How to Become More Observant of Your Surroundings

Security GuardsDo you know someone who is the type of person who seemingly never notices anything going on around them? It’s like they’re oblivious to their surroundings. Obviously security guards cannot be that type of person. Security guards need to be the most observant people in a room or an area because that is one of the main aspects of the job.

So how can everyday people become more observant of our surroundings?

First, you can train your brain to focus on specific things. Much like you exercise to build muscle, you can adopt the mindset that you’re going to look for certain things around you wherever you go. This gets your mind in the habit of looking for important things around you, such as the exit, the fire extinguisher, or light switches in a room.

Keep in mind that no one can pay attention to everything around them all the time. That’s not humanly possible. But, that said, a person can pay special attention to things that matter most, especially if they’re employed in a job where observation is key.

One way to get in the habit of noticing certain things around you is to challenge yourself. For instance, rather than sit down in a mall food court and just look at your phone the whole time, observe people around you. How are they acting and interacting with others? Do you see any patterns? Try this: pick an item to look for, such as a wristwatch, and make a mental note every single time you see a person wearing one in the scene you’re observing. If you’ve rarely looked up, take time to scan the walls and ceilings looking for anything out of the ordinary. You might notice security cameras that you never knew were there before you took the time to notice them.

Another way to observe your surroundings is to become a student of the neighborhood and/or city where you live. Take time to read local newspapers and websites. Watch local TV newscasts. Get to know who is who, what they do, and where/when certain events take place. Rather than just veg out to reruns of sitcoms on TV, become a more active participant in the world around you.

Do you know someone who always notices things? Spend some time with them and observe how they do what they do. Ask questions. Learn tips from them.

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