I have something to say that I’m not sure I want to admit. I’ve felt pretty down recently. I’ve been stuck in the same old rut: giving the same elevator speeches, asking the same opening questions, and listening to the same marketing challenges from prospects. Meanwhile, people keep offering me variations on some important wise advice. As I follow their guidance more often, and with more creativity, I’ve noticed some of the items on my long to-do list starting to jump out at me. I realize that I actually want to do them.
Stuck In To-Do Mode
A lot of things on to-do lists are there because we feel we should do them. At best, they’re part of a larger, well defined plan. At worst, they’re the action steps dictated by classes, self-help materials, or well meaning friends who might not have the whole picture. The more “shoulds” I add to my list, the less energy I have to do them all.
That Small Quiet Voice
I’ve gotten a lot of great advice lately on using my intuition and imagination when I connect with others or choose between conflicting priorities. Intuitive people tell me to listen for that small, quiet voice for an answer.
For example, if I’m choosing which person to call next, I imagine connecting with that person and making a difference for them. This takes the focus away from any temporary frustration or doubt I might be feeling. Instead, I focus on the possibility of being there for someone else. If one person doesn’t inspire possibility at that moment, I’ll try another.
My experiences at expos have improved with this technique. For example, one industry I enjoy is information technology. As I approached IT companies on my list at this month’s expos, I imagined what might happen if I get to share the good news about IT in my copy for them. What if the time saved by IT services enables their clients to help more people in their businesses? I can imagine happy clients able to do all sorts of things, like give crucial test results to worried patients, or spend less time working late. What if my copywriting helps customers make better decisions, or gives them a good reason to call the IT company and potentially benefit from their services?
Since we make up all sorts of stories in our heads anyway, I figure, why not make up some motivating ones? If the stories feel right, if they feel like real possibilities and not just daydreams, then I know I’m on the right track.
Short-Term Tasks As Part of Larger Visions
How about you? Which tasks feel tedious to you in the short term but are actually important in the long term? Could possibility stories bring some of these into focus for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.