As the New Year's celebrations fast approach, and 2016 bids farewell, we should take time to reflect on some timely and relevant lessons from the popular holiday classic "A Christmas Carol".

Like Ebenezer Scrooge, both individuals and entities can become trapped by ghosts of the past that can linger to haunt both the present and future. 

These skeletons rattle in closets to remind us of how past mistakes, in either judgement or motive, can serve to impact and even undermine current and future plans and efforts because of damage already done by prior actions. 

For some reason it can be difficult to convince people that the past can sometimes hang on and seek to return to continue or extend its presence or influence. Sometimes it will even try to take or use another form in an attempt to conceal its identity and deceptive agenda.The goal might actually be to sabotage positive new directions or change.

We must be persuaded that previous as well as current decisions and actions do have consequences for everyone. The legacy we carve out for the future is established or effected by the groundwork laid out in past years that can severely limit options now. 

The key is to develop a sense of discernment that can identify those bleak spirits of leadership that are representative symbols of bad choices that were made and continue to haunt us. We must have the ability to turn away from ghosts of the past trying to entice us to turn back the clock and allow them more opportunity to proceed with the same repetitive patterns of actions that can cause even further negative results and unacceptable outcomes. We must also be able to recognize when they try to offer other agents to bring the same misguided and undesirable message, only in another format.

As we seek to take charge and create a better destiny in our homes, families.and communities. Let us accept the challenge to be separated and released from the hauntings of the past and move ahead with commitment towards a brighter and fresher future. That is ghost busting at its finest.What we choose or reject today will determine the tomorrow we bring. Choose wisely. Happy New Year!