Here comes the end of year!
At this time of year it gets harder to motivate yourself to really do a great job at work.
You’re dragging your sorry butt to work, cursing the summer heat that’s draining all the life from your body, and you’re just plain tired. You vaguely promise yourself a trip to the beach this weekend to try to rally your spirits although it’s not really looking like that’ll happen given all the Christmas gifts you have to buy and the pre-Christmas catch ups you’re already committed to.
The end-of-year season is hugely different in the southern hemisphere to the northern. And not just because of the weather.
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere
The lead up to Christmas comes with the obligatory end-of-year parties on both sides of the globe alongside the gift buying, the card writing, the menu planning and all the trappings of the season.
In the Northern Hemisphere the long holiday that signifies the end of the school year, happens in August. Everyone takes their longest holiday of the year then and regenerates themselves for the coming year. In the southern hemisphere the days are becoming shorter, light snow dustings start to happen and it all sets off the sparkling Christmas lights so beautifully that you can’t help but enjoy the magic of the season.
By contrast, in the southern hemisphere it’s been almost a year since we had a decent holiday. School teachers will often tell you how difficult it is to maintain children’s motivation in the last term of school when they’re all burnt out and ready to take a holiday – and us adults are no different. Every year we arrive at the finish line of the year sweaty, shaking and ready to collapse!
Us humans need regular rest breaks in order to keep our stamina going… but for some of us it’s been almost a year since our last break.
Plus the hot weather is draining, our energy levels are stretched to the limit. We want sip on cold drinks with our legs dangling in the pool, not close ourselves off in soulless office spaces with flatpacked desks, dealing with overflowing inboxes and the boss’ demands for next year’s planning papers.
But on we push, through our Christmas shopping lists, racing to get everything done. With superhuman effort we eke out the very last of our energy reserves to get through these next couple of weeks like we’re coming up to the end of the race.
So what’s the problem?
That’s why Christmas just feels different in the Southern Hemisphere. You hear Europeans and North Americans languishing in a southern Christmas that it ‘just doesn’t feel like Christmas’. The easy explanation for that is that we’re all in a totally different headspace. We’re not relaxed and settling in to the winter quiet – we’re hyper mobile, extroverted, in the throes of summer.
The problem is that this has become a habit for us. Each year is just like the last. We get through it telling ourselves that we’ll do something different with our lives next year… but do we?
There’s a great quote sometimes credited to Albert Einstein that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Setting your soul goals
What are you going to do next year that breaks this cycle? Will you get to the end of next year and be in exactly the same situation you’re in this now? How will you elevate yourself out of the monotony of the last few years? What difference are you going to make on the planet and to your community?
Those in the Northern Hemisphere wrap themselves up in cosy blankets and plant small seeds of ideas of what to do to make their lives better – but us in the Southern Hemisphere have the evolution advantage at Christmas – we NEED the evolution more. We know we’re pushing ourselves too hard and that something HAS to change. A fire is put under us and we are poised, ready for action.
Who are you going to become in the next 12 months, the next 5 years?
Taking the time to figure this out gives you focus on where you’re going. It elevates you out of that wheel of fortune that is the rat race, that every turning wheel that accelerates the longer you’re in there.
This is your call to use your Christmas break wisely. Spend some time flopped out in the shade contemplating your future. Because I can assure you the time will come and go without your doing so why not use it for growth and happiness?
This is my Christmas wish for you.
Merry Christmas to you and yours this festive season.