Merry Christmas for all the Successful People

It’s Christmas day, and I’m stealing a moment to myself.

All the prep for Christmas Dinner has been done. I’ve chopped the veg, given and opened some pressies, the girls are getting dressed and Chris is cooking up a storm. I am enjoying I am Kloot, before no doubt the Christmas Tunes come on, when the rest of the family arrive.

This is the first year I’ve spent Christmas in Manchester and I must say it makes me feel differently about home. It really becomes a lot more like home than simply a place one lives and works. Helps to see what is really important, what matters, and what life could look like. And next year, with a baby on the way, well that’s when my wife’s giddy excitement for Christmas makes room for something even more exciting.

As I was having a swig from my Christmas Cider, it gave room for a thought about how Christmas is the great leveler for people. A time for family, normality, humility, letting go of striving and trying to be the big something.

One thing I’m so aware of when I read blogs, tweets, listen to podcasts, watch webinars and read articles about successful entrepreneurs, is the all consuming effort that people go to be a ‘success.’ Everything leads to success. You need to be a big hitter, a winner, wealthy and recognised, and every effort, every focus, every goal points in that direction. And this is validated time and again by society and others as the way to live. Than along comes Christmas. Snow stops people travelling. People tweet less. Family meals take over. And the family holds up a big reminder of what really is important, if the quietness of the snow, allows you the space and time to sit and listen. After all, you never hear people saying on their deathbed, that they wish they’d spent more time at the office.

What I love about Christmas and time with ‘the family’, is that people are related to in exactly the same way as they always have been; regardless as to how the rest of the world views them. Whether you’re Mark Zuckerberg,  co-founder and communication platform creator for half a billion people, Sergey Brin and Larry Page founders of the mighty Google, or running a local business where you’re responsible for people’s livelihoods; there’s still the Christmas Dinner and the time together with the family.

“Mark darling, I don’t care if you’re the Time Magazines Person of the Year; here you do the washing up and you do the glasses first… as I’ve always told you. There’s a sweetheart.’

All the worship, adoration and ‘Yes Yesses’ pauses there. You’re not quite as important, but in loving families, actually you’re often even more important. Important for being you, not for what you’ve achieved.

And I love that. At the right times, family is a place where people can let go of having to be a success, and can instead enjoy being human as well. Whether you’re trying to be a success or you’ve already established yourself as one, with families people can accept that they’re seen in a different, more human light by others. I love this. Of course, it can be frustrating for those who have actually ended up working so hard to be a ‘success’ in order to prove something to others, especially their parents. But chances are if you need it that much, you’re never going to get it.

So if you’re feeling frustrated that you’re family don’t get you, that you don’t get treated this way anywhere else, and that you want to be respected; take a pause to say thank you. Thank you for normality, thank you for space, thank you for being the same old you, no bells, no whistles, just you. And as you receive this gift of humility this Christmas, pray that it’s a gift you’ll be able to hang onto throughout the year. Perhaps it may be a ticket to a greater level of success that’s more than just recognition and financial return. Enjoying who you are and having the emotional capacity and physical space to allow others to enjoy you a little more too.

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas.

  • marijke hoek

    Beautiful thought, Caleb!

  • Caleb Storkey

    Why thank you!