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How Alert Are You?

How Alert Are You?

Alert comes from the French phrase à l’erte meaning “on the watch” and from the Italian all’erta, meaning “to the height.” This etymology brings to my mind an image of someone up in a tower overlooking land in all directions, watching for potential danger. Just like the person in that tower, to be alert, you must be awake, be present, and have that bird’s eye perspective. That perspective allows you to be open to new data points, not just sticking with what’s most comfortable. It also helps you tap your intuition. If you are acting out of habit and not attending to the details of what you’re doing, you can invite danger through carelessness. The key is to slow down just enough — maybe 5% — to create the space to tune in to what is going on within yourself and your surroundings. Then, not only are you no longer inviting mishaps through mindlessness, but also you are able to recognize and be open to more opportunities.

This week’s Challenge: This week, I will slow down 5% to create space to tune in to myself and my surroundings.

Avoiding being Impulsive (overuse): I have a friend who is hyper alert to her surroundings. The thing is, one can’t focus — really focus — on more than one thing at a time. So, when she is tuned in to what’s going on in the background, she’s not tuned in to our conversation. Being hyper alert often results in reacting to everything one encounters implusively without due consideration. This week’s challenge is special in that it helps you both build the capacity to be alert and refrain from overusing the trait. Slow down 5%… and not only are you able to notice, but also you’re able to evaluate.

Commendable Trait: Alert
Underused: Inattentive
Overused: Impulsive
Strength: Openness
Quadrant: Resilience