Excerpted from the book on conscious business management, Business Black Belt
when you are thinking about something else.
You must pay attention to everything all the time. The world is moving too fast and mistakes are too expensive for you to allow yourself to “space out.”
You must always be conscious. You can’t just put yourself on automatic pilot and do whatever—unless your instincts are sufficiently trained to respond immediately to sudden events. Since you experience a broad spectrum of sudden events from everyday problems, from oncoming cars to fortuitous business opportunities, you can’t possibly react fast enough if you haven’t been paying attention. By remaining conscious, you are aware of things, people, opportunities, and problems coming up. You can take appropriate actions before anything becomes an emergency. Emergencies are usually expensive and painful, but many can be foreseen.
In my workshops, people would often say, “You mean I gotta be conscious of what I say, things that I do, the expression on my face, how people respond to me, how I drive… all the time?!” The answer is yes. I fly airplanes and every time I’m not conscious of everything going on, something happens. These are the moments of sheer terror. If I don’t pay close attention to flying the airplane, I could descend 500 feet and hit something.
The next time you’re on the freeway, take a look at the people driving next to you. Are they driving their car or are they somewhere else? What if you or they drifted five feet? “Oh, it was an accident, I didn’t see you coming,” they’ll say. What were they doing while they weren’t seeing you coming? If they were conscious of their driving, they would be looking around, they would have seen you coming, and they wouldn’t have accidents. Neither would you.
Traffic accidents… more on messages… I digress
(From time to time throughout this book I’ll talk about the messages from nature that are constantly coming to us.) While we are on the subject of accidents, let me suggest that each kind of accident has some meaning to your life. Certainly you are not numb to what is going on around you, but you may not be picking up the hints Nature gives you about the action you must take if your life is to work the way you’d like it to. Nature provides many coincidences. This may seem way out there, but if you will accept and absorb this point of view, you’ll join a rare number of people who put this awareness to very productive use. The good news is that Nature is very straightforward—everything is literal.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
~ Zen saying
Traffic accidents, for example, are an extremely loud wake-up call for those of us who just aren’t with the program.
- Getting rear-ended means that you stop in front of people with little or no warning. Perhaps you are holding back other people in your life.
- Rear-ending someone else means you are not aware of the person in front of you, which is not a good idea if you follow too close or if you go while they are stopped. Perhaps you are pushing too hard.
- A broadside (T-bone) accident means that you didn’t see the other car coming and pulled out in front. Perhaps you’re not looking around enough to see what others are doing, what projects they are working on, and are just moving ahead on your own.
- You can interpret other types of accidents for yourself. It’s actually kind of fun to figure why things go wrong and what meaning they might have for you in all areas of your life. You’ll discover that handling the issue that can be “sourced” from you will almost miraculously change the coincidental events occurring in your daily life.
Much has been written and many seem to agree that we are on this Earth in this lifetime to learn. If you look, I think you’ll see that the signs are all around you. And if you don’t get it, Nature just turns up the volume. Unfortunately, car accidents are part of the learning, if you are not conscious of the messages that come in more softly.
Consciousness does not occur unconsciously.
~ Michael Naumer, Relationships Research Institute
It matters every day
When you are conscious of what you eat, you won’t stick just anything in your mouth and one day wonder why you’re fat. When you make phone calls or work on projects, you’re conscious of your time. You get a lot of things done because you didn’t let time go by and say, “Oh, I didn’t get anything done today.”
Someone once said, “God is in the details.” (Others say, “The Devil is in the details.”) Using all of your senses (described in the previous chapter) helps being conscious all the time. Attention to detail makes a difference. When you compare a higher quality product and a lower quality product, you can tell which is well made. The conscious combination of appropriateness, balance, belonging, common sense, direction, rhythm, space, style, timing, value and, most importantly, attention all adds up to quality—what a customer is going to appreciate and buy from you. Someone will purchase your product or pay for your services over someone else’s.
Business Black Belt Notes
- Practice constant consciousness.
- Nature is a ruthless teacher; the messages are literal.
- The idea is to get the message while it is just a whisper.
- Are you conscious of the expression on your face right now?
- (Become aware of this because it affects others and their feelings toward you.)
- Look for the lessons in the things that happen to you and others.
- Use each situation to observe how and what you are doing.