Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lessons From the Ordinary

Everyday life. We go through it, and the funniest things stick with us.

Last Friday I visited a business for maybe the sixth time. One of their staff members saw me from the across the room. She smiled and waved to me. Sure, I recognized her. I smiled and waved back. Did she have to smile and wave? Absolutely not. But she took the opportunity to acknowledge me. I'm still smiling about that encounter.

This weekend I read an inspiring post by Micheal Hyatt - actually from a guest blogger, Skip Pritchard - about ordinary things that ordinary people do that bring joy to life. I've read it, and re-read it. And it continues to impact me in the same way. There are lessons all around us, every moment of every day. We can use our time to positively impact the lives of everyone around us in the most innocent ways by: acknowledging them positively, not ignoring anyone or praising others without praising them too (we ALL have merit), and remembering that...

We all have baggage. Let's help others carry theirs by smiling and extending a hand across the board. Playing favorites and taking people for granted isn't inspiring at all.

Here's the post from Micheal Hyatt's blog:
"Every year, I meet incredibly interesting people. You may think I’m thinking of famous people. Yes, famous people can certainly be interesting. Equally interesting, at least to me, are people I meet in everyday life.
For example,
  • The barista at the coffee shop who remembers exactly what I want.
  • The guy who waves me into the car wash with the slightest flick of his hand indicating where my tires should point.
  • The newly-minted, hilarious college graduate who told me his future: two wives (he says his first marriage won’t work out), three kids, a dog, and a dead-end job.
  • The lady at the bookstore who smiles when she sees me rearranging the shelves, putting my favorite authors’ books face-out.
Be Alert
Each one of the people crossing my path offers an opportunity to learn. I study people shuffling by at a busy store. There we go, I think, as I imagine where they are heading. People are incredibly fascinating.
Sure, some disappoint. You wonder why you work so hard at some friendships when it’s clearly a one-way path to nowhere. Then there’s family, some family members are truly biological—with blood coursing through their bodies to prove it. Others we adopt, friends who are so true we wouldn’t dream of letting them go.People teach us remarkable lessons if we are open to learning. Criticism we launch at someone else likely has its roots in our own shortcomings.
Slow Down
Today, as you rush through your day, look at those around you a little closer. Slow down just a bit—you don’t need to view the text message the minute it chimes. You don’t need to check Facebook and Twitter as if you’re looking for signs of life in a patient.
Just watch. Listen. Ask some questions.
See Beyond
If you can see beyond the obvious, you can learn some incredible lessons.You may discover that the barista prides herself on remembering your drink because she’s really good at it, and her father always told her she was stupid. She’s incredibly bright and works hard to overcome his harsh words. She absorbs your praise faster than your coffee does the cream.
Lessons: Everyone is hurting in some way. Everyone needs praise. Get comfortable with praising good work.
You may discover that the car wash guy is the lead singer in an up-and-coming band and has a real shot at making it. His backstage stories are better than a movie. And his writing is better than most professional writers.
Lessons: Everyone has a hidden talent. Take time to get to know your employees. Often the most needed skills are right in front of you.
You may learn that the college graduate was influenced by his parents’ painful divorce and his insight on relationships beats anything you’d read in a book.
Lessons: Age doesn’t equal wisdom. Learning from mistakes and the failures of others can benefit you more than you realize.
You may find that the bookstore lady is a book herself, full of knowledge you can tap into. She’s actually a retired business executive, filling time. She knows how to incorporate businesses, develop marketing plans, and lead strategic planning.
Lessons: Often what we see is just the surface. Take time to realize the full abilities of the people around you.
See these people are anything but ordinary. Everyone has something extraordinary that can change you. A different perspective, a unique experience, a gift. We’re all ordinary people, but we are all extraordinary in our own way."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"...The Good Ol' Days?" A published personal perspective...

“In the good old days…”

We were out of touch.

Face it: We…
> Wrote letters – maybe.
> Made phone calls – maybe.
> Made appointments to connect in person – maybe…
Or tried to.
We trusted our morning paper and our television to keep us in touch with the world and – even as news broke –it was already old.
In the time it took to…
> Go to the store and buy film for our camera,
> Take pictures,
> Use up the roll of film,
> Wind it up in our camera and drop it off at the store,
> Get it back a week later,
We lost weeks of time and our kids grew two inches.
By the time you…
> Got the brainstorm to write that long overdue letter,
> Bought stamps,
> Found paper, pen, and an envelope,
> Wrote the letter,
> Sealed it up and found a mailbox,
> Heard about its arrival a week later,
You, as the letter-writer, not only forgot what you wrote, you moved past the highlights of the letter and were entrenched in a lot of other new and exciting events and happenings.
And you needed to repeat the whole process. AGAIN.
> We get the idea,
> Brainstorm the idea,
> Fine-tune the idea,
> Implement the idea,
Then go on to the next idea with as many people as we can think of, as quickly as we can move our fingers. Instantaneously!  As part of our daily life.
As fast as you can grab your smartphone, tablet or other techno-device, you can release your ideas-thoughts-opinions-solutions, building relationships and generating much more of the same as you simultaneously and instantaneously breathe…
> With spelling and grammar check,
> With enhancements,
And create a beautifully-finished product that is signed-sealed-delivered-received NOW.
DONE. And you still have a LOT more hours of sunshine left in your day for MORE! :-)
Now we can be found, be social, and be useful while we breathe and live life, because
> Relationships are PART of life, and
> Relationships ARE life.
And now we can enjoy a much fuller and deeper life because of the instantaneous way we can enjoy our relationships throughout our life.  All because of social media.
Have a thought?
> Share it!
Have an idea?
> Pursue it!
Have a question?
> Answer it!

Want to stay in touch?
Facebook it!
Want to be in the know and stay in the know with the latest and greatest trends, news, and ideas?
Tweet it!
Want to network and share professional discussions with colleagues?
> Get LinkedIn with your network!
Want to share expertise in an engaging visual format?
YouTube it!

So for the hour that you just spent online, what did you accomplish?
A lot more than…

“In the good old days…”

~ Sandy
Sandy is the Internet Marketing Management Director for Now Marketing Group, where we enable your organization to ‘be found, be social and be useful’ through online relationship marketing. While yes – it’s true!! – she’s lived through some “good old days”, she definitely enjoys the advantages of the “here and now” so much more.
Think Social Media is just for teenagers? Sandy’s still a teenager.. with a lot of years of experience!