Christmas in the UK wouldn’t be complete without Charles Dickens’ classic yarn about Ebenezer Scrooge. I love watching this inspiring movie every year.
Dickens subtitled it “A Ghost Story of Christmas” but perhaps “An Inspiring Story of Transformation” might be a possible alternative? Because the phantasmagorical happenings, involving a ghost in chains and some pretty scary and macabre goings-on, are merely his way of getting our attention and setting the scene for his truly inspiring message about transformation.
His tale, popularly known these days as “Scrooge”, is one of the earliest examples of Transformational Coaching. And it is so very powerfully and emotionally expressed!
The story is straightforward. The very unpleasant businessman Ebenezer Scrooge has lost his way in life, obsessed with money. But he wasn’t always like that. When he was a handsome young man he was engaged to the lovely Belle, but she rejected Scrooge when she realised that he had come to love money more than her. Now the ghost of Jacob Marley his former business partner - whose own riches in life are now replaced by the heavy chains which he has to drag behind him in death - unexpectedly appears to help Scrooge to better understand his situation.Three spirits appear in turn and they reveal to Scrooge his past, his present and his future. And his future isn’t looking at all good.
But Scrooge - or rather Charles Dickens - believes that the future can be altered. It isn’t fixed in a predetermined way. The following lines convey the message of hope:
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!”
And we see that Scrooge realises what he has lost and that his present course of greed is depriving him of the love of family and friends, the joy of being compassionate and charitable, and the happiness of living a meaningful life. He dramatically changes the direction of his life and the lives of those around him for the better. He recovers what he has lost, gaining the admiration of the people of London for the good man whom he becomes. The good man who was always there, inside him. Dickens is conveying a belief that happiness and fulfilment is in our own hands and there is always a choice we can make - and even Ebenezer Scrooge has the power to change his future. Mr. Scrooge isn’t a helpless passenger on the rollercoaster of Fate. He can shape his own destiny. He grabs his chance with both hands, and he goes for it.
Tommy Steele as the transformed Ebenezer Scrooge
So we see that Marley’s Ghost has acted as a Life Coach, albeit technically a dead one. In the tale the Ghost has applied coaching techniques which use visualisation of connecting to the past as well as to the future so that appropriate actions are taken in the present. Scrooge sees the need for change, and the opportunity for change is in front of him. He doesn’t hesitate. He jumps in, he makes the changes, and he never looks back.
If you feel a need for change because staying the same is as scary as Jacob Marley and the three Spirits, or you have a dream that you want to bring into reality, I will be happy to discuss with you how I can be your very own “Ghost” and help you to transform your life. Maybe there is a Scrooge inside all of us? And maybe we all need to share his experience to achieve clarity on where we are and what is possible for us.
We all deserve to have happiness, success and joy in life.
Let’s raise a glass to Ebenezer Scrooge and Charles Dickens!
Seasons Greetings and wishing all the very best for 2018!