Do you pay attention to the alerts?

Photo courtesy of Dirk Hofmann (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Dirk Hofmann (Creative Commons)

I hear it the minute I turn my Kindle Fire on. It’s a clanking sound, like something is broken, alerting me that there is some kind of weather alert I need to pay attention to. Today it happens to be a special weather statement about the severe cold weather that is expected later this week.

Alerts like that are valuable, and I wish I heard that little clanking sound in other areas of my life when I need to be aware of something. Let’s be honest here – how many times have you blundered into a situation or a conversation that went terribly wrong and could have been avoided if you had heard a warning at the beginning? Or you had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right and you went ahead with it anyway? What relationships could have been improved because you missed the signs of problems along the way?

Warnings are valuable because they do make us aware of danger up ahead – if we pay attention to them. I know I am guilty of disregarding some warnings as overreactions or fear – I decide that whatever hesitation I have is because I am afraid of doing that thing and I stumble ahead in imagined bravery and then regret my decision.

Other times, the alert is centered on inaction – I feel prompted to change something, but ignore the feeling – indecision to do something can be just as dangerous as jumping in too fast.

My goal this week is to heed the warnings, alerts and promptings. By paying attention to the signals that are around me, I bet things will go more smoothly and with fewer glitches.

What alerts have you missed (or ignored) that could have impacted your current situation?