Sounds pretty obvious, right? But though you are right here, your attention is almost always someplace else. You miss what you don’t make time to see; you miss things that are right in front of you.
- You can’t see your kid’s expressions if you don’t intentionally look for them.
- You can’t see the generous person who holds the door open for you if you aren’t paying attention.
- You can’t see the effort someone took to wrap the gift in your favorite color paper with a bow tied by hand if you don’t make the effort to notice.
- You can’t see the effort and attention in your kids artwork, that they got the hair and eye color right to be sure you know you were thought of, if you don’t focus.
- You can’t see the worry and concern in your teen heading to a new school, with new kids and new teachers, if you don’t tune in.
- You can’t see the frustration, hurt or sadness in your partner’s face when you miss an important date or event, if you don’t think it is worth watching for.
You can’t see if you don’t make time to see
And, most of us don’t. We are moving so fast through life that the details zoom past us. We miss them. We default into what we always do instead of tuning in to the details. In the details we gather information about feelings, thoughts, values, and important things. We gather information about likes and dislikes, successes and challenges, opportunities and fears. We miss them if we don’t intentionally make time to see them. So how do you improve?
Stop and notice. These are 2 of the most powerful words to change how you connect with everyone in your life. Stop the autopilot and rushed approach to life. Then, once out of your default settings (as the exceptional writer David Foster Wallace calls them), you can actually tune in and notice.
So, how do you stop? Stop when the world makes you stop – at a red light, when you connect with someone, when you enter through a door, when you are in a new place. These, and many other places, are reminding you when things look different, this is your cue to be ready to notice.
How do you notice? Watch, tune in and pay attention on purpose. Gather information. What do you see and sense? What is the information telling you? Information you gather in this moment, has the potential to make you more informed to make your next moment better.
Stop, so you can notice. Stop the running at breakneck speed and missing the moments of your life. Notice the details, the people, the places and the feelings. They have information for you. Use the information to be wiser, more caring, more aware and more connected in the next moment. Then notice how this makes your world change.
Stop and notice- they are the key to connecting with your kids (and to all the important people in your life) and to showing up big to life.