I had the great opportunity, and pleasure, to work in a trade show booth with a team member this past week. The banners unrolled fantastically and were hung with excitement, the velour burnt-yellow table-cloth didn’t have a wrinkle, and our samples were chilled to perfection. We were ready!!
But as the day wore on, I noticed that my team member, and business partner, had other things on his mind. With complications regarding the health of his two littlest family members. He was worried about his children, and his dear wife who hadn’t left the house in days as she cares for the babies. This team member, my business partner and friend, is certainly having his faith tested.
Not far into the day, my friend turned to me, and with concern on his face, said, “I feel so guilty for being here. I feel like I should be home with my wife and family.”
How many times during the day do these same thoughts cross our own mind? While at work, at the gym, even at home with our significant other and our children, we can only think about the things we need to do elsewhere. We are never truly living ‘in the moment’, never truly focusing on the most important thing in front of us.
I believe Jim Rohn shared the most important counsel given to him when he said, “The best advice I ever came across on the subject of concentration is: Wherever you are, be there.”
“May I ask a personal question?,” I inquired of my friend. “When you are home with your family… What do you think about? What’s on your mind?”.
“All I can think about is wanting to work on my business… I feel guilty for not working hard enough, or putting in enough hours.”
My friends, do you see the cycle? This happens to even the best of us… We willfully allow our concentration to be focused on things not in front of us, and we allow negative feelings of guilt, discouragement, and despair to creep in.
May I suggest we follow the counsel given to Jim Rohn, “Wherever you are, be there.” When you are with you family, focus all of your energy, your thoughts, your love, on them. When you are working out in the gym, focus on the weights, the cardio, the pain of the muscles as they rip and open to new life. When you are talking with your spouse, focus on them, the topic, their feelings, the person that sits in front of you. People notice when your mind is elsewhere.
My friends thought process changed that afternoon. I saw him become more confident, and more focused, on the people and opportunity in front of him at the trade show.
And YES, there is a happy ending…
He developed a great report, and created a wonderful connection, with another vendor there… who insisted on placing a large initial order before the conclusion of the show, with the possibility of subsequent large orders in the near future. Had he not changed his thoughts to what was at hand in front of him, he may have missed this great blessing to his business.
And because of the success he experienced at the show, he then went home and only focused on his family and checked work at the door.
Concentration: BE THERE!!