Thanks to Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities for his article that prompted my thoughts on this matter.
In A Closer Walk Catherine Marshall writes, 'One morning last week God gave me an assignment for one day. I was to go on a "fast" from criticism. I was not to criticize anybody or anything. 'For the first half of the day I simply felt a void, almost as if I'd been wiped out as a person. This was especially true at lunch. I listened to the others and kept silent. In our talkative family nobody seemed to notice. Bemused, I noted that the Federal Government, the judicial system, and the institutional church could apparently get along just fine without my personal observations! But still I did not see what this "fast from criticism" was accomplishing - until mid-afternoon. 'In the afternoon God gave me a new vision for my life. And it had His unmistakable hallmark on it - joy! Ideas began to come to me in a way I hadn't experienced in years. Now it was apparent what the Lord wanted me to see. My critical nature had not solved a single one of the multitudinous things I had found fault with. What it had done was to stifle my own creativity.'
Creativity is a huge part of marketing smarter and when we're cynical and critical about our competition, ourselves and well....., it stifles our energy and thoughts.
To that end....stay focused on your competitive advantages and make this a great year!