In my role as a Corporate Human Resources Executive, it is my job to pay attention. As soon as someone walks into my office, I focus on his or her words, tone of voice, emotions, needs, concerns, beliefs, perspectives, history, relationships, openness and body language. This requires focus, and it can be quite exhausting at times.
Paying attention is not always easy and is often very hard to do well. The payoff of doing it well is that we become aware of an amazing world of opportunity, contrast, causes and consequences. Life is incredible. It is rich and inspiring beyond our wildest imaginations, but we first have to pay attention.
When I say that this is often very hard to do well, I mean that few of us have any idea what is really happening all around us. We don't take time to slow down, actively listen, and fully consider what is right in front of us. In today's busy world, we're often too distracted, unmotivated, or simply too worn out.
Consider this. Start small and pay attention to these three main areas of your life and see what happens...
BEAUTY AND WONDER
Nature is amazing. Here in Arkansas - everything is connected to nature. We are living well in The Natural State. Daily, we are surrounded by awe, wonder, fear, majesty, wildlife, terror, splendor, and power, but we often fail to truly pay attention.
"Take time to smell the roses." We've all heard this phrase; but do we actually do it? It's a powerful phrase that helps us to stop and think about the simplest aspects of nature - the details, the fine points.
Don't lose your sense of beauty and wonder. Don't allow distractions and life around you to impact you so much that you grow callous and complacent. Don't miss the glory of nature, in Arkansas or where ever you may find yourself.
Most of us experience those moments in life when we sensed the presence of a higher power. God. Source energy. Our Inner Being. (whatever you may wish to call it.) We sensed that God had just done something amazing in our lives of that this higher power was expressing it's presence within us. These moments may come and go more than we realize and are often forgotten because we frequently don't stop to pay attention to them. They are a powerful reminder of our guiding light.
Consider the following five kinds of mini miracles (adapted from the book by Alan Wright entitled, The God Moment Principle.)
1. Amazing rescues - when we feel healed from something, protected, rescued, or our higher power has made a way out for us
2. Holy guidance - when we are led to a healthier path, or to resists temptation. When we feel inspired to take the higher road
3. Blessings - when we receive something unexpected
4. Revealed truths - hearing our God, our higher power speak to us through something that we heard, saw, read, or felt
5. Valuable adversities - when we feel sustained through difficult times or made to feel stronger through tests of adversity and contrast
Each day is filled with incredible opportunities. Look for them. Pay attention. They are out there. Some are easy, some challenging. In today's busy world some can be overwhelming. When things seem truly impossible, but it happens anyway (as in a mini miracle) these opportunities feel almost supernatural.
Many of us guide ourselves, or gravitate toward the easy opportunities. We need to challenge ourselves more and encourage every problem, or unfavorable circumstance as an opportunity. The more difficult the problem, the greater the challenge in working it all out.
Sometimes the tiniest details and insignificant moments will have the most impact to your day. Pay attention to the opportunities, the mini miracles, and all of the beauty and wonder that surrounds you. It's all out there.
Live and Love Intentionally is a series of chapters in a blog series where we explore all the ways in which we can live and love intentionally. It's through the contrast that life brings our way that we learn what we do not want and what we do want. Each day is significant and it matters how we approach it. Let's work together to make each day extraordinary, and less than ordinary. Our next chapter is Chapter Four| Know Yourself.