think we actually spend possibly the shortest amount of time with the ghost of Christmas present.
I could be wrong, I’d have to like look through Page Council the book, but we definitely spent a long time with Ghost of Christmas passed. We sent a, spent a fair amount of time with the ghost of Christmas future.
And, and I do think it’s probably a shorter amount of time with,
With ghosts of Christmas present.
And, but, but part of the reason for that is that when he is done, uh, or when he’s done with the, seeing all three ghosts, he wakes up again in the present and he makes changes. So I would argue that Dickens, you know, was
following your model for the
Dan: my protocol well enough, uh, which is, which is great. And I think that’s a perfect illustration of it. You change how you think about your past. You change the story that, the way that you’re interpreting those, those events, which then change what you view as even possible for you in the future.
And based on that future possibilities, how you then, Choose to act in the present and which is just like what Scrooge did, um, here, which is just a beautiful, uh, maybe a beautiful way to, to end this and, and wrap this up. I, I ca I can’t help, but, you know, again, extended invitation to folks who are listening.
Um, would love for you to have my, um, there’s two diff, two different exercises related to, um, doing an annual review. It’s, um, timely at the end of the year. But also if you wanna do this kind of work with a group of other people, um, reach out to me about the accelerator. It’s, uh, tentatively called, uh, bootstrap Without Burnout, though Raj and I are gonna keep work shopping that, uh, that title, um, in the future.
Um, and would love to have you, uh, a part of that. Um, early in, um, 2023, Raj has been, So fun, and I feel like we’re just scratching the surface of, uh, uh, of this, this great story. I can’t, I haven’t watched the Muppets version with my kids. I feel like it’s maybe been a little bit scary. Might be a little bit scary for, it’s a kind of a scary story if you’re not ready for it.
Um, but I, I
Raj: the ghost of Christmas future. Yeah.
In, in that one can be a little scary. Um, may, I will say Dickens in the, uh, in the actual book, uh, he, he says that he doesn’t mean to put anyone in bad humor. , like he, he doesn’t mean to be a, uh, even though it’s a ghost story, it’s not supposed to be a scary ghost story.
There are some, you know, kind of, kind of tough scenes, but I bet your older kids would, would deal
Dan: Yeah. You probably, they probably would. Well, this has been fun, Raj. Merry, Merry Christmas to, to, uh, to, to you and, and to, uh, to the listeners. And, uh, we’ll cut you on the other side.Raj: Likewise. Merry Christmas, Dan.