"Most people don't know there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life." - Brian Andreas
One of those angels for me was a professor I had in college, who used to tell us, shout at us all the time, "Pay attention!!!" Thank you Christa Allan for reminding me in your excellent Carpe Annum interview on Monday.
This professor is the reason why watching The Dead Poets Society always feels a little bit like going home. He was my Mr. Keating, and while he never, as I recall, whispered "carpe diem" to us, that was the message.
2013 is our "Carpe Annum," our time to take hold of our lives and our careers - and I hope it's yours too.
But please remember to also seize the day, to grasp it long enough to catch the color, feel the texture. Please, especially watch the people. Go to the grocery store and stare at the people in line long enough to learn their secrets. (Stealthily, averting your eyes just long enough to not get caught.)
I recently read a book that has me looking at every person I meet with X-ray glasses, and it has revolutionized the way I see other people. The ways we get it wrong when we judge each other. The ways we buy into the image reflected back to us and misjudge ourselves.
The book is The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog, by Bruce Perry. I dare you to read it.
Paying attention is a way of planting a flag in the soil of each day, and declaring: "This is my life, all of it, and it all matters, the shiny bits and the grass stains."
Today I hope you raise your standard high