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Extra Points – Paying Attention

Paying Attention.

This past weekend my wife Barb and I took a long weekend trip to beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. From where we live, we must take a 90-minute ferry ride back into the Unites States. We walk on the ferry, however there are many cars that are driven on. The ferry has a strict rule that no one is allowed to stay on the car deck during the trip. About 5-minutes into the crossing, the captain came over the loudspeaker and announced that the owner of a car (he gave make model and license number) needed to attend to their car down below. You see, they left their lights on and the car was locked. And the car was still running. You read that correctly. Someone had stopped their car, exited and locked it, and actually left it running! You can’t make this stuff up!

You may think this is crazy (and I do, too), however how often do we make poor decisions because we simply aren’t paying attention? It is easy to get so focused on what we are doing that we miss the big picture. Are we really paying attention to the person speaking to us on a sales call or interview? Did we proofread our work, or did we hurriedly send it off with mistakes? Did we respond in anger (especially in email) and then later regret it?

I’m sure the person who left their car running on the ferry must have had an excuse. Whatever it is, it was all about being careless and not paying attention. I’ve made that same mistake in my life both professionally and personally, and I’m guessing all of you reading this have at some point, too. This is a good reminder to all of us that in all that we do, paying attention to our surroundings and what we are doing will not only avoid embarrassment (imagine the person walking down to the car deck after that announcement), but keep us on the path to success.

This week’s quote – “The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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