It was a busy week.
I spoke seven times in five cities, in four states spanning three times
zones. I’d left early Monday; it was now Friday afternoon.
I was a bit
exhausted and thrilled to be home.
I kissed my wife and grabbed my kids. Giving Beth the gift of alone time and
myself the gift of playtime, I loaded my kids into the car and took them to
My second born,
Patrick, was in a car seat directly behind and telling me all about his
day. He’s got big brown eyes, long eyelashes, a sweet
disposition and it was great to hear about his day.
And yet at some point…
…my mind……started to drift.
Beth and I had a dinner party that evening; traveling during the week meant
I was buried in emails; I had to prepare for events the following week; and
I had a….
And while I’m
thinking about all these things that I have to do, places I need to go,
tasks I must complete, a little voice behind me cut through my
self-chatter, and said:
“Dad, why aren’t you listening to me? Why aren’t you paying attention?”
My friends, he’s strapped into a Nascar-like 5-point-car seat, the kid
can’t move. He’s positioned directly behind me, and from the reflection on
a 1 inch rear-view mirror, this little man knew I wasn’t fully engaged.
And he was right.
You know, too
frequently we confuse being out of bed with being awake. [Tweet
this.] We confuse talking with someone with
actually hearing what they are saying; and we confuse being there with
actually paying attention.
In order to actually see, actually listen, actually be present and actually
be awake, it’s critical to remove the things that distract you and keep you
from ‘paying attention’ in your relationships, in your work, and in your
So let go of
yesterday’s regrets. Put away tomorrow’s planning. And wake up to the
amazing miracle of living on fire for today. [Tweet