Never Underestimate Your Ability to Notice


Definition of the word “underestimate” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1.  to estimate (something) as being less than the actual size, quantity, or number
  2. to think of (someone or something) as being lower in ability, influence, or value than that person or thing actually is

Never Underestimate your ability to notice.

Do you ever feel forgotten about? Or if maybe not forgotten, overlooked? It happens to us all. Literally all of us.

Have you ever had this experience?

You are with a group of friends…coworkers…family…people. Everything is laughing, talking, having a good time. You start telling a story of some kind. You have barely started telling it when you realize somehow someone else has started talking and…everyone is laughing and listening to them. Your words start to get quieter and quieter and slowly fade into almost nothingness as you look around for any stragglers who may be still listening to you. After a glance around the room, you stop talking and give up. Oh well, it just happens (A LOT) You think to yourself. You join in with the others, listening wholeheartedly to the individual who has taken (stolen) the floor.

awkward moment

Yeah. I think we’ve all been there.

And we have probably all been the person on the other end who cut someone off while they were talking.

But… have you ever had this happen?

After 10 minutes your half told story has never made a comeback…it has officially died. Then out of nowhere someone turns, looks you in the eyes and says, “Hey, you started telling a story about such and such….what happened?”

You sit there, in shock and amazement. So someone was listening! Someone does care! Isn’t is startling?  And… AWESOME!

When people notice things about our lives it makes us feel special and cared about. It just makes our day when someone takes the time to compliment us in a very specific way, they ask about something talked about in previous conversation, or remember important dates and events coming up in our life. When people notice things about our lives it makes us feel wanted, like we matter.

I love Trent Shelton’s saying, “It all starts with you.” If we like the feeling of being noticed, why not share the love? =) Truthfully, most of us aren’t very good at noticing things…other than bad things. I’m not sure how or why but bad things are so much more noticeable, but for some reason that is what our minds latch onto. So how do we change this cycle and become someone who is good at noticing?

Three things to help you tap into your “noticing the good things” superpower:

  1. Listen. Being a good listener is devoting your whole attention to whoever is talking and engaging by asking questions, looking at them, and joining in the conversation. (Put your phone AWAY!)
  2. Remember. Do whatever it takes to remember important events or even unimportant things happening in the lives people you come in contact with. I am so, so bad at remembering things, for me I have to write stuff down!
  3. Make a point to say something. People won’t know if you don’t say something…so speak up!

Noticing things has a lot of power. It can literally turn someone’s day around or even make their day. Noticing things can bring more depth to your relationships. Noticing things can save someone. Never Underestimate your ability to notice.







Things happen when you are persistent.

I was reading success stories this weekend, in particular author success stories..the stories of those lucky souls who have gotten their books published. To tell the truth at first I was discouraged. It seemed like the book publishing dream was all up to chance…a 1 in a 1,000,000 shot. Then I saw the light…the key…the common link. The people who have gotten their book published wrote, rewrote, sent in submissions, got rejected ….over and over again. But they never gave up. They were persistent and it paid off.

Persistence is hard because it means facing failure …it means being patient …it means knowing results may not come right away…it means work. Three years ago I lost 30 pounds–thirty pounds I had been trying to lose for years. What changed is I realized the workouts..the healthy eating had to be day out…for many many days. Change wasn’t going to happen unless I determined each day to work out and to eat right. What is crazy after a few weeks, eating healthy got easier…and easier…now it’s habit. (But I still enjoy cheese covered fries every now and then…gotta live a little! =) )

The BEST things in life usually don’t happen overnight. They are grown, cultivated, worked for. It has been said that the harder the work, the sweeter the victory. Some of the people I admire the most are people who don’t give up easily…who are persistent. Being persistent can change your body, your job, your relationships…and your life.


It counts

Sometimes there are things we simply cannot fix or change.

I’m thinking of those moments when a friend, co-worker,  family member, acquaintance is hurting. The sparkle in their eyes has been replaced with tears, they don’t smile anymore…it’s like part of them has been stolen, which is partially true. And gosh, you just want to make them smile again, take away the pain and give them sunny skies.

There is a group of personality types out there I’d like to call the “fixers” and “helpers”. Fixers and helpers are driven to, as the name suggests, fix things…if we could, we would make the world have sunshine every single day.Fixers love to see people happy and make people happy; when someone isn’t happy or is hurting, fixers instantly want to fix it, they feel driven to help. Most, if not all of us, have a certain amount of this fixer/helper personality in us…it makes you human to care about another human.

But sometimes there are  things you cannot fix. Sometimes the hurt is so deep, too deep. Or the hurt and pain is something you cannot relate to at all… and you feel powerless. You want to help, but you can’t; you want to take the pain away, but you can’t. The person feels so far, so out of reach, and you don’t know what to do or say.

Today while I was at work printing paper after paper, this thought struck me: You may not be able to “fix” or take away someone’s pain…but you can be there. And just being there COUNTS. Just giving someone a hug COUNTS. Telling someone “Let me know what I can do to help” COUNTS. Even if you don’t see it, your presence counts to someone that is hurting.

People handle grief and disappointment differently…but we all appreciate when our friends and family are simply THERE for us–ready to talk to, ready to give a hug, ready to just sit in the same room with us.

Sometimes you may not feel like you are helping someone at all, you may feel like giving up…DON’T. You ARE making a difference…even if you don’t see it right now. BE AVAILABLE, GIVE PEOPLE HUGS (where words cannot go, touch often can!), AND DON’T GIVE UP…..IT COUNTS.

You are somebody

I ran across this quote and thought it was too good not to share:

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” -Kid President

You can change someone’s life, and it’s not that hard.

Isn’t it amazing after you get a sincere and very specific to you compliment, or after someone gets you flowers for no reason at all, or after someone asks you a question and really listens, you feel recharged…important…a little more confident. Sometimes you feel more daring– you take risks…because you believe you can succeed. And sometimes…you DO succeed…life takes you places you would have never dreamed you’d be. Your life changed because someone took the time to make you feel special, like the somebody you were all along.

Challenge: Compliment someone in a very specific way. Don’t just say they are awesome, tell them very specific reasons why they are awesome. Compliment the barista that always makes your coffee ridiculously perfectly and always remembers your order (which is so confusing you’d think it was some kind of math problem); compliment a family member (sometimes, they are the ones who need to hear it the most). Yeah, this “challenge” is something so small, but small things matter…and lots of small things make a difference.

If you’d like, share your story! Or share a story of when somebody made YOU feel like a SOMEBODY.