The Power of Paying Attention to Your Environment

Yesterday I was out running through the forest. Okay, not so much a forest as the Custis and W&OD bike trails. But it may as well have been a forest. I first saw a rabbit frolicking amidst a grassy side area. As you might guess, with a company named Zen Rabbit, rabbits are my totem animal. I LOVE seeing rabbits.

And then about 20 minutes later, I saw a deer! There was one biker who also saw the deer enjoying her mid-afternoon snack in the foliage. Then there were a whole bunch of other people on the trail who didn’t even notice. They zoomed right by, not paying any attention to what was around them.

That experience got me thinking about how many times people don’t see what’s right in front of them. How many opportunities are missed because they’re too busy getting where they’re going to pay attention to the cool stuff that shows up unexpectedly? I admit I’ve made this mistake many times and will likely make it again. You get caught up in getting stuff done, staying focused on the task at hand and not allowing any outside distractions. At times, that’s the only way to operate and it ensures that you reach your goals.

Other times, though, like a beautiful Sunday afternoon, you need to allow yourself to meander. To be distracted. To get out of your head and into the moment. To allow your attention to wander to whatever is playing on the sides of the trail right now. Who knows what you might suddenly see or what great ideas may come to you.

Can Anything Make You Happy?

Ever since reading “Delivering Happiness” a few weeks ago, I’ve been pondering the whole concept of happiness. With all due respect to Sheryl Crow, many people will say something or someone “makes” them happy. But if you believe your thoughts create your reality and you are responsible for your own life creations, then nothing can “make” you happy or unhappy. It’s all in your perception.

I was in the Washington, DC area last week, where I was incredibly happy. In the past, I might have thought or said that being there makes me happy. However, the change in perspective now leads me to say being there CONTRIBUTES to my happiness. Sure, it’s semantics, but choosing the right phrasing is important in conveying what you mean. As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Changing this phrasing can change the whole way you see people, places and events in your life. It’s like a new benchmark of evaluation. Try it out. Think of a person and say to yourself, he or she contributes to my happiness. Does it ring true or not? If not, you may want to see how you can reduce time spent with or around that person. Do it with the place you live, the people you work with, the activities you participate in every week. Finding anything interesting? For me, it’s about to change everything.

See my review of the book “Delivering Happiness” by clicking HERE.

For Entrepreneurs Who Can’t Do Everything

Authenticity

I was recently introduced to Chris Guillebeau’s blog, The Art of Nonconformity, when he posted an article on authenticity. The ideas and thoughts he put forward there are so good, I want to share them with you. And since he’s already written it, and done such a good job, it doesn’t make sense for me to reinvent the wheel. Go read it on his site.

Here’s the link:
http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/authenticity-you-has-it/

Can This Improve Productivity?

There’s something extra delicious and relaxing about taking a vacation day. Slipping off (like playing hooky) to the beach or the lake or the mountains one day when all the rest of the world is working. It’s like you get extra relaxation and rejuvenation that somehow isn’t possible on a weekend, even if you were to do the exact same thing.

I think there’s power or energy in the idea that you’re “supposed to be working” but you’re not. I don’t know about you, but it’s nearly impossible for me to ever turn off the cell phone – which is also my business line – and not turn on the computer for a whole 24 hours. God forbid the world could need something from me.

Yesterday I conducted an experiment and did just that. I found a fairly uninhabited section of beach, parked myself under my umbrella wearing factor 50 sun screen, and basically did nothing for several hours. More than once I had to stop myself from turning the phone on, just to see who may have called. And yes, I should have left the phone at home, but I brought it with, you know,  just in case of an emergency.

I’ve just finished reading Esther and Jerry Hicks’ book “Ask and It Is Given.” In it, they contend that if you’re not getting all that you desire in life, it’s because you are vibrationally not matching what it is you are asking for. And the only way to increase your vibration is to bring more joy and happiness into your experience. To not try so hard to make things happen. So I decided to see what happens when I stop pushing so hard. (note, this is not to say stop taking action; it is about being more relaxed, less stressed about it.)

I did feel a lot better and had more energy at the end of the day. I’m thinking of making this a monthly exercise. Let me know if you’d like to join me.

PS: I still got burned, so bring extra sun screen.

Guilty For Not Giving

That’s what two-thirds of small business owners said they would feel if they didn’t show appreciation for their clients during the upcoming holiday season. BUT, the newly released survey taken by OPEN from American Express, also found only 59% of those business owners plan to take action and actually give client gifts. Not surprisingly, the survey revealed that the gift-giving people are “growth-minded, customer-focused and generous with staff.”

Alice Bredin, OPEN from American Express small business advisor, says “small business owners who are giving holiday gifts to clients seem to have mastered an important life lesson – you get back what you give.” That’s what I’ve been saying too! Thanks for the reinforcement, Alice. She went on to say that the smart business people are using client gift-giving as an effective marketing tool, on top of providing exceptional client service and developing relationships.What is the most popular choice for holiday giving? It’s cards and calendars! Ewww! How much more mundane can you get?“The stakes are high for making a lasting impression with your gift, especially when competing against larger companies with substantial marketing budgets,” Bredin says. If you really want to make an impression and stand out from everyone else, send one of the very distinctive Zen Rabbit gift packages you can find at the Zen Rabbit website.