We are at the beginning of a new year, one I believe is filled with hope and promise. Yet I hear the doom-and-gloomers in full cry about how bad things are going to be and how difficult the environment is for any kind of success. It never seems to change.
Maybe the way to get off to a good start is to try to do things differently.
To make your change constructive and efficient, you must be willing to explore new ways of responding to problems in business and your personal life.
When starting out on a new path, it's wise to take things slowly. Don't think of change as an adversary, even though change is a difficult idea to entertain. Change doesn't necessarily have to be traumatic.
For instance, instead of fighting the Internet, I've recently undertaken an effort to learn to use this new mode of communication to my advantage. The reason is simple. My customers use the Internet to communicate with me, and if I don't learn how to do the same I'm going to look foolish. Believe me, I am not an advocate for technology. But I know the world is changing, and unless I want to be left out I better get on the train with everyone else.
Another change to consider is to attempt to be more efficient with your time. Time is precious. It can fly by, and at the end of the day we may wonder what happened to all the hours. Too often we get caught up in trivial affairs and don't focus on the really important parts of our day-to-day activities. Taking a realistic inventory of how we use our time isn't a bad idea--there are even consultants who will work with you to make you more efficient.
Take more time to communicate with your colleagues and reach out for their ideas and advice. Too often we forget that our best source of creative ideas can be found in our own backyards, but because we are so busy we overlook the treasures around us. In short, take the time to look around you, and don't let ego get in the way of learning to do things differently.
Keep things simple. Life
is tough enough without complicating matters. Some of us try too many new things, going off in all kinds of directions without thinking it through. In one's business or personal life, keeping things basic and simple is always the right thing to do. Many companies and individuals learn that lesson the hard way.
Treat everyone you encounter the way you like to be treated--with dignity and respect. Too often we are in such a great hurry that we forget that others are looking to us for advice. I don't like that sort of behavior in someone I'm doing business with, and I bet you don't either. But it happens all the time and shouldn't. It is degrading and smacks of arrogance. A change of attitude is all that is needed.
Finally, smile a lot. But don't fake it! If you do, it won't come off well. Practice the art of smiling and you'll be amazed at how others will respond.
Being greeted with a smile lifts our spirits and can even make us feel better about ourselves. People say that if you smile, the whole world smiles with you, and they are right.
None of this is very complicated. But these reminders can make 2001 a more productive and better year. The basic ingredient for making things better is the right attitude.
Make change happen,
Charles S. Lauer