Be a Better Observer for a More Fulfilled Life!One of the success traits that are shared by elite performers is the ability to observe at what I call a level III. Level I observation is an awareness that is directed on yourself. You pay attention to only the aspects of the environment that impact you. How do you feel? What moods are you experiencing? How's your physiology? How are your hopes and dreams doing?
This level of observation is not good or bad. It is however very limiting in terms of your ability to have an impact as a leader.
A level II observation is primarily focused on the other person. What do you need? What are you experiencing? Again, not good or bad but below the observation level that would bring optimum performance on your part.
The peak performance observation comes from a level III. Level III is where you are aware and observing every aspect of your presence. You are aware of what’s happening personally, of what’s going on with the other person and an overall intuitive sense of what’s happening all around you.
It is from this base of observation that magnificence occurs. You might ask, “How do I get to a level III?” There is only one way and that is through intention. This is an on purpose listening and observation of everything around you. Don't misunderstand this concept. I still ask you to focus on one thing at a time, but the intention to be aware of all aspects of your surroundings will create this level III.
Here is one application of this. It comes by way of a pilot example. As I’am taking off when I reach an altitude where I can no longer make the runway if I have an engine failure and I’m over 200 feet, I raise the landing gear.
The landing gear is a tremendous source of air resistance, or drag. Igain between 10-20 knots of airspeed by raising the gear. This makes for what is called a cleaner airplane.
I can remember making the transition from a fixed wheel airplane to what is referred to as a collapsible gear. On one flight I saw that I Was getting a terrible climb performance. I was climbing about 500 feet per minute at a speed of 80 knots when I was expecting to climb at 1000 feet per minute at 100 knots. Then I noticed I forgot to raise the landing gear. As soon as I removed the drag, my performance immediately improved.
Let’s apply this concept of observation and noticing to your life and start with a level I. Where is the drag in your life that you can control. Are you overweight? Do you have a cluttered desk? Are you a loner with minimal contact with others? Are you a reader? What habits do you either have that need to be eliminated, or currently don't have that need to be created?
Once you’ve identified the habits to extinguish or to create then you can simply make a specific commitment for the week in that regard andadd accountability with a consequence for non-performance. Over time this will create or eliminate the habit.
Let’s look at level II noticing. How are you around other people? What type of impact are you causing when you interact with others? Who needs your attention within your center of influence? How can you cause a significant improvement in the lives of others that you interact with consistently?
Level III asks a different question. What small shift in your mindset and in your expectations can you make that will have the most profound impact wherever you go and in whatever you do? How would you know that you are having that impact?
How can you be the source of a positive outcome from every interaction that you have? Notice the simple everyday circumstances. Every time you interact with another person you earn either a +, a – or a 0. If it's purely a transaction, pick up a shirt at the cleaners and pay $1.98then perhaps it’s a 0, or neutral.
If you argue with the help about the cleaning of the shirt then it’s a ranking of -.
If something you say or do helps that person to have a special day then it’s a +.
How can you make every interaction a +? Is it possible to have every interaction that you participate in be a catalyst for the other person to have a better day? What does that do for you to be operating at a positive level III? Why bother?
These are designed to be thought provoking questions. Notice your life and the impact you have on yourself and others. Notice where the dragor resistance is in your life and make a decision to clean it up. Do this noticing in your health, business and personal life.
Be committed to end clutter, waste and useless resentment. Prove that you are committed with your actions. Remember the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What you do speaks so loudly I can't hear what you say!”