When I was 16 years old, I had a girlfriend who lived about 25 minutes from my parent’s house. My parents and I had recently split the cost of a 1997 Honda Civic and all of the sudden, I had a new freedom.
It was easy to drive and very comfortable. It was a great car. The problem was that I got too comfortable.
I drove back and forth to my girlfriend’s house so often and I was so comfortable in the routine of the drive and my car that I went into autopilot as I drove. I would find myself turning into my parents’ driveway, parking my car under their sycamore tree, and not remembering how I got there.
The 25 minutes would pass, but I wouldn’t remember the stop signs or making the various turns. It was automatic. I was lost in my thoughts in la-la land, and it was dangerous.
Get Out of the Routine
When I would suddenly find myself at home without remembering much of the drive, the drive had become routine and it didn’t keep my attention. I had gotten lazy driving. Have you ever experienced this when driving before? That road hypnosis.
Now think about this perspective. Think about it from the perspective of the relationships you are in. Have you experienced this laziness or lack of attention or autopilot in relationships?
Steve Sisler world renown behavioral profiler and he said something that I believe ties into this. He said, “A way to cure insignificance is to make other people significant. Be content with being nobody and valuing everybody.”
What he saying is to cure our need to be significant, we have to get out of the way. When we only pay attention to ourselves, we are being lazy. Engaging others takes work. It’s much easier to focus on ourselves. BUT when we do this, it’s all but impossible to make other people more significant in our lives the way they should be. Or for us to see their value.
To see people as significant we have to learn how to pay attention to our relationships get out of the routine and mundane. It will take work, but it’s worth it.
We have to get to know the people around us, ask questions, discover their passions. To step back and choose to listen. Until we do these things, it will be difficult to see others as significant and learn about them. When we don’t know someone it makes it pretty hard to add value to them.
Give People The Attention They Deserve
This can happen with our spouse, our children, a friend. It’s the result of getting comfortable — too comfortable — and cruise along in the relationship not paying attention enough to know exactly how we got to where we are or even where we want to go.
No matter what relationship we are talking about, or you’re thinking about, we all have gone through this. It’s not that we don’t care about the people or the situation, it’s that we’ve gone into autopilot we’ve become a little lazy. The people in those relationships and situations have become routine.
I don’t like that. I know for me, I don’t want someone interacting with me in auto pilot mode. But how do we make sure we pay attention to those around us and not get caught up in ourselves too much?
Turning this around starts with what Steve Sisler said. We have to make others significant in our lives, we have to get our own selfish desire to be significant out of the way.
When our relationships are based on these ideas, a real gratitude toward one another will start to happen. A true care and concern for who they are will show. We will start to notice things about someone and see their significance and value. But how do we do this?
Make Others More Significant In Your Life
I’m learning 4 simple words to give my attention to in relationships. They are Truth, Trust, Talk, and Thanks. When we focus on these 4 simple words, we go from the routine of a relationship to being fully engaged and adding value.
*Telling people the truth when it’s hard.
*Earning people’s trust and trusting others. Being a trustworthy person.
*Listening while others talk. And only when you have permission talking.
*Always showing gratitude by being thankful.