I am deviating from my typical technical topics to think about our approach to responsibilities in life. I’m not sure what caused me to develop this, but I felt it was worth sharing.
In the security industry, we all understand the concept of situational awareness, at least when it comes to securing people and property. But situational awareness should be a priority in all areas of life. In other words, the opposite of clueless! In sports the great athletes are the ones who “see” the whole field or court and are able to make great adjustments in real-time. They know where the issues and the opportunities are going to be, and they are able to stay ahead of the game.
When I was teaching my kids to drive, I tried to get them to visualize their environment and create a “radar screen” in their mind from their entire vision including mirrors. Even though they may not be looking at all the cars or obstacles around them, they mentally realize where they are and then update that image from each new glance. Of course, car companies are building the cars to do that for us now, but the human ability is no less important.
Situational awareness as a human trait is stronger in some than others. To a point it can be learned, but it always requires focus. Some people can appear to focus on multiple tasks, but one will always distract from another. One person may be able to aptly manage 5 activities simultaneously better than others can manage one, but to do the best at anything requires focus on that one thing. I was reminded of this recently when rereading Peter Drucker’s timeless book, The Effective Executive, which is probably what started me on this blog topic.
There are so many applications here that it is hard to pick a single direction, but my point in this blog is simply to bring awareness to the concept of awareness in all areas of life. Develop that same ability you used to excel in sports, business or whatever, to also build your family life, spiritual well-being, health and yes, your driving.
I believe one of my gifts is the ability to create a mental radar of activities I am involved with. Whether developing and managing security systems, finding my way around a new town or engaging in a group collaboration. Being able to visualize the big picture helps me to understand the objectives and challenges to achieve the best outcome. I admit, I can do better at this in some areas of my life.
The bottom line is, it is a choice. We can go through life oblivious or make the effort to fully engage in each of our environments and bring out the best in all of them.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…