Keys (to Success) Pt II: The Intensity of Attention
Gratefulness is greatness.
This key is a character trait i have noticed in every successful person I have met. What do all successful people do? They exhibit the key of gratefulness. However, this type of gratefulness is different.
Josh was a businessman. He had it all - he was CEO of a huge corporation, a frequent traveller for business, an angel investor in new ventures, and on multiple boards carrying numerous prestigious titles.
I met Josh in university in a course that he was teaching. Despite the huge balancing act of scheduling everything in, amidst the long days and minimal sleep, he made sure that he had time for every single student who came up to him. The first thing I noticed about Josh was the Intensity of Attention. The intensity of attention is an mental measurement of how present you are with the person in front of you. Whenever somebody asked Josh a question, you could tell that a couple things. Mainly, to Josh, the world at that point in time was the student, the questions/statements he was making, and Josh's personal thoughts about the subject - nothing else. I could be standing right next to Josh and the student, and he would not even notice me until the student was done with that conversation.
What were the key physical points? For one, he didn't have his phone out. At ALL times, it is extremely rude to be talking to somebody while simultaneously looking down at your phone texting. This even applies to taking a call while present with somebody unless it is a life-or-death situation, which it normally isn't. Why? By doing so, this shows that you don't value the other person's time that they are present with you. Of course, here’s me simply stating the opposite: If you show that you truly value another person’s time, they will appreciate it.
Second, his eye contact could have killed somebody - it was as strong as a laser beam, bearing down into your eyes. I remember looking at him and appreciating the face-to-face engagement, as opposed to the numerous times I observed people glancing around their surroundings during a conversation, obviously not engaged in the topic at hand.
Lastly was the body language. Josh's body was always positioned facing towards the person he was talking to. There was a psychology study done a couple years ago measuring lies, truth/honesty, and openness. Results found that people who were hiding something always unintentionally turned their body away from the interviewer. The aftermath? Welcome to something that I call the Belly Button Rule (also used in Public Speaking basics). The BB Rule is to keep your belly button (your core) facing the people you are talking to as much as possible. This conveys earnestness and shows the your companion that you are being honest.
This key is essentially one of mutual respect.
If you're reading this, and you have a roof over your heads, food for the next week, gas in your car, and money in your bank account, go ahead and take that moment to think about how blessed you are. You've probably heard this before and done it plenty times, as a good reminder. Now while being grateful for what you have is a good thing, I want to pose the idea that it is not just what we have that is a blessing, but that being grateful for people and for time is huge. Each person that spends time with you is giving up minutes of their own life, something that they will never get back, and that should be taken with a measure of appreciation, no matter the situation.
Key II: Intensity of Attention: Treat the person that you are present with as if they are the most important person in your life.
Daily Invitation Challenge: Keep your phone on silent and try to focus solely on the person in front of you.
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.