Looking for ways to delight

Delight. That was the word that came to mind when I saw this mom and her kids on Thanksgiving Day in the park. As they ran to the gazebo, she called out “pirouettes everyone!”

When was the last time you played? I mean really had fun, like a kid? Did something crazy, like pirouettes in a gazebo in a park, not caring who was watching?

It’s been way too long for me.

For 2012, I chose three words as my focus rather than make resolutions, as challenged by Chris Brogan. I chose ENJOY as one of my three words for 2012, because I tend to focus on work and projects so much that I do not always revel in the moment. I forget to have fun.

I admit that even with using it as one of my focus words, I struggled with learning to ENJOY this year. So I plan to take that concept to an even higher level next year by choosing DELIGHT as one of my 2013 three words.

When I was beginning my work at Borders Books and Music at the newly opened Cleveland Heights, OH store, our district manager, Fritz Schendel, would come to visit the store and offer suggestions on ways we could improve our displays, inventory and customer satisfaction. One of the things he always told us was to focus on DELIGHTING our customers. That phrase has stuck with me as I transferred to the Brentwood, TN store, and on to other endeavors outside of retail. He was encouraging us to do more than provide adequate customer service, but off-the-charts customer service.

I like that. And I think the word is stronger than just satisfaction or joy. Delight connotes simple pleasures, sheer happiness and pure contentment. I hope to focus on delighting others as much as being delighted.

Instead of being absorbed with my work or projects, I will seek opportunities to serve those around me, bring a smile to a friend, or make someone’s day. I will notice and soak in the beauty and splendor around me – from a sunrise to a beautifully crafted phrase in a book or blog post. I will “experience” instead of just getting through something and on to the next thing on the list. I will consciously schedule fun activities in which to participate both alone and with others. Enough “all work no play” for me!

So what will your focus be for the new year?