November 7


Today's Quotation:

Attention to detail is the secret of success in every sphere of life, and little kindnesses, little acts of consideration, little appreciations, little confidences. . . . they are all that are needed to keep the friendship sweet.

Hugh Black

Today's Meditation:

I can't tell you how many times I heard the phrase "attention to detail" during my four years in the army.  With every task that we undertook, the concept of paying attention to every little detail was repeated over and over again, until we were quite sick of it.  The reason for that was very simple-- almost everything that we trained to do in the army could have life or death consequences, and if we didn't pay attention to details when we needed to, someone could die-- and perhaps many people.

We tend to think that our daily lives aren't life-threatening, but I suppose that depends on how we define life.  I think it depends on whether we're thriving and doing well or just getting by.  If we do pay attention to the little details in our lives, we can stay in the "thriving" side of life much more often, and perhaps even take up permanent residence there, but if we let the little details slide, then we're not moving towards the better sides of ourselves.

Our friendships and acquaintances can be a good indicator of where we stand in our lives.  Do we give to other people so that their days may be brighter, or do we hold back and not perform the little kindnesses or show the little considerations?  I know that I truly appreciate it when other people show attention to detail when they deal with me, so why wouldn't others appreciate it when I do so?

And if I do pay attention to these little details, then I'll have a pretty good indicator by which to gauge where I am in developing my own character, my own compassion, and my own ability to live my life fully.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What are some of the little details that you might pay a bit more attention to?

2.  What would the effects on your life be if you were to do so?

3.  Why is it so easy to let these little details slide?

For further thought:

There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability.  We can be completely present.  We can be all here.  We can give all our attention to the opportunity before us.

Mark van Doren

more thoughts and ideas on opportunity



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