I can tell when you've been thoughtful about something. Presidential speeches, earnings reports, detailed social media plans, an advertising campaign - it's easy to sniff out when these have been thought about. They're memorable, great and they accomplish something.
I can also tell when you haven't put much thought into something. Emotion-filled yelling during a speech, a liquidation sale, cobbling together a Web site, picking up a present on the way to the birthday party - not much thought went into these, and it shows.
When it comes time for me to donate money, buy something or listen to you, where do you think I'll give my money and attention?
In a world where thoughtful action is rare, taking the time to do it will have you standing head and shoulders about the crowd, easily discernible to the customer or donor or voter who has money to spend, attention to give and influence to offer.
The beauty of thought? Spending a little time doing it goes a long way. You don't have to brainstorm or reflect for hours on end. Just slow down, think it through and then act. When so many people, companies and nonprofits don't do it at all, your doing it a little bit means you'll see immediate returns.
Think about that.
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