The holidays abound with traditions. It’s the time of year that draws people together and we gather in the familiar. For many, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a part of those traditions, a simple story of a beloved awkward boy and his gang of friends that most of us can relate to. And while Charlie Brown celebrates his 50th Christmas this year, I’m glad to report he’s still a little bit older than I. Charlie also learns a few valuable lessons each year, both business and personal.
There is no script – Despite best intentions of trying to be the disciplined leader of the school Christmas pageant, Charlie’s best efforts do not get everyone on the same page. While Charlie is all business, the cast simply wants to improvise and have a good time. A little of both is needed, but the best laid plans always go awry. As Jay Walker shared recently, “the business plan becomes obsolete once the first customer shows up.” Be flexible, savor the moment, and always move forward.
Believe – Charlie sees something in his beleaguered tree that others do not. It was natural, simple and just in need of “a little love.” Charlie stands by his choice and others begin to believe as well. Belief is a transformative action; benefitting both the giver and receiver. Whether it’s believing in your product or service, believing in yourself or someone who needs a lift, it takes courage and patience.
Focus – Chaos abounds. In business, we are taught to seize opportunity at every chance. In life, friends and family can pull us in every direction. Yet, having the discipline to prioritize and create calm amidst the clutter is often what separates success from stress. Linus draws everyone back together to remind us all what the Christmas season is about. Regardless of your religion or beliefs throughout the year, find some time this season to give calm to yourself (and your friends and family) and reclaim what fuels your passion.