Lorna Harper: What can Buddy the Elf teach us about our results?  

Lorna Harper, Vice President of Transformation at American Express Global Business Travel

Do we all experience the same results in life?  Our results vary dramatically, yet other than our genes and the physical body we are born into we are equal; at least at birth.  Our environment then provides us with experiences and circumstances that are completely unique to us. This programming (also known as a paradigm) shapes the way we think, our habits, what we do and don’t do, our perception of who we are and what we are capable of.  All of this can lead us to achieve results we want and results we could do without.

The power of our programming

For anyone who loves Christmas movies you will know that Buddy the Elf is human.  One Christmas Eve as a baby in an orphanage, Buddy crawls into Santa’s sack and is inadvertently taken to the North Pole where he is adopted by Pappa Elf and raised as an Elf.  He lives with the other Elves in the North Pole, is educated in Elf school and becomes a Toy Maker. He learns the Elf code, eats what Elves eat and behaves how Elves behave. He is so conditioned as an Elf that as he grows, he misses all the signs that he is human.  Even though, by human standards his toy production rate is astonishing, he is the slowest Toy Maker in Santa’s workshop, three times the height of everyone he knows, doesn’t notice that he outgrew his bed at the age of 5 or think it strange that he must flick water onto his body because the shower head is the height of his chest.  

This is the power of paradigms. Our programming places us in an enclosure we cannot see and this controls our behaviour and actions.  

Buddy is like many of us who have an opinion of who we are, how we see our life, the results we expect and the limitations we place on ourselves.  

Are you allowing your experiences and conditioning to have the final say over what you can achieve?

Those who had active parents or were involved in sports from a young age are more likely to be active in adult life.  Our early years also impact the type and amount of food we choose to eat. Buddy lives by the Elf nutritional guide, “We Elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”  What food, drink and exercise habits did you acquire from the environment you were born into? What image do you hold of yourself in relation to your health, weight, fitness and diet?

The opinion you have of yourself comes from your programming and it runs as deep as the sea of Swirly-twirly gumdrops.  Over the years, we reinforce our programming with pictures in our mind, our inner voice (self-talk) and our outer voice (the stories we tell others about our self);

  • I’m a yo-yo dieter
  • I’ve always hated the gym
  • I’m overweight
  • I’m a sweet tooth
  • I can’t cook
  • I only eat candy cane

Buddy would say “I eat sugar.”  This is a fact for him. Create new facts for yourself and change your results;

  • I love the endorphins I get from going to the gym
  • I am someone who walks for an hour every day
  • I love the energy I get from eating fresh food
  • I maintain a pretty consistent weight
  • I can’t go anywhere without a bottle of water

Choose the results you want to achieve and turn them into a statement of certainty.  Write them down as if they have already happened and read them daily, aiming to get emotionally connected and excited by the images they create in your mind.  These pictures will become the new belief you hold about yourself; your new programming. New results will come naturally as you start to move in this direction.    

As you do this, don’t forget that your programming made you the amazing person you already are.  Look for the habits that are not serving you and explore your paradigms to make changes, but don’t forget to focus on what’s already incredible about you and the unique experiences that made you who you are.  

You’re an individual with your own special magic, much like the humans in Central Park who saved Christmas by singing Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Finally, if all this is a bit heavy, simply remember the Elf Code:

1.Treat every day like Christmas

2. There’s room for everyone on the nice list

3.The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear

Happy Christmas beautiful people.  If I brought a smile to even one person, I am very thankful.  


SharpLifeLorna Harper: What can Buddy the Elf teach us about our results?  

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