InspirEmail No 300 - February 2016 - Paying Attention
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'

Paying Attention

A funny story circulated recently about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Doyle evidently told of a time when he hailed a taxi in Paris. Before he could utter a word, the driver turned to him and asked, 'Where can I take you, Mr. Doyle?'

Doyle was flabbergasted. He asked the driver if he had ever seen him before.

'No, sir,' the driver responded, 'I have never seen you before.'

Then he explained . . . 'This morning's paper had a story about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi stand where people who return from Marseilles always arrive. Your skin colour tells me you have been on vacation. The ink spot on your right index finger suggests to me that you are a writer. Your clothing is very English, and not French. Adding up all those pieces of information, I deduced that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.'

'This is truly amazing!' the writer exclaimed. 'You are a real-life counterpart to my fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes!'

'There is one other thing,' the driver said.

'What is that?'

'Your name is on the front of your suitcase.'

Perhaps the driver was no master detective, but he was observant. He paid attention, and paying attention is an important part of living fully, if we pay attention to the right things.

Speaker Alan Loy McGinnis tells of a New York City sculptor named Louise. She lived in one of the most dilapidated neighbourhoods of the city. But, by paying attention to her surroundings, she found endless beauty and inspiration. She marvelled at the elegance in the varying patterns of the sun and the moon reflected on tenement windows. In an object as ordinary as a chair she could see something extraordinary.

'The chair isn't so hot,' she once pointed out, 'but look at its shadow.' By paying attention, she was able to see what others might miss.

Paying attention to the moments and to ordinary things of life, as much as possible, is a way to happiness. Like Brene Brown says, 'I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude.'

What do you think you might actually see and appreciate if you were to look carefully?

* I think I might see things or people in a new way. Too often I look straight through them and take them for granted.

* I think that, if I were to pay closer attention, I may better notice the abundance in my life instead of wishing for what I don't have.

* If I look carefully, I think I just might see how beautiful and exquisite my life really is instead of thinking someone else has it better.

I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness. I may only have to pay attention to the right things and happiness will find me.

Written by Steve Goodier
Learn more about the work of Steve Goodier at . . . Lifesupportsystems >>>

Featured Positive Inspirational Story

9 things that make good employees quit

It's pretty incredible how often you hear managers complaining about their best employees leaving, and they really do have something to complain about - few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door. Managers tend to blame their . . . read more >>>

- Inspirational Quote -

When you really pay attention, everything is your teacher
Ezra Bayda

View more Inspirational Quotes >>>

Archived InspirEmail

Top of page


A monthly positive inspirational story and quote to refresh your spirit and boost the emotional bank account. InspirEmail was first published in November 2005 and each issue can be viewed in the Archived InspirEmail Directory located below the latest issue of InspirEmail

View the latest issue of InspirEmail

Positive Inspirational Images
Positive Inspirational Stories
Positive Inspirational Quotes