Paying Attention as a Means to Success

Quickly:  When was the last time you uttered the words “Well, I didn’t see that coming!”

If you’re like most people (me included..) these typically fly off the tongue when something totally unanticipated surprises us. This could range from something relatively minor like a flat tire or 10 red lights in a row. Inconvenient, yes, but not life threatening.  One could argue that either of these would be unavoidable.

What if the stakes were a little higher? Imagine heading to a critical appointment or staring down the barrel of an important deadline. In these cases, a flat tire or traffic delays might have harsher consequences; unnecessary complications by failing to plan properly.

As unwelcome as these complications might be, there is something even worse that most of us have experienced. An “I told you so” from someone that had warned us in advance is almost worse than being late. This insult to injury can produce an interesting cocktail of frustration, exasperation and consternation.

Some might say these complications serve as an important wake-up call, necessary for re-calibration and adjustment to paying more attention than we had previously. For many others however the default is to remain oblivious to that which is obvious to others. The experience likely then repeats itself without adjustment until the universe steps in and ups the ante a good bit as if to say “you really don’t get it do you?”  

The failure to wake up to the consequences of not paying attention more often than not leads to some impressive train wrecks. Life can be complicated. Regret often sounds like: “If only I could go back and have a do-over…” And while it is impossible to cover off all the bases, there is something to be said about making an honest effort to prevent the unnecessary. Paying attention to potentialities will prevent many unnecessary complications. Paying attention includes purposefully gearing down and taking mindful stock of our circumstance.  This eventually results in a reliable balance in which a flat tire, 10 red lights in a row or any other anomalies are all taken in stride.

Stephen Roehrig
Vice-President, Operations
Intrust Communications Inc. 

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