What Are You Missing?

June 28, 2012 No Comments

After a recent encounter with a homeless woman and her young daughter in a nearby park, I wondered if I would have noticed her had I still been with the firm I used to work for. This is not an indictment against the firm, but an inquiry into my own diminished awareness. In hindsight, I know that I was so consumed with serving clients and posting numbers that I certainly missed some of the meaningful aspects of life.

 

It is like getting in the car, driving through traffic, arriving at your destination and having little recollection of the details of your trip – the people on the street, songs on the radio, the sound of the turn signal. We can be on auto-pilot, reactive, not fully aware or engaged. Absent a horn, bumps on the road or worse yet, a collision, we have failed to notice some of the beauty, novelty – and hazards.

 

Relative to our careers, we sometimes allow ourselves to drift into auto-pilot mode. We become so focused on “doing”, that we are not “being” and don’t see the proverbial “forest for the trees.” We fail to challenge the status quo; we lack discernment and succumb to complacency. The danger in this perspective is that we can miss opportunities to innovate, add real value and shine. It might take a catastrophic event to shake us back to awareness, but by then it might be too late.

 

Awareness requires discipline. We have to train our psyche to stay engaged. This awareness requires conscious attention to what we are doing, how we do it and the people, places and things we are interacting with. Assess where you are now, have a destination in mind and be prepared for intermediate stops along the way to take in the scenery – you don’t want to miss a thing.

 

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