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    • I have more than 5,000 contacts. I have more than 5,000 contacts. Red commented on Momma's Money Matters: We have similar parodies here where the average person is stopped on the street and asked questions about what they have just passed. Inevitably, the ones they are are those who had zero concept. It speaks to the preoccupied nature we have when we are walking around in our bubbles. I like this one got you thinking! April 20, 2012 06:19
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O is for Observant

Would all of the M3 Readers who do not ignore the obvious, please move to this side of the room? Everyone else, please sit over there. Who changed seats? Being observant gets you farther down the path, faster. Want to take the theory for a test drive?

We learned from David Keirsey by observing what people do, we can predict some of their behavior. The same rule applies to our environments. Look directly at your screen and not around the room and try to answer the following questions:

  1. How many lights are turned on within your field of vision (if you were to look around, which you are not going to do)?
  2. What was the color of the last car that passed you? (either direction)
  3. What is sitting to the left of the kitchen sink?
  4. Name three things which are on the bathroom counter.
  5. What is the last number on the caller ID?

How many did you get right?

Obstinate

Some of us are very rigid in our habits, and do things precisely the same way every time. This level of routine is comforting. You learned this as a baby. When things are as we expect, they are easier to handle.

  • Put keys in the same place…avoid morning scramble to locate them.
  • Put shoes away…never look for them.
  • Lunch at appointed hour…no afternoon cravings.

Some people will judge this behavior as compulsive. Take those people with a grain of salt. These habits are healthy ways to reduce stress. However, they can make you less observant.

Oops!

But I always put them right here!

Any random Tuesday, you come in and toss your keys on the kitchen counter next to a bag of groceries. After you put away the food, you trample off to put away the shoes and stop by the desk for an email read. Your evening goes according to leisurely plan until bedtime.

Wednesday morning, you are pressed and dressed, ready to walk out the door…but your keys are missing. The frantic search begins. You look everywhere you could possibly have put them and never put them. No dice. Why? You are not being observant of your own actions.

Commonly referred to as retracing your steps, if you would not panic for a moment and mentally walk through the last time you had them, you would be standing at the kitchen with the snake which would have bitten you. Now, let’s leave the house.

Outdoors

This one is pretty, and that one makes me sneeze.

Everyone marvels at the beauty of nature when they see it on a postcard or television or in a painting. But are you seeing it around you? What is in bloom in your neighbor’s garden? (Do not name only what makes you sneeze.) Even if you do not know its name, what does the plant look like in the planter in front of the building you enter everyday?

How many street signs are there between your home and the grocery? Do you know the speed limit by heart? Would you notice if the sign was missing or changed?

Could you give me guy directions to your house? Hmm. Let’s try somewhere else.

Office

In the last office you entered (not your home office, someone else’s office), was the receptionist wearing a name tag or was there a name plate on the desk? What color is the office manager’s hair? Okay, so you did not see the office manager. What color was the carpet?

Yes, this is important. Observing the obvious (like the floor) is important to your safety and comfort in the places you visit. Knowing which people to expect where is key to identifying stranger danger. You may not think someone would kidnap you, but someone lifting your wallet is definitely a danger.

Options

That could be fun!

If you really like surprises, keep on the blinders. If you like to stop to smell the flowers, you do need to know where they are. Did you notice the new restaurant which opened near the bank? Did you see the sign at the intersection about the festival this weekend? By being observant, you can pick up fun ways to fill your time away from the grindstone.

Was anyone on the Amber Alert board a neighbor? The flyer at the drug store was for the next-door-neighbor’s little girl. Her lost dog was in your yard yesterday, but you did not know it was hers. Observing the notifications outside your inbox can help you be more involved in your community.

Obvious

Do not ignore the obvious.” ~Red Dwyer

Too many times we write off the forest because a tree is planted in front of it. Being observant of your surroundings can bring you fun ideas, make your day move faster, keep you safer and reduce the stress of surprises which do not come from the florist.


How observant are you? How many of the observation questions did you get right without cheating? Can you be more observant of your surroundings? What other ways can being more observant help you?

~~~~~~~~~~

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(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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29 Comments

  1. I got them all right except for the caller ID which I don’t have, but in it’s stead I observed the lemon jellybeans next to the cookie jar on the kitchen counter and ate them too. “:) Great post, Red!
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..O is for Opportunistic ObfuscationMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Tiffany W.

     /  April 17, 2012

    I got all of the questions right except the car that passed me. I’ve been inside all day. I did see a black pickup truck stopped in the middle of the lane in front of my house a little while ago – like, they were driving and then stopped while someone got out to check something in the back…..plenty of room to pull over, but thought it was a better idea to stop…..but that’s a completely separate rant. I feel like I’m fairly observant, but I’m very likely to not notice something if it’s in my routine – for instance, Scott could walk in with purple hair and I might not notice. It’s neat noticing the levels of observation in my kids, though. The two little ones are super observant and my oldest (who is the most rigid in her routine) is the least observant about things.

    Reply
    • Red

       /  April 17, 2012

      That is a great example of how observation is compromised by routine. Good to see you today, Tiffany!

      Reply
  3. I got most of them.
    As far as the keys, I’ve left them in the wrong place so many times that those are now on the list of regular places I keep them.
    Frequently I am very unobservant, because sometimes it’s nice to just turn the brain off while going through my chores…

    On another note, post emails are reaching me irregularly, so look forward to emails from older posts as I catch up…
    El Guapo recently posted..Trifecta – ObserveMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  April 17, 2012

      Okay. I will look into it again. They have been settled the last few days. Check your profile and make sure it says you want to receive periodic email. I like the brain shut down as well. I normally cannot do that, though, until the kiddles are asleep!

      Reply
  4. I did alright with the questions. I actually only couldn’t remember what color car past me last. I find I notice things that are out of the ordinary, but then again, I do pay attention to things people don’t often care about. My youngest son is especially particular about things. I wonder where he gets that?

    Being more observant can make like easier on you. It can also keep you safe and even make you aware of some sort of opportunity that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

    The other day I was at the grocery store. I observed a man stopped at a produce stand in his motorized cart. I could have just kept going, but I also noticed he was reaching for something on the floor. He was having a hard time reaching it. So, I stopped and looked. It was a $10 bill. I picked it up and handed it to him. My point is that if I had just went about my business, I would have missed out on helping this man. Sure, he would have managed, but being able to model that for my children was a priceless opportunity.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Completely HonestMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  April 17, 2012

      That is a great story. I enlist my children to help others when the opportunity arises. Little V is being more observant, which is a major step for her.

      Reply
  5. I prefer to make up answers rather than see what’s actually around me. It’s much easier, more fun, and I’m never wrong. But sometimes the monkeys in the kitchen can get out of hand.
    Binky recently posted..Ingredients of LifeMy Profile

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    • Red

       /  April 17, 2012

      Monkeys are bad about that. Especially when they are swinging from cabinet to cabinet.

      Reply
  6. Love Lumosity; raindrops is my favorite game but usually I am too loaded to play. Great post!
    Liquorstore Bear recently posted..As Seen On TV! (Or how to earn more beer money)My Profile

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    • Red

       /  April 17, 2012

      Lumosity is great. I wish I had more time to play. But I have other brain games I love equally. Good to see you tonight, LS Bear!

      Reply
  7. I got them all that related to me – I haven’t been in an office for over a decade – and I have learned to be observant because my dear father has threatened to kill me on sight in his four wheeled penis replacement and it helps to keep your eyes open…

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Monday – A trip to the Co-OpMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  April 17, 2012

      Oh, Prenin, I beg to differ. You were in the doctor’s office in the last month! Hmm…

      Reply
  8. I did pretty well and I ALWAYS put my keys in the same spot. I’m a creature of habit except when it comes to my glasses. I take them off at the dumbest times and leave them in the most stupid places. Of course I can’t find them afterwards because I can’t see without them.

    Reply
  9. I “think” I’m fairly observant, but I guess I am only observant intentionally. There are certain places I go, people I talk to and situations I may be in that make me pay attention more. The more comfortable I am, the less I probably pay attention.
    lorrelee1970 recently posted..More poetry recycled for your use…..My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  April 18, 2012

      That is common, Lorre. Comfort breeds complacency. It is a fun memory exercise, though! Great to see you today.

      Reply
  10. I took all my poem baggage over to Articles….There is enough to go to the 25th of this month, so I’m hoping to get reading/commenting done………and some “other” blog writing as well. It’s time to get back on track.
    lorrelee1970 recently posted..More poetry recycled for your use…..My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  April 18, 2012

      Great to hear. I will meet you in the inbox later, or call me. I have something to ask you.

      Reply

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