Clear messages and great stories always shine through
There’s no world shortage of content – and yet quality content has never been scarcer. I have been, am and will always be unashamedly passionate about the value of great content for business. But you can – and must – pay lots of time and attention to it.
Why? It’s important because it sets the tone for everything that happens afterwards. The services that you sell are central to any successful business and the simple, clear and direct messages you send out about them is the way in which you let the world know.
Notice I wrote “messages” in that last sentence – not the “media” you use. The media we use to convey messages have changed greatly in recent years. They will change some more – media will come and media will go – but clear messages and great stories will outlast them all.
Have you read “The Art of Stopping Time” by Pedram Shojai? I would encourage you to do so – I got it at Christmas and it’s been a revelation to me.
As we hurtle towards another weekend, thinking about the things we have or haven’t done, it’s easy to be too tired to think, too stressed to focus and less effective than we want to be. And if our work then encroaches into the weekend, we start to feel guilty about the time not spent with loved ones.
The book has a compelling premise – the need for a more positive perspective on the unforgiving flow of time. Without it we lack a real sense of enjoyable purpose, rather than a fear of deadlines and failure.”
Shojai’s goal, therefore, is to nudge us towards “time prosperity” – having the time to accomplish what you want without feeling compressed, stressed or hurried. If it sounds like mindfulness, then it is, except at the extreme practical end of that particular spectrum.
The book has 100 short essays which contain habits in which you literally learn to “stop” time. Some habits will stick, some won’t – and that’s OK. Just take the ones that mean something to you. I did and I feel it’s working well for me already. Have you read it – or do you have another book you swear by?
A new week: Are you feeling optimistic – or pessimistic? How are you feeling right now, as you read this? It’s good to be aware of how you feel, but don’t become a slave to your view of the future. It creates the script for what will actually occur.
In truth we are all both optimists and pessimists several times a day, faced with different situations. Whenever something “happens to us” we have a choice to be one or the other. What is more interesting is the way we come to our perspectives. The brain invents a “counter fact” to events – an alternate scenario our brains create to help us evaluate and make sense of what happened. It could be “Well it could have been a lot worse” or “That’s pretty unlucky” – or anything in between.
This goes on to influence far more than one’s attitude to an individual event. Those who pick positive counter facts open their minds up to a whole range of subsequent perceived benefits to spur their motivation further. Research shows that people with positive counter facts have more successful careers, relationships and even live longer. For this reason alone my usual sense of optimism is deliberate and pragmatic, rather than wishful.
This weekend, ask yourself this: Am I missing something really obvious? It can be really good to stop and think about this. Three things occurred to me the other day:-
- How little we stop and look at the things right in front of us. With the exception of our phones, how often do we stop and look twice at everyday objects, the buildings we pass every day – or even those we claim to hold dear?
- When we do something routinely, how often do we think about doing it in a different way? We are so often told we can’t do things well if we do it “that way”, but how can we know if we don’t allow ourselves the time to find out?
- And how often do we actually do things differently on an everyday basis? Whenever we do, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that we discover so many new and beneficial outcomes that we hadn’t previously even thought about.
So whether you take a different route in the car today, try out that new restaurant or stop and look around you – I urge you to go and do something – anything – differently today. And every day from now on. Time to take the blinkers off.