October 31, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #600276
I think one of the most important character traits that a person can have is being perceptive. The easiest way to define perceptiveness is the ability to perceive things that happen around you and act upon them to make a better outcome than what would have been. It is a very valuable characteristic to have, because it leads to many other good traits. Most obvious and important of all is that it minimizes laziness and selfishness. We all possess a certain amount of perceptiveness, and it is up each individual to make it blossom into a powerful and effective characteristic. The following is a list that I’ve come up with of steps that show how to become a more perceptive person.
2) Doing things that people ask you to do not because you want to receive their praise or attention, but rather because you care about their needs.
3) Doing things for people without being asked, because you see what they need or want without them telling you.
4) Doing things (and sometimes not doing things) for people because you notice and perceive what they need or is best for them, including both physical and emotional things.
Examples of each step will be shown.
Here is one simple scenario that applies to each step: Taking out the garbage.
In step 3, you are standing in the kitchen and you see your spouse tie up the garbage and put a new bag into the can. You understand that the old garbage should be taken out, so you take it out.
In step 4, you are standing in the kitchen and you notice that the garbage can is very full. So you collect a few other things that are garbage from the kitchen table and counters, put them into the garbage can, and take it out, as well as put a new bag into the can.
In all of these scenarios, the same result is achieved. The difference is how it was achieved.
Now let us look at step 4. In step 4, you are doing the good deed because you were aware of its presence, not because it was put in front of you, like in step 3. In step 4, there is nothing lacking in the accomplishment of the deed. You are doing it to its fullest measure. The only way you would not have done it is if it were not able to be done. But at the same time, the only reason you were able to do it was because you were looking out for it. You found the good deed. It did not find you. That is the difference between steps 3 and 4.
There are times when being perceptive is barely doing something, doing something that takes little effort, and sometimes even no action at all, just saying something. A good example of an act of perception that takes little effort but requires a certain level of understanding is the following:
You are sitting at a red light, and there are a few cars in front of you. There is a left turning lane with a turning signal on the traffic light. Your car is right where the turning lane opens up, and you notice that the car behind you has its left turning signal on. In this situation, you can move your car forward a little to let the car behind you enter the turning lane, thereby saving him time from waiting at the intersection for all the oncoming traffic to pass so he can turn. This act of perception, however, can only be done by someone who understands a certain concept that many people unfortunately have trouble comprehending. It is the idea that there are other people in the world, besides you, that have schedules, things to do, and places to be.
The common theme between 3rd level compliments, 2nd level thank yous, and Step 4 active perception is that for all of them, you must be aware and looking out for these things.November 1, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am #825019
taking a breakMember
wow MP. this is quite a piece. thank you for sharing! its big eye opener to how far i have to go. a few months ago i woke up one day and out of the blue was doing ‘step 2 and 3’. personally i feel there is a bit of a maturity piece involved to be able to see and percieve things around us on such a madreiga. the good thing is we humans are here to evolve to become even better. i’m not perfect yet on my path, but this work has definitely inspired me. Thanx again MPNovember 1, 2011 1:29 am at 1:29 am #825020
Thanks for your kind words, taking a break. This is something we all can work on. Thanks for reading it. I know it was long, so I really appreciate it.November 1, 2011 1:38 am at 1:38 am #825021
Great piece MP it gave me alot to think about.November 1, 2011 1:43 am at 1:43 am #825022November 1, 2011 2:32 am at 2:32 am #825023
MP, very good post. Daniel Goleman wrote a book on this called Emotional Intelligence. Similar ideas.November 1, 2011 4:03 am at 4:03 am #825024
Queen BeeMemberNovember 1, 2011 4:10 am at 4:10 am #825025
huh?November 1, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #825026
Wow Middlepath, that was amazing. Thank you!November 1, 2011 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #825027
Oh, MP, thank you so much for typing out that long shtikel. It was beautifully written, you should write a book, or at least have your own blog with your insightful words! It’s so professional! You’re REALLY good! Loved it!November 1, 2011 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #825028
Busy As A BeeParticipant
Once again MP you wrote something very important, practical ideas, thought out and just all in all amazing…
I know I’m not the first one to thank you for the post but I hope that the potency of my appreciation is not lessened 🙂
Just an add on, another thing that works hand in hand with perception is communication. Which also is one of the top things needed in any relationship in my opinion 🙂November 1, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #825029
Goq, Kapusta, Jothar, thanks so much.
QB, thanks, and that’s wonderful that you say that to the librarian. And I completely understand that it can be difficult to work on this when you don’t feel appreciation and care from others. I think that’s only natural. So I think if someone can still try to be perceptive and understand how far reaching it is, even in such a difficult situation, it makes it even more special and “superhuman”. Keep doing your best.
ronrsr, is there something I can clarify for you in my post?
Baal, thanks. I don’t think I’m good enough to write a book or a blog, but I appreciate the idea!
Busy As A Bee, thanks, and your’e absolutely right about communication.November 2, 2011 4:03 am at 4:03 am #825030
Mp that was amazing!!i think this post is gonna change my life b”H! i think its soo good and im soo excited that i now am aware of all this because of you!
And you really are amazing, there are not many op’s who make sure to respond to each of the posters that post on the thread they made! i think its soo nice of you to take the time to do this and it really makes people feel good. I can see how everything you wrote really reflects the person that you are, we’re so lucky you’re in cr so that we can emulate your ways. 😀 [all compliments are inspired by U!]November 3, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am #825031
brotherofours, thanks so much! I’m glad you got so much out of it. And I usually don’t respond to each poster like that (though I always should), but thanks for noticing it! Hope you grow in your perceptiveness! Thanks for reading.November 3, 2011 2:00 am at 2:00 am #825032
wow! you never fail to amaze me middle! that was a really great piece and i can tell you really put your heart into it! keep it up! 🙂November 3, 2011 2:02 am at 2:02 am #825033
oh! and i agree with baalhabooz!November 3, 2011 3:21 am at 3:21 am #825034
Wonderful points. It’s definitely worth being said and worth being read. How we think and how we perceive situations can have a much greater effect on our actions than any yetzer hara is willing to admit. Hopefully by keeping others in mind and remembering to look at the world perceptively rather than egotistically we can all make ourselves into better Jews. Thanks so much for sharing MiddlePath. It’s a lesson I’m glad I was reminded of.November 4, 2011 1:32 am at 1:32 am #825035
Thanks so much, mustang!
Thanks, dandelion! And your’e absolutely right.November 9, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #825036
Hey Middle Path, that was truly an amazing piece. I think it’s something really worth aspiring to. If only enough people had the mindset to act in such manners-that would be great!! I know that I try as much as possible to be the best that I can be. No, I’m certainly no where near being perfect-I still have much that needs to be worked upon, for sure!!
Thanks for sharing this with us-I really did enjoy it!November 10, 2011 3:48 am at 3:48 am #825037
Thanks so much, Hummingbird, I’m glad you gained from it, and I appreciate you reading it! I know it was a long piece.
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