What are you paying attention to?

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love my kids and their successes along with their "FIRST ATTEMPTS IN LEARNING" (F.A.I.L.).

My son is in his junior year and is studying to be a Civil Engineer. He occasionally will tell me about things that he has learned in his classes, such as, how much weight one beam in a structure can hold or how many cars can transit through a light before it changes and how long a light is programed for a pedestrian to safely cross a street after they push the crosswalk button.

A few days ago he mentioned that he had a certain professor that was very thorough and detailed oriented and how he expects the same from his students. As a result of this, the grades of his students were not high and this has been the norm for this one professor. Amazingly enough, the students continue to sign up for his courses because although they are not A's in his classes they are learning valuable lessons of not only being an Engineer but in life as well. So here is my bragging moment, my son has 4 A's and 3 B's this semester!


Anyone building a house, an enterprise or a career, needs to be just like the professor and be thorough and detail oriented. Although most of us don't like to be micromanaged or try to bypass the minute details, we must all realize that not having a solid foundation will lead us to efforts that are useless and vain.

Can you imagine standing in a building or a structure that was not carefully planned out? How about crossing over the Deception Pass Bridge (177' tall), a two land bridge that connects Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island in Washington State. The bridge crosses waters at a peak flow of nearly nine knots, 2 million cubic feet of water pour through Deception Pass per second. That's eight times the average flow of Washington's mighty Columbia River. It is more than 50 times the average flow of all the rivers emptying into Puget Sound. Imagine if the person who designed this bridge wasn't detail oriented, how confident would you be to cross this landmark?

One of the most common things job seekers list on their resume is their strong attention to detail. As you look at your life, are you paying attention to the details that you are being charged with as you are building a company, a structure, or the lives of others in roles as an employee, parent, teacher, mentor, caregiver, or supervisor? Think about how important it is to pay attention to the details. Getting one number wrong in finances can lead to financial ruin, getting someone’s name wrong on a first date can lead to the last date, or worse as with the example of the bridge, it could lead to harm or even death. I always joke and use the phrase "why are you worried about the little things in life" but in reality that is what our lives are made of.

You can boost your level of attentiveness by limiting your distractions, prioritizing, taking regular breaks, slowing down at work, breaking your goals into smaller pieces, and playing focus enhancing games such as "I Spy." Legendary Coach John Wooden said "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." #SPEAK2MYHEART


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