It’s a curious time of year. Christmas, a religious season of anticipation, joy, and gratitude, is more competition than contemplation. The approaching new year brings with it the pressure to do more, do better, do it! As if the expiration date for what matters in our lives is racing forward and the possibilities will end by next December 31. Add to this end of year performance evaluations at work. Was your year enough? Did you measure up? All around us are various measurements. Number of gifts. Number of accomplishments. Number of year-end bonuses. All generating a feeling of how do I compare, and what more needs to be done? Enough is not in the picture.
In a conversation this week, I asked “what if you approached it from a lens of curiosity rather than comparison?” And, as is often the case, I realized the question was as much for me as it was for them.
Curiosity… a strong desire to know or learn something. Rather than get sucked in the holiday frenzy of do more in a prove-it culture where action is rewarded with more doing—what if we got curious and explored it all instead?
We could investigate how we feel buying all the gifts. After all, baby Jesus got three.
We could determine what traditions serve us now, and which to retire.
We could reflect on the joys, growth, and gaps in this year. Soak in the fullness of our life now before we jump into next.
We could search within ourselves and determine what emotions we wanted more of in 2024, rather than the stuff. Delight? Serinity? Awe? Wonder? Enthusiastic? Focused? Grateful? Bold? Jovial? Strong? Tolerant?
We could check on our energy at the end of each workday. Was the depletion worth it? What charged us up? Is it sustainable? What do we want more of, regardless of if it’s on the corporate score card?
We could connect with our relationships. Who do you miss? Who makes you glow? Who can you help? Who can you let go?
We could get curious about ourselves… about what we feel… about why we do what we do… about our beliefs… about out potential… about our fears… about our pain… about our secrets… about our joys… about the baggage we carry… about what we’re ready to release… about what makes our soul sing… about what matters, not compared against the seasonal scorecard, but against the core of who we are and how we want to be.