That’s a picture of me and Santa hanging out in Selfridges (during my year of beard, a couple of years back). We shook hands. He put his arm around me for a picture. Then he hugged me.
Excited doesn’t cover it.
See, I still believe in Santa.
Not that he’s a big fat man who dresses eccentrically and lives with a few dozen little people up at the North Pole (although kids, if you’re reading, that’s totally what it is).
But rather, what he represents.
Gratitude and Joy.
For me, Santa embodies the notion of giving without expectation of receiving.
It’s giving not because it validates you, because you want people to be grateful or even because it feels good, it’s giving because you’re able to. It’s giving because doing so makes a difference. It’s giving because doing otherwise makes the world a little less…colorful.
Generosity of spirit. Generosity of time. Generosity of thought. Generosity of deed. Generosity of love.
Every ounce of it is remarkable.
Joy is the ultimate in letting go.
It’s throwing your arms open and diving into the moment you’re in, bouncing along right with it.
Joy demands that you get out of your own head and your own sense of what you can or can’t do or who you are or aren’t, and slip into the moment, just as it is.
You don’t second-guess what’ll happen. You don’t doubt its value. And you don’t judge it for what it is or isn’t.
Every piece of it is delicious.
On Generosity and Joy…
It’s impossible to experience generosity or joy without accepting uncertainty and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
They’re among the simplest and most compelling experiences life has to offer, perfectly embodied by Santa Claus, but just imagine how hard it would be to experience them if you didn’t believe in yourself—constantly worried about what people thought, not confident enough to open up honestly and not feeling as though you were deserving of such qualities.
Natural confidence is an enabler for these things, and it’s why I love working in this space and learning so much about the true nature of confidence.
And this is perhaps what I love about Santa most of all.
His innate ability to recognise the good in the people—to see their hearts as whole and to see their eyes aglow with possibility.
As role models go, I think he’s pretty damn awesome…