Opportunity Comes to Those Who Pay Attention


Yesterday afternoon, our sunny skies turned dark and rainy, but I could see that it was still sunny about a mile away, where a peninsula meets the ocean. Without much thought, I got in my car and headed that way.

 

By the time I got to the end, it was pelting there. But the sun was still shining through the clouds and after a while one, then two, rainbows formed.

 

Thus, the image above is the result of a simple process: paying attention.

 

There's just one problem, which is that each of us has the same number of hours in the day as human beings did in 1985 when there was no Web, Facebook, Slack, Instagram, text messages, Google, or smartphones. In those days, my computer had about 10 megabytes of storage and that was plenty; today my Macbook Air has 120 gigabytes and I'm always on the edge of running out of space.

 

In other words, there is so much more stuff competing for your attention.

 

So when I remind you that opportunity comes to those who pay attention, it's logical for you to wonder, "To what?"

 

Should you pay attention to your kids or your boss? Your customers or your vendors? Your friends or the breaking news (Worldwide hack! New president in France! North Korea fires a missile!)

 

That depends. Before I can give you a specific answer, you'd have to answer a question for me...

 

What matters most to you?"

 

Without a solid answer to this question, you can't focus your attention in an effective manner.

 

Now you may wonder whether in these times of information overload if chasing rainbows is really the best use of my time?

 

On Sundays it is. I consciously disconnect and recharge, to be better able to do great work during the week. When it started raining, I stopped my yard work; suddenly I had free time to chase a good photograph.

 

On a Tuesday afternoon, however, I'm paying attention to my clients. Nothing less than a triple rainbow (is that possible?) would pull me away.

 

The problem comes when you allocate your attention without understanding what matters most to you. People who do this eventually feel like they are spinning their wheels... always busy but seldom proud of their accomplishments.

 

Sitting at the end of the peninsula, I felt proud to have noticed the weather pattern forming and then to have the patience to wait in the rain until, well, something remarkable happened.

On a day when my intention was to slow down, both were signs of success.

 

What's your intention today? Your answer should tell you where to focus your attention.


(This blog was first published on LinkedIn. It has been re-posted here with prior permission from Bruce Kasanoff.)


(Image Courtesy: Pixabay.com)

Categories: Leadership

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Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff helps companies empower and inspire their employees. He brings relentlessly positive messages of personal empowerment, flexibility and clarity. ...

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