The other night I was out for Thai food with some friends and we started sharing our hopes for the new year.
My friend, Megan, was telling us about the morning she woke up on the first day of 2020.
She said she was lying in bed, mentally preparing to get out from under the covers, when she noticed birds chirping outside her window.
So she laid there, listening to the birds for longer than she would have in 2019.
“I want to have more ‘bird moments’ this year,” she told us. “It’s more than just stopping to smell the roses — it’s taking the time to really be in that moment.”
For the week since then, I’ve tried to adopt Megan’s intention as my own — consciously stopping to appreciate little moments throughout the day.
The way a bright yellow tree contrasts against a clear blue sky.
The way my son’s chubby little hand rests on my knee.
The way it feels to wrap up in a blanket in front of a fireplace.
But throughout this week, I’ve noticed something else.
I haven’t had any bird moments while I’ve been working.
Maybe I’ve been focused on getting into a “flow state” instead (I’ve written about that before here.)
But really, I think the reason is this:
Even if you’re your own boss and you run your own business, we’re mostly programmed to focus on the negative associations of “work.”
The to-do list that doesn’t let up, the technology that isn’t working, the customer who isn’t happy, the ads that aren’t converting…
“Doing the work” and “bird moments” don’t naturally go hand-in-hand…
But I wonder, how much of our productivity and satisfaction would increase if they did?
If we looked up every once in a while and paused for longer than usual, what would it do for our mental state as entrepreneurs?
There’s a reason why the majority of big-time CEOs and successful business people take time to meditate every day.
There is science-backed evidence that meditation increases creativity, focus, memory, and emotional intelligence.
And taking the time for bird moments is an easy way to start implementing some of that mindfulness towards your own business.
A nice Instagram comment about your latest product launch → bird moment.
An enthusiastic email from one of your customers → bird moment.
The moment you finally connect your website to your email platform → bird moment.
Just the simple thought: “I’m running my own business…”
What an opportunity.
What an opportunity to truly appreciate how far you’ve come.
So, that’s my wish for all of us this year.
To stop and appreciate the moments that affirm why you’re here, what you’re doing and how truly monumental that is.
More moments of hearing the birds.