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Beyond the Fourth Quarter Forecast

Two things I’ve noticed this week.


1. Stink bugs (not their scientific name, but it’s what we call them) are everywhere…. clutching our window screens, like they received a “party here” memo!

Ironic… that successfully getting “in” will most certainly lead to their demise.


2. The inside of a package of gum.

I only really noticed the inside as I started to throw it away, though I’ve seen it every time I’ve opened the package.

(Clearly, seeing and noticing are different.)


There’s a tiny drawing captioned: We’re looking for life’s little moments.


So, yes…. I dug deeper.


More on that in a minute.


I know…. the things that capture my attention, right?


A bit quirky… and yet, they’re connected to both me and…. you.


My journey of serious intentional growth has changed the way I look at pretty much everything.


What was once ordinary, unremarkable or even forgettable now sparks thoughts that honestly, I’m not always sure where they’re coming from or…. where they’re taking me.


But as I’ve continued on this path of awareness it has heightened my sensitivity to the importance of:

· paying attention

· getting curious

· leaning in

…because inevitably, I learn something.


“Thinking for the purpose of extracting meaning,” rewards in startling ways.


It happened this week with bugs and gum.


Just days into the fourth quarter of the business year conjures up thoughts of:

· now or never

· late in the game

· ramp up to finish strong

· forecast on earnings


And, depending on your perspective, this could be the best OR the worst time of your year.


But what if there was a guaranteed way for it to be unequivocally the best?


I think there is… and it’s dependent on your screen.


My window screen keeps the stink bugs out of my house.


But I also need a screen that can keep the stinkin’ thinking out of my mind.


There is one.


Growth.


And I’m not talking about financial assets, sales, revenue increase or any kind of monetary measure that you may or may not have complete control to orchestrate.


I’m talking about personal growth.


It’s being able to answer questions like:

· How have I been kind?

· Who have I empowered?

· When have I gotten uncomfortable?

· Where have I demonstrated a teachable spirit?

· What positive changes are evident in my self-discipline?


Because the answers to those questions cut to the core of who we are as humans, have little or nothing to do with P & L statements and… are completely within our power to choose to improve.


Being able to positively respond to even one of those questions, gives us a foothold for more.


The power of having a growth mindset is that it keeps the focus on the lifelong journey so there’s always another step to take.


“If you can believe in yourself and the potential that is in you, and then focus on growth instead of goals, there’s no telling how far you can grow.” ~ John C. Maxwell


I’m not saying a good financial year isn’t important.


I AM saying a good personal growth year is more important…. because it’s more long-lasting.


The chances that your son, daughter, spouse, colleague or neighbor will remember your patience, kindness and humility is a lot greater than them remembering how much you made this year.


Chew on that for a minute…


And on this:


A positive, heart-warming story shared through a “gum wrapper message gone viral” sent the company straight to the top of its market for 25 weeks (nearly half a year) because it “connected” with its consumer.


The power of personal connection strikes again and, in this case, packs a punch in profits.


Sounds too simple… growth and connection.


It is and…. it isn’t.


It takes time, energy, intention and a plan for those to occur.


The bigger hurdle?


Maintaining a mind screen that keeps thoughts like:

· I’ve never done this.

· I might be uncomfortable.

· It will cost me time and money.

… out, creating space to let in thoughts that cause you to act on investing in your personal growth and connection.


Because that, my friend…. guarantees a forecast of enjoying more of “life’s little moments that we’re all looking for” well beyond the fourth quarter!

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