Not too long ago I was on a bus and at one of the stops a woman got on with a young child. Once they both got settled in and the bus driver continued along his designated route, the woman began to read to the child. And she did so fairly loudly.
While I certainly commend this woman for taking the time to both entertain and educate her child, both of which are positive things to do when raising a little one, there were several others on the bus who were engaged in activities that made it more difficult for them to concentrate—like the people reading their newspapers or those who were checking their work-related email on their smartphones. That made this woman’s audible narration of the book more of a distraction to them as they struggled to pay attention to what they were doing while hearing all about the characters in this children’s fable.
Admittedly, this was a relatively minor part of my day and one that didn’t have a major impact on my life, but I still managed to learn a big lesson from it. I learned that we greatly benefit from being consciously aware of the people around us. No, this woman was definitely not being malicious or mean to the other passengers on the bus when reading aloud. She was simply unaware of the effect that it had on others. And this meant that she was intruding on other people’s lives without actually realizing it.
Think about your own life for a second. How many times do you walk around on auto-pilot, thinking only of yourself and what you need to get done? Specifically, how many times do you take a phone call when you’re out in public, talking loud enough for others to overhear, even if they don’t want to? Or, how many times do you throw your bag on the empty seat next to you, not even realizing that someone else has to stand because it was the only available seat left?
When we take ourselves off this auto-pilot and live consciously, that is when you truly start to experience life. You begin to pay attention to the world around you, actively engaging with others in a way that respects their time and space. This is how strangers turn into friends. This is also how prospects turn into clients.
If you’re in business, then you already know that the key to getting your target market to buy into your products and services is to get inside their mind. It is to know them almost better than they know themselves. Well, that’s pretty tough to do when you’re not living consciously because it’s almost impossible to tap into someone else’s mindset, their dreams and their concerns, when you’re not paying attention.
For the next 24 hours, make a commitment to live more deliberately. Think of all of your actions and really consider how they may affect others. Take note of the people around you, the people you engage with, and notice what impact you have on them. Is it positive? Or could it be better?
When you start to live mindfully, that is where the magic happens. Relationships strengthen, businesses grow bigger, and goals are met. All because you did one thing. You made it a point to live consciously.