Monday 7 June 2010

Why care and attention matter

We've just been away on holidays for a few days in Rome.  One night, we went to restaurant that had been recommended on a website, Life.  There, the staff were welcoming - they were warm and friendly, exuding care and attention - the waiters were interested in where we were from and found connections between their lives and our life in London.  Needless to say, we went back there again!

This is in sharp contrast to the hotel we stayed in.  There, the staff either ignored us (I stood by the concierge desk for 15 minutes while the concierge sat at her desk, hiding behind her computer), or answered every question with "No".  We won't be going back!

It's easy to say that care and attention matter because they bring repeat business.  But, to my mind, the reason care and attention matter is because they are the embodiment of our heart and soul in what we do.  Whether it is our jobs, our friendships, our relationship or our pass times, when we invest ourselves - heart and soul - in any action, it shows.  There is an underlying authenticity and integrity in what we do that shines through to others. 

It's worth noticing where we find it easier to invest our heart and soul.  The people we care for so easily that it is not a burden; the activities that are so easy and graceful that we enjoy them, rather than labour under them; the thoughts that warm us.  These are the signposts to our Best Selves - where our heart and soul shine through effortlessly, where we are 'in the flow'. 

Our peacock above, was never born to soar like an eagle.  In fact, for most birds, being almost bound to the earth would be a distinct disadvantage!  However, by putting its heart and soul into its innate gifts, it is amazing in its own splendid way.  Equally, forcing ourselves to be what we are not is as productive as a peacock learning to fly!  So the more we can be in our Best Self, the richer and more rewarding our lives can become.  Not just for us, but for everyone we interact with, whether colleagues, friends or tourists!

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