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Leadership Thought #237 – How You Approach Halloween May Be Indicative Of How You Approach Life

October 31, 2011

Free Pumpkin Display Stock Photo

Another Halloween has arrived, and I always find it interesting how people approach the day differently.  After some reflection, I’ve realized that how you respond to a holiday like this is a good reflection of how you approach life in general.

The first group of individuals are the “Non-Participants.”  They go to the trouble of behaving like they are not home. It annoys them that the holiday exists at all, and they vehemently decide not to participate.  It is all just a marketing gimmick for someone to make money and/or get free stuff. They keep the porch light off and sometimes hide in a part of the house where they won’t be seen or purposefully stay out during normal trick or treat hours.  Sadly, some even take pleasure in debunking the holiday in front of kids.

The second group of people are the “Passive Compliers.”  They participate and do what they are supposed to do but do so begrudgingly with little or almost no effort.  They feel compelled to celebrate for their kids (or the kids of friends) but don’t really enjoy it.  Costumes and treats are often thrown together at the last minute with little or no thought.  It’s just another burden/responsibility and a box that must be checked in in the calendar of life.  They are happy when the night is over, and they’ve done their duty. When their own kids are grown, they are relieved to no longer participate.

The third group of people are the “It’s About Me” crowd.  They often act like kids themselves. Instead of being home, interacting with children and handing out candy, they dress up and go out to parties and try to relive their youth or some adult version of it.  Everything tends to revolve around them and how they feel about it rather than participating in something solely for someone else’s benefit.  They have a tough time growing up and accepting that roles and circumstances change.

Finally, there is the fourth group of people who are the “Embrace the Moment” crowd.   Instead of seeing Halloween or any other holiday as extra work or expense, they revel in the experience and strive to make it special for their own kids and/or other children.  They circle these dates on the calendar as something to look forward to.  They enjoy decorating and the whole vibe around the celebration.  It becomes a community event where you get to interact with other families and put a smile on the face of kids you don’t even know – all for the price of a small treat.

In life you can decide whether to be an active participant or not.  You can appreciate being part of the community and enjoying a shared experience or instead decide to isolate yourself from others.  You can go about thinking everyone has an agenda or be more open-minded.  You can act like a crank or try and make other people (especially kids) happy.  You can spend your time checking boxes and doing what you think you should be doing or fully embrace the moments and make them special.  You can grow up and act like an adult or hold onto the threads of childhood through childlike behavior.  You can make everything about you or take into consideration the feelings and needs of others.  You can enjoy the passage of time and milestones that occur throughout the year or not.

Happy Halloween!