A successful American entrepreneur had acquired a lot of wealth. He decided to retire and take it easy, living a life to which most people aspire. Unfortunately, he soon realized that he still wasn't happy. Because his life was so empty, the entrepreneur decided to go in search of a Zen master who apparently knew three important secrets for living life to the fullest. After many months of searching, the entrepreneur finally found the Zen master on top of an obscure mountain. The Zen master was happy to reveal the three secrets to having a happy and satisfying life. The entrepreneur was surprised by what he was told.
According to the Zen master, the three secrets to having a happy and fulfilling life are:
Indeed, we all should pay more attention than we do.
Most of us walk around the majority of the time as if we were sleeping, paying little regard to what is going on around us.
Some philosophers say most of us are unconscious most of the time.
Author Peter Leschak commented on the unconsciousness of human beings, "All of us are watchers - of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway - but few are observers. Everyone is looking; not many are seeing."
Few of us see the best solutions to our life's problems that are often staring us in the face.
Even the obvious escapes us.
A character in Joseph Heller's Catch 22 had flies in his eyes.
He couldn't see these flies in his eyes, however.
Reason: The flies in his eyes prevented him from seeing these same flies in his eyes.
We are like this character.
"The obscure we see eventually," remarked American broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. "The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer."
Those of us who pay little or no attention are the ones who wind up at the bus depot - instead of the harbor where we should be - when our ships finally come in.
According to French poet Paul Valery, "The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
Particularly important is paying attention to those things that matter.
It's easy to be caught by surprise when you are focusing on something that doesn't matter.
Failure to pay attention to the things that matter will result in your being blind-sighted by some destructive event that you should have seen coming.
If you are aware of how vision works, you know that what you see initially is just a fraction of what actually exists.
Take a stroll down a street that you have walked on many times before.
Take your time to carefully observe everything you can.
You will be amazed at the many interesting things you have never noticed before.
How right legendary American baseball player Yogi Berra was when he remarked, "You can observe a lot just by watching."
Paying attention to the world around you - looking at commonplace things and seeing the miraculous - will lead you to opportunities that others don't see.
Opportunities for creating new sources of income, for instance, are all around us, including our backyards.
Robert G. Allen and Mark Victor Hansen, co-authors of The One Minute Millionaire, claim that they will be able to spot at least fifteen moneymaking opportunities in your living room alone.
Pay attention to the world around you and there should be no lack of opportunities available to you.
If anything, there will likely be too many.
Expanding your awareness involves bringing a fresh perspective to familiar experiences.
One of the keys to enjoying the world more is to practice the habit of flexibility.
As an old Dutch proverb points out, "In the land of the blind, one eye is king."
Pay attention and you will see a whole of things in this world that others don't see.
You must come to terms with the fact that perception is everything.
What you see is what you get.
Stop functioning on automatic pilot.
Be attentive and you will see a myriad of interesting and exciting things happening in the world around you.
Change your vision and you can change your life.