Every day I pray for three things in my life: love, joy, and contribution. The details vary from day to day. Other intentions get thrown into the mix. But the core is always the same. These three qualities form the bedrock of my personal creed and my reason for living.
Over the course of time, my relationship with these intentions has evolved. When I first started setting intentions, they seemed like distant beacons on the horizon. They beckoned, but seemed in short supply in the moment. Over time these beacons have moved closer, but lately something unexpected started happening.
I am finding that when I sit quietly, those qualities that I so fervently seek are taking a radically new form. They no longer appear somewhere outside myself. Where historically my attention was focused on their absence, it is beginning instead to notice their presence.
There are moments where I look at the sky or sit quietly on my back patio, the world seems flooded with love, joy, and contribution. Not just trace amounts that are barely detectable to the consciousness. Instead, I see a world swimming with these wonders. A well of connection and goodness gushing forth and surrounding me in beauty.
For now these moments of abundance are green shoots. They sprout up now and then, but I habitually focus more on the lack of these qualities than on their presence. I get the sense, however, that change is happening.
So what on earth does any of this have to do with entrepreneurship?
Many of us, including me, are entering the holiday season with weighty issues that compete for our attention. If we’re not distracted by our entrepreneurial projects, we want to escape them. Either way, they distract us from the opportunities to be present with our friends and family. We carry with us concerns about cash flow, hiring, and the general overwhelm of too much to do with too little time.
Our attention is divided between our business and the joys, obligations, and opportunities of the holiday season. Somewhere out there, relief beckons in the form of a scalable business model, financial security, and a team that can reliably interpret and execute our vision for what our business needs to become. A sea of hard work, anxiety, and challenges separate us from attaining these goals.
What happens, however, when you uncover a secret looking glass? Step through, and discover that problems are nothing but brilliantly disguised opportunities for us to learn, grow, and express our truest nature. The entrepreneurial path is challenging, and it is exactly that challenge that gives us the fuel to realize our best selves.
I find my consciousness perched on a knife’s edge, slipping almost imperceptibly between perspectives of scarcity and abundance. As we embark on our holiday season, all of us have an opportunity to choose where we invest our attention. The problems that we face in our business, when seen from a new perspective, may be our greatest gifts. They offer rewards that rival the joys of being with our families and loved ones.
As entrepreneurs, we also reserve a special spot for our fellow travelers on the entrepreneurial path. It is the alchemy of their insight, experiences, and feedback that transform our challenges into gold. In this season of gratitude, this fellowship is one of the greatest gifts.

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