Life Lessons From Boxing Day
Australia vs India Cricket Test, Boxing Day 2018 at the MCG, Melbourne
Over 75,000 fans were packed into the stadium on a scorcher of a day, with Melbourne turning up the heat for a contest that was expected to be pretty feisty between the No.1 and No.2 teams in the world of cricket.
The Indian team supporters, probably making up more than half the crowd, were screaming “Kohli, Kohli” as the Indian captain, widely acknowledged as the best batsman in the world, walked out to bat. I was one of them. If I was a bucket-list type of person, I’d say I was ticking off one of the items on my list!
Two years later, as I write this blog, I wonder at the significance of the day after Christmas – 26th December, Boxing Day. I know it holds a special place on the calendars of Australia and New Zealand. The craze of the Boxing Day Sale is comparable to the Black Friday frenzy in North America, with retailers slashing prices (even if the prices are not quite as attractive as the ones offered in the northern hemisphere!). It is a major date on the sporting calendar especially with big-ticket cricket matches starting on this day, something that cricket fans look forward to all year.
Some other countries also celebrate this day (especially countries that previously were part of the British empire), sometimes under different names, and with different sporting events on the day.
BOXING DAY ORIGINS
The concept of a Boxing Day holiday began in Great Britain and there are a few theories about how this day came to be known as Boxing Day.
According to the History Channel, the name is derived from an age-old tradition dating back to 1833. Rich masters would give servants Christmas boxes to share with their families on the day after Christmas. Another school of thought believes that this tradition began much earlier when churches would collect gifts and money in boxes for distribution to poor people.
In case you’re wondering where I’m going with this history lesson, please bear with me – I’m not planning on changing careers from coach to history professor any time soon 😉!
I was trying to think of any lessons that we could draw from an occasion like Boxing Day to get more inspired about life as we enter a new year. Following are a few thoughts to contemplate around Boxing Day, not just for this year but for every year as part of the practice of developing a healthy mindset.
BOX UP YOUR DISAPPOINTMENTS
At the end of every year we tend to look back at all the disappointments and failures we might have had and usually, we go off on a self-berating trip, putting ourselves down for not meeting the standards we set.
How about we visualize putting these setbacks into boxes and stacking them away where we don’t keep tripping over them as we move forward? We’ll need some really large boxes for 2020, won’t we 😉? Once we’ve done that, we can view the incoming new year as an opportunity to reset the course of our lives using the experiences we’ve gained in the past year.
GET INTO THE RING
Try using the word ‘box’ to imagine life as your opponent inside a boxing ring. To a large majority of people in the world, 2020 will feel like a year where life won more points and perhaps even landed a few body blows knocking you to the canvas – maybe job losses, relationship failures, health setbacks, financial strife, etc. But the important thing is you are still standing. You may be down, but you are not out. It is time to use your grit and resilience to get up and be ready for another round with life!
Remember the excitement you felt when you opened a box and found a gift that was exactly what you wanted? It sends waves of excitement through the body, doesn’t it? You might feel the dopamine hit for weeks or even months depending on how much the gift means to you.
Then the effect starts to wear off. Often with the arrival of the first scratch, you might stop treating the gift as preciously as you did when it was new. Do you feel this tends to happen with the way we treat every new year too? We might start the year with loads of enthusiasm and resolution-making to change our lives for the better. But then, along comes the first setback and we start to lose focus and interest. A couple more setbacks down the line and we’ve pretty much given up and the year goes on to become like any other year. And so the cycle continues. #differentyearsameshit
What could you do to keep that initial fire of enthusiasm burning so that 12 months from now you can look back at 2021 and feel satisfied that it was one of your better years with considerable progress in your life? Of course, nobody has any control over global pandemics or any other natural/man-made disasters of the magnitude that we were at the mercy of in 2020. However, there are many things that we do have control over and I believe that we owe it to ourselves to work on these factors within our control so that we can have more satisfying and purposeful lives.
If you think you might benefit from a little help and support to make 2021 a special year that you would remember with pride and a sense of achievement on Boxing Day 2021, feel free to reach out to me through my website www.thinklifecoaching.co.nz and who knows, it could be the start of an amazing ride!
My best wishes to you for a truly blessed new year!!!