Believe the outlook for this year is bright, if your focus is right

No goals or resolutions required

Yesterday we took the girls ice skating. Sometimes I observe them and learn the best lessons. We planned to have an adventure. If you’ve been reading for a while you might recall we also took them skating last year and learned some unexpected surprises.

Allow me to set the stage. The air is crisp and clean as we approach the rink in the center of the mall. Before we can even get close we see America’s largest indoor Christmas tree. Macy’s continues it’s “Believe” campaign for the tenth year running and it makes me wonder why the company chooses to continue the same campaign for a decade.

Marketing campaigns change quickly, as quickly as people change underwear. Okay, perhaps not that quickly, but you get my meaning. What has to go right for a company to stay with a marketing plan for a 10 solid years? It’s not just location, location, location; is it? If you’re an American you probably know that Macy’s is center stage for the Thanksgiving day parade each year. The parade ends with a grand finale introducing Santa enticing one and all to believe. The “Believe” theme is an easy one that makes a lot of sense. Macy’s inspires everyone, especially kids, to believe in Santa, but, companies don’t thrive on sense. They thrive when they make dollars make sense. Because without capital the bills don’t get paid and brick and mortar stores cease to exist.  

Purpose-I believe

Purpose becomes clear through focus and a good plan. It doesn’t happen by chance. When the girls took the ice they did so with purpose. I watched my older daughter take the ice and slightly waver with her first three steps on the ice. She simply glides with grace, poise, and purpose. Just like that, she’s off skating with ease. She also rollerblades and it stands to reason that she makes an easy transition from roller skates to ice skates.

My younger needs a bit more time. She comes from the school of hard knocks and nothing will get in her way when she has purpose. She received some hard knocks from her time on the ice, and her bold purpose shaped her desire and her course. She was skating in minutes as opposed to the hour it took her last year. She looks like this:

She looks really good for falling and bouncing the back of her head on the ice, scraping her cheek and ear. And breaking another fall by planting her face flat into the ice. I dare say she’s a little like me.

What does the fox say? “Ow, ow, ow”! She echoes every one of these sounds:

Productivity- I believe

I believe the best way to be productive is to tackle your most challenging tasks first. Perhaps it’s getting started. Just do it. If it’s overcoming a blank page to write, add some gobbledygook at the beginning so the page isn’t blank anymore. To accomplish daily tasks it’s important to focus on the most important things you want to accomplish each day. Pursue those items with passion before anything else. When they are complete you may add additional tasks or celebrate what went right. It is important to take a few moments to reflect on progress without feeling like a failure.

When it comes to ice skating it looks like this: I didn’t stay on the handrail nearly as long as I did last year. Mind you, I’ve broken my elbow skating and I’m typically pretty cautions. Nonetheless, after several laps, I was out in the middle and the girls spurred me on to be productive.

My older daughter breezes by and grabs my hand.

”Can’t never could Mom. You can’t stay on the outside. If you want to skate you have to go faster”.

The younger passes me.

“Come on Mom, don’t be a slow poke. I’ve lapped you!”

Each encourages me to be more productive in her own special way.

Positive Outlook

It’s important to acknowledge inspiration and overcome challenges while not letting it get you down. My daughters understand this, too.

We see a teenage boy take a serious fall and hit his head on the ice. Likely he is seriously hurt. Just ahead of him is a young lady skating backward and doing turns on the ice. The older surmises the situation this way:

“Be a pro, not a wimp. If you believe, in your mind’s eye, you have already captured the gold, then you have”.  

The younger skates by with a thumbs up.

“Doing good, Mom”!

Point of convergence-I believe

The point of convergence is when purpose, productivity, and a positive outlook come together. It’s when your purpose is clear because you aren’t wasting time on things that move you away from your focus. It’s because you have the courage to say “no” when saying “yes” is easier. It happens when you productively move toward what is important and have a positive outlook. When these items converge you become energized as I do on the ice. I’m moving with speed, purpose, and in a productive fashion. It’s the nothing-is-going-to-stop-me kind of feeling that comes from practicing and educating yourself on what works, and more importantly what doesn’t. It may come from a less is more, uncomfortable approach as my friend Michael Thompson suggests here. It is also an approach that goes deep, not wide. Going too wide, after all, neglects a deep connection with those who matter most. It can come from dedication, prayer, or inspiration. However you get the point of convergence results in some belief from an outside source, and also likely a belief in yourself. You have the confidence to move faster because you are in the zone.

My husband says it best, “Life is more fun in the passing lane”. Don’t you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments.