July 7, 2015

The Number One Awareness Skill: Paying Attention.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

by Deepak Chopra M.D.


The execution of any task or project depends on someone paying attention to someone else. Success isn’t created in a vacuum. It emerges from the situation at hand.  The situation can be a crisis or a routine project, a management problem or a simple exchange of information. The more skilled you are at paying attention, the higher your chances of success, along with other benefits such as not wasting time and getting along with co-workers. 


Not paying attention is something we all complain about when another person isn’t listening, but we need to see that paying attention is actually an awareness skill. Let me offer some details about acquiring it. 

Paying attention is a form of total engagement with the situation.  Four steps are involved:  

Impartial observation – Look and listen with your senses

Analysis – Look and listen with your mind

Feeling – Look and listen with your heart

Meditation – Look and listen with your soul

 As a potential leader, you must develop your awareness on all four levels long before you win your right to lead. Imagine three people, partners in a start-up company, seated on a couch in an outer office.  The office belongs to a venture capitalist who has agreed to give them half an hour to present a proposal for a start-up company.  Success or failure depends upon this meeting; their whole future might ride on it. Who among the three will emerge as the leader of the group, the one with the best chance of persuading the venture capitalist? 

The first person feels so nervous his palms are sweaty. He tries to make casual conversation but realizes that he’s babbling, so he grows quiet.  He closes his eyes, repeating one last time the speech he is going to make.  He got very little sleep the night before, because he spent hours perfecting every word of his speech. He keeps thinking one thing: “Now or never. It’s do or die.”

The second person looks much calmer. He’s quite confident, in fact. He believes in his idea; he’s certain the new business will succeed once a backer is found. Tall and clear-eyed, he’s used to being looked up to. In the back of his mind, he wonders if he can talk the venture capitalist into going out for a round of golf or a pickup basketball game. One-on-one has always been his best mode of persuasion.

The third person is scanning the room with open curiosity. She notices the rich Oriental rug and fresh flowers on the reception desk, but she’s more interested in the employees going in and out of the venture capitalist’s inner office.  They’re dressed in jeans and shirts, not suits. They come out looking more focused and intent than when they went in, but they don’t look stressed.  Their talk is excited; they seem to be discussing things with real focus. Checking inside, the third person feels expectant but not stressed. Whatever happens, she’s open to the outcome.  She can be one of those excited people she sees emerging from the office. Once she sets eyes on the venture capitalist, she’ll know what kind of personality she’s dealing with. 

Of these three people, the first one isn’t paying attention to anything outside his own mood, which is tense and closed off. He’s not responding to his environment. With his eyes he may notice the expensive room with its trappings of success, but even that registers very little. The second person is more comfortable and is beginning to see from the heart. He assesses people and situations by how they feel to him.  The third person goes a step further, however. She is entirely open to her surroundings and keeps picking up clues wherever she can find them. From these clues, which involve looking and listening, she begins to build a scenario. She can envision herself in the scenario, and as it unfolds, she will adapt. If it turns out that she doesn’t fit in, she won’t make the mistake of taking the venture capitalist’s money – the compatibility isn’t there.



A hypothetical situation, yet you can see that the potential for success is greater for the one who can look and listen from the deepest level. Leadership requires a sound basis inside yourself.  If you can arrive at the point where paying attention comes from your entire being, you are likely to be the leader in any situation, because you have set the groundwork even before you had the first follower.


Originally pubished by https://www.linkedin.com

Write Your Comment

  1. Hanna

    Fantastic insight and the path is clear ! Feeling like you belong is crucial !

  2. Hanna

    Fantastic insight and the path is clear ! Feeling like you belong is crucial !

  3. Celsa Ortega

    Mi habilidad es ser metódica, cumplo con las tareas.

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