"From a tiny sprout, the greatest trees grow and flourish. May the seeds of your mind be equally fruitful."
Despite the snow-clogged roads, the Firelands region is heating up in many "-ally" ways. Time to plant your seeds!
This is the season of tax returns. For many individuals, it means you get your yearlong loan to the government back (without interest). No doubt you have seen that many businesses are offering you ways to take care of disposing of that excess cash. Sales are going on all around the area. Locally you can support the businesses that support the Register or look at a publication like the Town Money Saver There is also a regional option such as Groupon. Of course, saving your money is never a bad thing either. There are many local financial planners, asset allocators, and insurers who can assist you with that!
On the other side of the coin, businesses, this is a time for you to make sure you are giving people a reason to spend their money with you. Make sure you set some goals for the summer and begin ramping up into them. We'll soon see visitors from all over the country flocking to us to spend their time and money. Both of those things are valuable not just to them but to you. Hit up social media. Use YouTube. Shift your interior decorations around a bit. Get settled on your "message" now so it has time to germinate and become an authentic outreach, not simply a flashy gimmick. Did you know you can post your events for free on the Funcoast calendar?
Are you a candidate running for office? Perhaps facing a primary challenge? This is when your message matters most! This is a time to illustrate not just who you are and what you believe, but WHY you believe it. This is a day and age of information and communication. It is, for better or worse, also a time of skepticism and speculation. Approach your desired office in a way that will convey your intelligence and determination. Paint your message with bold colors. You will offend some people. You will attract others. But most importantly, a clear message gives you a palpable aura that your constituents can regard and judge appropriately. Do you want supporters who believe in you and help spread your message, or people who admit they held their nose and used you as a vote against someone else?
We need leaders at all levels cut from all colors of cloth. We need citizens who are impassioned enough to step up in the face of an uncertain outcome and can bring their own experiences to the table. Plant your political vision in social media starting now. Now is also a time to start learning about the pop culture in which many of your voters indulge and lacing it into the medium of your messages.
New Year's resolutions aren't too far behind us to renege on them so soon, especially if they are to improve your health, education, or vocation. Those commitments need attention right now so that they may develop into a habit by summer. There are a near-endless supply of books that you can pick up and read. They don't have to be sterile, legalese-wrought works about a historical epoch. Even a romance novel can invoke your imagination and give you some inspiration.
Never before has the world been so close to your fingertips. You can live your entire life and never hear every song, watch every TV show, or see every movie made! There is no need to relegate yourself to only a small corner of what's out there. By broadening your mind and experiences, any message from the above or beyond will be amplified. Here are a few great resources:
1. Browse the front page of Wikipedia every day. You will be supplied with all manner of topics to research and/or discuss with others.
2. Hop over to Dictionary.com's site to learn their word of the day. For an extra challenge, try to use it twice in your day!
3. Are you on Pinterest? If the answer is "no", then you really should be. There is just too much SFW creativity and "life" there that you will never wont for educational tips or boredom relief again.
4. Don't just read your local newspaper, but participate in the comment section. Get in on the discussion, share your own point of view, and don't worry if others don't like it. How else can you learn, grow, and stay informed if you don't know what's going on?
5. Still looking for interesting things to read or do in order to grow as a person? Take any of the links above and see what else they offer elsewhere on their respective sites. Follow the links and click away. Let your mind wander over lists of internet acronyms, "life hacks", and helpful advice.
Conclusively (not an -ally, technically - hah!)
Plant the seeds for yourself now, there is no better time.