Suddenly, a pounding noise disturbed my quiet hike.

I quickly looked up and spotted a distraught turkey running down the grassy path.

The frightened creature –breathing heavily – wasn’t alone. Following behind was a runner, probably unaware of how he was impacting the wide-eyed bird.

And then, when the bird thought things couldn’t get any worse, it spotted me.

There I was, one of those strange, two-legged creatures standing in his way and pointing a large stick (lens) at him.

I did a favor for the turkey that day.

He looked at me, paused, turned and then safely headed into the undergrowth. Minutes later, I saw two turkeys grazing on vegetation and casually walking through the nearby parking lot.

I can’t be sure, but I believe one of them was my previously terrified turkey. Perhaps he already forgot his memorable run to freedom.

For the turkey, salvation was at hand. He just needed to pause for a moment to discover the solution.

How often do we push ahead with real or imagined problems chasing us?

What Are My Choices?

Perhaps if we stopped – and considered options for a bit – solutions would pop into our heads. Or we might even recognize patterns or opportunities to spread encouragement and cheer.

Put the Power of the Pause to work for you to solve some of your challenges.

Check out these four examples of how pausing can make a big difference.

One – Connect with Others

Do you want to improve your success? Focus on what you can bring to your business and personal relationships, not what you can get.

When you’re talking with someone, really listen to what they say. Then respond. Demonstrate that you’ve heard their comments and you’re not just waiting to offer your own input. Chances are, you’ll be remembered as an excellent conversationalist.

Paying attention can make a difference. A casual acquaintance recently asked me to provide insights for his 360-degree review. He needed comments from 40 people.

After this individual reminded me of how we met at a conference, I remembered our brief conversation. Luckily, I could offer him my favorable impressions of his achievements. He thanked me for my contributions.  

Two – Quit Ignoring Important Activities

Remember Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”? He categorized activities into four quadrants based on urgency and importance. The challenge is to address the important, but not urgent quadrant.

According to Anum Hussain, who wrote a  Book Summary for HubSpot, “Quadrant II is at the heart of effective personal management. It deals with things like building relationships, long-term planning, exercising, preparation — all things we know we need to do but somehow seldom get around to actually doing, because they don’t feel urgent.”

What’s your Quadrant II challenge for the week? Perhaps it’s planning, exercising or brainstorming about that next project. Maybe you want to tackle an inefficient system that continues to impede results.

Or, maybe you are trying to figure out how to repurpose elements to get more mileage out of your effort.

Take a moment to define your nagging challenge. Then go ahead and do it.

Three – Pause and Renew

I’ve started meditating 10 minutes on most mornings. It’s a great way to relax and set my intentions for the day.

In The Power of Pause Practice, Cara Bradley writes, “Not only does pausing promote relaxation, a break from noise and doing also refreshes and reenergizes you for hours. Taking time to just be still and quiet gives your nervous system a chance to regain balance.”

According to Tony Schwartz, bestselling author and CEO of The Energy Project, “human beings perform best and are most productive when they alternate between periods of intense focus and intermittent renewal.”

How do you renew during the day? Take a Power Pause break and refresh your spirit.

(Animals know how to rest and prepare themselves for the next challenge. Check out the group of turkeys above. They’re having a good time hanging out.)   

Four – Celebrate the Victory

Let’s face it. We often don’t take time to celebrate our accomplishments, especially the small ones.

Sure, there are graduation and promotion parties. But do you take the time to congratulate yourself or others when you complete a major project or even your To-Do list for the day?

Like me, you probably enjoy checking off completed projects. Savor that moment.

Check out the photo of the squirrel. He’s thoroughly enjoying his acorn, even while eating upside down.  

Pause and Power Up Your Day

Take a breath … and pause. You’ll achieve more and perhaps stress less.

The answers to some of your challenges may be close at hand.

Remember that frantic turkey fleeing from the runner? He was forced to pause and then found his solution. All he had to do was turn and run into the nearby grasses.

Experience the Power of the Pause and brighten your day.

Have a story of how pausing has made a difference in your life? Please share in the comment section below.

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