Archive for April, 2011

What Might You Find if You Stopped to Look? I see a squirrel in the clouds. Did you even notice their shape or did you focus on the path of the dock?

Do you ever stop and think about what you wrote, what you read, how you acted?  If so, do you do so for more than a moment or two?  

No, I’m not talking about that self-critiquing that we can get into – the “what if’s”, “if only’s”, “if I hadn’t” analysis where we might beat ourselves up.  Many of us (myself included) need to do less of that.  Rather, that moment of stepping back from ourselves to look at ourselves and situations from a different viewpoint. 

To think about what we want, how we feel, what alternatives are out there?   That point where we pause, consider, ponder.  That place where we go to say “I wonder” or “hum, what if” or we play with ideas?

Too often we are busy, busy, busy moving forward.  Got to keep moving or I’ll get passed by.  That’s what we tell ourselves.  
You might have been hearing lately that we should stop and make time for strategic planning activities.   Real strategic planning has been getting short changed in our quest for speed – if you haven’t, take note of this advice now.  If you need to, schedule time on your calendar to stop and do some.  
That being said, I believe we need to stop and make time for even more than that.  We need to stop and reflect.  To stop and ponder.  To give our busy minds downtime to process.  Providing a break in the pressure often leads to insights and creative spurts. 
As I was responding to a blog by Sally Hogshead earlier today I found myself in that observational frame of mind, the one that I move into when I’m pondering something.  An outside observers view.  I realized that it’s a state that I move into more frequently than most people do.  One might say that it is the root of my own blogs.  I don’t write about:
  • 7 insights for marketing success
  • advice for the needy
  • 12 steps to getting attention
  • how I succeeded and you can too
Ok, well maybe I do a bit of the last.  The key question is succeeded in what?  I can, and likely do define success quite differently than you do.
What do I do in my blogs?  I ask you to reflect.  To think.  To ponder and find insights.  I’m successful if I’ve made you think, at least according to my definition of success for our time here together. 
Have you noticed that every blog/article/post I have write has embedded questions?
Sure, I give you some information, sometimes a story, but I ask you to think for yourself, do some analysis, do some reflection.  To draw your own conclusions. 
Why?  Because I’ve come to understand that one facet of my Life’s Work or Life Goal/Purpose is to get people to think more.  To raise their self-awareness.  To help people become more authentic.  But how can you do this if you don’t take the time to stop and pause long enough to think?
Are you allocating your time to the right things?  The things you need – not just want, that have longer term value.  The things that relate to your Life, your Life’s work, what you want out of Life.  The Life that passes you by when you are too busy to notice.  Or, are you rushing along so fast, working working working, that you don’t even know what you want from Life? 
What is it that you want from Life?  Do you know?  I wonder…
At this point, I’m wondering why that commercial with the tag line of “what’s in your wallet” (Captial One maybe?) keeps running through my mind.  I’ve heard that phrase in my head at least four times as I’ve typed this.  Maybe it’s because I’m wondering about what’s in your mind.  So,
  • What is on your mind? 
  • Have you stopped to think and reflect lately? 
  • Have you stopped to think about what you want in Life?
  • What do you really want from your Whole Life, not just your Work Life? 

I wonder what you might find out if you did.

I’d like to ask you to stop with me today.  To look at yourself from a different viewpoint.  To think about what you want and how you feel?  To pause, consider, ponder.  To ask yourself “I wonder” or “hum, what if” and played with ideas instead of just taking action.

In closing, I wanted to share something I saved from my friend Jim Estill’s blog.  I think he got it from a book on Reflection, but don’t quote me on that… 

  • “It was said that Thomas Edison would often take his fishing rod, sit at the end of the pier, cast away, and then just sit there for hours.  However, he would never put any bait on his hook.  He didn’t really want to catch any fish.  What he wanted to do was to sit there uninterrupted, just reflecting on the issues of the day, on his work, or on whatever else came into his mind.  He knew that if he looked as if he were fishing, no one would bother him, so he could reflect uninterrupted.  All he really wanted to do was catch ideas.” 

So now I’m wondering…

  • How do you define success?
  • What do want to do or accomplish in Life?
  • What do you get from these ponderings of mine?  Do they actual provoke your thinking?

Will you share your thoughts?  It doesn’t take much, simply click on the word Comments – down there on the right.  Type in that text box and hit that Submit button.  I’d love to hear from you.

Guiding Principles

- Think Holistically
- Seek the Root Causes
- Respect the Individual
- Demonstrate Accountability
- Collaborate with Clients
- Work with Integrity, Always
- Relate to the Business Strategy
- Ensure Alignment
- Demonstrate Responsibility
- Transfer Skills

Thoughts and Quotes