So far this month, we’ve shared with you two of our special, Last Laps Until 2015 series. We began on December 2nd with The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 1 – Strategic Scheduling.
And we talked last week about the power of paying it forward and back, with The Last Laps Until 2015: Part 2 – At VXSuite, We Pay it Back and Pay it Forward.
We’ve had great response from our team members to these posts! As we’ve mentioned we are sharing them with all of our staff, encouraging them to participate. I hope you’ve been doing the same with yours.
Today’s installment touches on something particularly close to my heart: How important it is to expand your horizons.
Before we get started, let’s regroup and remember the aforementioned previous two posts.
Quickly scan your schedule. Is your strategic plan still working? Do you have meetings set up for the new year? Maybe you need to take an hour or so and give your plan a tweak or two? Hopefully you have been able to meet and work with many of the key people on your list and your schedule in January is filling up nicely.
Now take another minute and review what we learned about paying it forward and paying it back. List all the people you thanked. Did you write a special thank you note? Perhaps you gave a deserving individual a glowing recommendation! Or, in the spirit of the holiday season, maybe you reached out and helped someone in need? Whatever you ended up doing, I’m sure you feel like a better person for it. Funny how giving has that effect on most people.
Expand Your Horizons
If you are anything like me you often get completely focused on daily pressures, your to-do list, and your world.
On the one hand, this can be very effective, resulting in highly productive days/weeks/months.
But it’s ‘the other hand’ that’s troubling. On the other hand, it can lead to high levels of stress, and tunnel vision.
Instead of getting trapped in your day to day, expand your horizons. Take a breather. Seeing something new every now and again is refreshing and powerful. It makes us more well-rounded, stimulates our mind and our thought processes, and inspires us to interact more effectively. Besides it can be fun!
Today’s exercise is about doing something many of us often want to do, but never seem to make the time for. Reading. Your exercise this morning (and every morning from this point on!), is to set aside15 minutes and read something new.
And be sure to choose something a bit off-topic, not related to your direct, daily work. Most of us have a stack of stuff we should read, tell ourselves we will read, have good intentions to read, or want to read someday.
Take the top item off of your pile and read it. One of the things I decided to do in 2014 was to subscribe to Inc. Magazine, and read an article or two every week. Inc. also has great online content for free.
I loved this list where The Pros Weigh In: The Best Books for the Marketer on Your List. Since marketing is an indirect part of all of our jobs, I find this list especially appropriate.
I am also currently reading a book by Bill Bryson titled A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bryson doesn’t disappoint, he actually shares a short history of nearly everything, walking you through the general sciences: Chemistry, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics. You journey from the Big Bang to the discovery of quantum mechanics, through evolution and geology, and hear the stories behind the people who made some of the most important scientific discoveries in history.
Bryson is a very funny writer, and the book is full of highly relatable anecdotes that bring science to the ‘layman’, if you will. If you’ve ever been remotely curious about the world in which you live, I highly recommend it.
The point of this exercise, really, is to pick something new and learn about it for a few minutes. Expand your view. Think about something new. Expand your horizons.
What would you recommend if you were asked about your favorite new read?