When I started working in the car business, I began to pay more attention to cars on the road. At the time, I was at Saturn of Augusta, and I noticed Saturn cars everywhere! My niece Mary Catherine, who was about 4 or 5 years old at the time, would help me find these small cars when we drove around town. The headlamps are very distinguishable, and she had a keen eye for spotting them. She could even identify the less common, older model year body styles, which always amazed me.
Now that I represent Lexus, I notice everything related to the brand. My ears sharpen when I hear the distinctive commercials, even from a distant radio or TV. I recognize Lexus owners when I am out in the community. I notice the vehicles wherever I travel, and also take a peek to see where they were purchased. I spot the internet ads when I browse online. Everything even remotely significant to the company or the dealership has become relevant to me. Kevin works in the car business also, so I am further immersed in the automotive world as he shares what he observes each day. I enjoy this immersion very much; it is a great way to live.
As I learn to dance, I am starting to notice all of the dynamics which have been brought up in class. Posture is important, so I find I am watching that more closely throughout the day. Music is more than just background noise, so I listen more attentively. The dance performance is similar to acting (playing out a story), so I pick up on the acting skills of others.
The most important “paying attention” that must be done- in the dance world or the car business- is noticing what is going on right here and now. Being completely in the moment is critical. Each customer with whom we speak deserves our full attention, just as each step of a dance deserves our full energy. A step may be small, and very brief, but you commit to it. You put all of your momentum into it. That one step has your full attention while you are in it.
For someone that has always has a proclivity to think about what’s coming next instead of what is going on now, this is a valuable lesson for me. It is my tendency to think about my next move, but when I do that, I sacrifice the quality of this move. If I think about everything that must be done at work today, I sacrifice the quality of the dialogue I have with my Lexus owners. Each dance movement I make must be purposeful, even if it is done very quickly. Each contact with others must be purposeful, even if it is brief. There is a powerful energy in each moment.
I am confident that you will enjoy observing this energy when you attend Dancing Stars Augusta at the Bell Auditorium on June 10th. That night, I challenge you to be completely absorbed in each detail. Savor each bite of your meal. Enjoy the fellowship of the fellow patrons around you. During the performances, each dancing couple will only be on stage about 2 minutes, so you will want to catch all of the nuances that these pairs have worked so hard to create. Pay attention to their feet to see the intricate steps they have learned, and see the special dance shoes which allow them to feel the floor more closely. Hear the beats of the music to appreciate the role that the song plays in the dance. Observe the glitter of the costumes and the expression of the dancer’s faces as they become the characters they have created.
Finally, and most importantly, pay very close attention to the members of the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association as they share what this event means to the local families who struggle with this illness every day. This will be the most powerful and impactful moment of all. I promise you, it will be a richer experience when your awareness zones in on what is taking place at that moment. You will be glad you paid attention.