I invest my time in observing. Traveling as much as I do, I get to see new things all the time. The key to observing is keeping an open mind and the child-like quality of wonder. The hard part of observing is observing without criticizing.
I invest my time in creating ideas. I’ve been given the gift of coming up with ideas. I can’t explain how it occurs, but it does. Every time I get one, I write it down immediately. I don’t always use them, but I have a very extensive collection of them.
I invest my time in writing. Writing clarifies thinking. It allows me to put my thoughts on paper (in Microsoft Word), and clarify them by elaborating on them. Writing also gives you freedom to think. Once you’ve written something down, you no longer have to remember it — and it gives your mind space for new ideas and new thoughts.
I invest my time cultivating relationships. You can never have too many friends. Over the years I have learned that thinking about (or with) my friends and giving them ideas, it strengthens the friendship without anyone feeling they “owe” the other person. Value is the glue of relationship.
I invest in books and art so the environment that I live in is creative and inspiring. When I come home, which is only about 100 days per year, I want my home to feel like a safe haven and a place of inspiration for thinking and creating. And I want my home to feel warm for others, and inspiring for them as well. The good part about books and art is there’s a never-ending supply. And if you’re willing to invest, it will be a never-ending source of inspiration.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Black Book of Connections and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on sales and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail email@example.com.
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