New Year’s Challenge: Fewer Selfies in 2019

January 2, 2019

Your dinner, your stitched up surgery site, your haircut.
A gracious waitress, a skilled physician, a dependable barber.

The only difference here is a matter of perspective.  As we begin a new year filled with new challenges and opportunities, it’s a good time to ask ourselves, “Are our eyes focused inward, or outward?” Whether it’s in business or in the home, our focus will set the course for our future. In a world of too many selfies and too much screen time, it’s important we maintain perspective.

I’m definitely not here to judge, for I’m guilty of checking my phone and thinking too much about “me” – my wants, my needs, MYself.  Instead, I’m here to challenge all of us to strive for a better, more externally focused year in 2019.  It won’t happen overnight, but if we want to have real, lasting impact, we need to make a conscious effort to take time to invest in the world around us.

What would this look like?

  • In the rush of an overbooked schedule, can we give up 10 seconds to make eye contact with the cashier and ask about his or her day?
  • Can we thank one more person – whether your spouse, the mail carrier or a teacher?
  • Could we – and I’m really speaking to myself here – give space to the rushed driver and just allow him or her to merge instead of riding the bumper of the person in front of you? (It MAY be possible that by providing a little extra space on the roadway you won’t need the space on social media to vent about rude drivers…  Ahem, Heather!)

The logic applies to our professional world and businesses as well. Challenge yourself to put others first, and consider every client or customer worthy of extra care and investment. If you’re an overachiever, keep track of your progress and reflect on the impact you had when you offered a kind word or a few more minutes of help. I suspect you’ll deem the time well spent, and worth repeating. Human connection is, after all, at the heart of every business.

Our lives move so fast.  We face so many options. The world seems to point increasingly toward watching out for “#1,” but that narrow view can keep us from noticing a lot more: from the needs of our friends or family at home, to a new opportunity or new approach to an old problem at work.

A New Year can mean more than just the passage of time – depending on our perspective.  At this time next year, when you look back at your photos from 2019, what will you see?

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