I had the opportunity to speak with a group of about 50 people over the weekend. Some were business owners, doctors, lawyers, salespeople, teachers, mothers and fathers, all walks of life. One segment of our discussion centered around the value of taking time out to ponder, taking time out to just think about things in our lives.
For many of us the world moves pretty fast. We have a hard time finding those quiet moments to just think things through. We move from task to task, problem to problem, opportunity to opportunity. We get things handled. There is however tremendous value in locking yourself in your office, taking a walk or finding a place with a view where you can just let you mind wander. A notepad isn’t a bad thing to include.
It is in moments like this that I’ve found the most impact-full inspiration and insights. I started finding moments in these pondering rituals when I was just a teenager. Near our home in Southern California there were a lot of small hills one could walk or jog to the top of within a half an hour. At the top I would find a comfortable place to sit for an hour or two and just let my mind sift through the events of my life while enjoying the view of the valleys below. Often I would come to a resolution on a course of action for something I needed to do. It was one of the most enriching practices I ever engaged in.
Today, the hills around where I live are not so small but I find the same results when I spend time in my study, go for a walk in the neighborhood or enjoy staring at the flames in our backyard fire pit. Its not complicated. I just relax and think. Our minds have such power when we engage them outside of the rushed timetables of our lives.
I enjoyed a marvelous weekend of continuing education. Jim Key, the 2003 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, Eric Culverson, comedian and speaker, as well as Patricia Townsend, speaker and National Speakers Association member all presented a the Toastmaster District 15 Fall Conference. I loved every minute of their presentations and enjoyed some personal discussion time.
Jim is not only a marvelous speaker but also a speaking coach. I purchased everything he had. Eric was funny and inspiring. Patricia, by her sheer demeanor and stage presence is a tremendous example of speaking confidence and authority. I am a fan of each of them!
Although I have spoken for the last 30 years I keep learning and developing from professionals like this. We need to be around people who are successful in what we want to be successful in. We need to invest money in our ourselves as well. Their thoughts become our thoughts when we take them in and put them in action.
Your dream is a possible. If you will do things like this you get closer. The vision and the pathway becomes clearer, an closer.
Problems can be annoying. Sometimes we can anticipate a problem in our planning, but even then, they can still be annoying. Here’s just one example from my life.
I have hired many employees in my time. In the planning stage the job description was laid out. The requirements for the job laid out. Postings were published and soon I was evaluating resumes and interviewing. Have you been there? You find that perfect candidate and you hire them. Everything is right on target for them to play a an important part in your business and reality hits. Perfection was a panacea. The fit was oh so close, but not close enough. But you still want to make it work. What do you do when they don’t want it to? Have you ever had that happen?
I have, more than once. It’s an annoying problem. It is for them too. They took a chance. We both took a chance. They had the potential but because it just wasn’t perfect enough for them, they gave up on you and on themselves without really trying and they refuse to face the problem head on and overcome it. They quit. What do you do? What else can you do? Eliminate the position? No, you have work that needs to be done and someone has to do it. You need that person. So, what you do is find another. You start over and keep going. You and I don’t give up.
Bottom line, with any annoying problem you don’t give up. You find a way to solve it. That, at least for me, is the first rule of problem solving for any situation. We need the mindset that says “I will until”!