Book Chapters

10 Seconds to Consider

Make the world a better place by building  your
perceptive, cognitive, creative, empathetic, and innovative muscles.

By 

Daniel J Klein


Dedication


Acknowledgments


Introduction

"A person's level of contentment can often be gauged by how long their smile lingers."

~ Daniel J Klein

What in the world would cause me to contemplate writing a book about how to be more considerate?

It's not like there's not been a huge movement to "perform random acts of kindness" or that the "Secret" to life hasn't been awarded cult status.

But yet, in this digital age, there is a large segment of our population afflicted by the “closing in” on ourselves. This is a literal phenomenon as well as figurative. When you see people of all ages “huddled-in” to themselves, smartphone in hands, shoulders slumped forward and attention all-consumed to the world within that small screen, what consideration can they have for what’s going on around them?

“Know Where You Are in the Universe”

more…

“Be in the moment”

more…

I want to help others - help you - and help myself to become more considerate people. It just seems that if we were to wake up more to our surroundings; to each other; to whatever we apply our attention to, we will live life more fully. We will continually be a benefit to others.

We want to get beyond the need for a list of “acts of kindness” we can refer to if we feel the need to seek out those opportunities. The aim of this book is to strengthen the psychological and spiritual muscles that will foster an innate awareness to automatically consider basically everything you do.

With the ubiquity of digital data and internet and the personal devices to access it, we have developed an insatiable appetite for more knowledge, more data, more input… So much so that we have forgotten what’s in the real world around us.

How do we get our head out of our devices and back into the Game of Life?

All we have to do is focus on what’s in front of us.

Try this: Have the intention of simply walking out the door to go to work. Now, begin the process of doing that.

What happens? We open the door - which either involves turning the door nob, or lifting up or pushing down on a door lever. Swinging the door far enough for our body to move through the doorway, we step out onto whatever is directly outside the door. Then, if the doorway leads to a porch and is elevated from the ground, we will go down a series of steps. If not, we’ll walk immediately along poured concrete, either to a driveway, garage, or along a pathway to the street. If we have a car, we will insert a key, press a remote fob, or otherwise unlock the car door and get in.

Pretty simple, yes? We will then get in the car, prepare for starting, start the car, and drive away.

And how long did that take us from the intention to go out the door and get into the car?  Maximum, 10 seconds.

If we’ve done this before - if this is where we live or leave from on a daily basis, this action is pretty automatic. We could do this with our eyes closed, probably. Or we could do it with a smartphone in our hand.

But what did we miss out on in those 10 seconds?

What if we analyzed our journey through that doorway? What opportunities could we discover that might enhance our powers of observation? Could we become more efficient in this rote task? What might we learn about the immediate world around us? Whose life might we make better - or even save?

I’ll cover the Mechanics of Consideration for this journey later on.

I want to help open up your world to more possibility, more contribution, more engagement, more choices (and even less choices!), more Grace, and more living life to its fullest.

And in the process, you’ll also experience more innovation, creativity, invention, and productivity!

You’ll discover that becoming a more considerate person is easier than you may think and has untold benefits for you, the people in your life, our world around us, and will also benefit the human race in general.

It all begins with a small sacrifice of Ten Seconds or less of your life …

end of introduction

TABLE of CONTENTS

Ten Seconds to Consider

Table of Contents

Dedication 5

Acknowledgments 6

Introduction 7

Consider This! 10

The Good News 12

The Mechanics 14

Super Powers 18

Become a Master of Whatever You Do 19

Acting Locally 22

Thinking Globally 24

Who Really Benefits? 25

Roadblocks 26

And Now for the Bad News… 28

A Matter of Trust 29

Send Us YOUR Stories! 30

About the Author 31


CHAPTER 1

Consider This!

This chapter establishes the personally global arena of becoming more considerate. It deals with the development of a “sixth sense” that opens up our awareness to our immediate environment. We cannot consider our surroundings and what’s in our space if we’re just not aware of it, much less clued in to it.

Know Where You Are in the Universe (World?)

Section 1 deals with how out of touch many of us are to our sense of “place”. We're not really conscious of the mass of our bodies and limbs and where we are spatially in relation to the objects and people nearby.

Where's Waldo? Most everyone’s seen the Where’s Waldo puzzles. After a while, you can actually get pretty adept in finding him - noticing the visual clues and picking them out amongst the sameness of all of the other figures and patterns rather quickly.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Situational Awareness (Mindfulness)

From the inherently violent realm of the military’s Special Forces comes a relevant path to kindness, compassion, and understanding. Avoiding confrontation and trouble is the name of the game for the soldiers who are trained at handling the most lethal situations in the most destructive ways possible, if necessary. But gaining a heightened state of mindfulness as one walks through life with all of its stimuli and potential for interaction at every step can only produce more satisfactory outcomes, within the confines of one’s direct influence, of course.

In so many of the Special Ops thriller novels, you read about how the operatives are trained and highly skilled in observation, being able to immediately identify and catalog the immediate environment in every situation. They notice the positions of people, body language, objects, escape routes, etc. My proposition is that you too can train yourself to to take note of your surroundings, getting past your immediate internal agenda that's playing out.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Walking Through Life With a Smile on Your Face

I will offer a brief account of how I came to discover my own Purpose, which was shown to me in a walkabout one pre-spring day after my birthday in the small town in Iowa where I was living. It was a five-hour walk in which I encountered multiple situations where I was called to consider what and who was right in front of me - totally unexpected, totally spontaneous.

I want to lay out the clear proposal that becoming more considerate can make you a happier, more pleasant and spiritually successful person to be around. It's a decidedly challenging proposal and not without challenges, risks, and sacrifice.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

CHAPTER 2

The Good News

The Good News deals wth the upsides of Consideration. We’ll discuss the utopian aspects of Consideration. There are classically philosophical arguments for the cultivation of Acts of Consideration, enumerated by many different names and terms and espoused by some of the greatest moral thinkers of both the past and present.

Can I Really Become More Considerate?

Who does this book apply to? Who is it for? Will there be more readers who have some sense of need for more consideration in their lives or will those who are already experiencing the enhanced socio-moral benefits read for validation and/or more in-depth understanding and actionable expression?

We’ll explore just what it takes to be more considerate - what you’ll have to do, take on, give up, and give out.

Choosing Civility, by P. M. Forni, Johns Hopkins Civility Project

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Can Even I Be a Source of Change?

Even if you’ve been a self-centered, irresponsible and morally bankrupt leech, in just Ten Seconds a Day or less, you can open up a whole new world that can redeem any sense of overblown or underwhelmed Self you might have been cultivating. Once you’ve had a taste of the contented, filling-up of your soul that comes from putting your agenda aside and thinking of “the other”, I’m confident you’ll be hooked.

And Guys, you’ll be a hit with the ladies. Gals, you’ll find a sense of self-sufficiency and source that can fill any void and is highly attractive as well.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Contributor vs Consumer

Ten Seconds or Less? Really?

Here’s the basis of my assertion that most Acts of Consideration take ten seconds or less out of your life. Although, sometimes that estimate is how long it takes to choose to be considerate in a given situation. But if you start looking at the simple things one can do to be genuinely courteous and considerate, it really doesn't take much. I will be including a very long list throughout this book of practical examples of being considerate along with time spent, time saved, and a host of benefits that come to you.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

CHAPTER 3

The Mechanics

Just what will it take to become more considerate in my daily life? How do I accomplish this? Thankfully, you can come at the Mechanics of Consideration from any number of different angles, depending on what strengths you already have, what appeals to you most, and what works for your personality style.

Remember that scene of you leaving your home and getting in your car to leave for work? Let’s explore that scenario in-depth…

more…

Photo illustration of view from front door looking out to car in driveway, street, and neighborhood.

Observe

Observe what's around us. This is the first step in becoming more considerate. It requires us to shift our attention off of our inner agenda and immediate preoccupation with everything internal or personally external (i.e. our devices or whatever is holding our attention). This most commonly would be visual or audible.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Perceive 

Perceiving what we Observe. The difference between observing and perceiving is in going past merely registering something by our senses, and interpreting or understanding the object of observation. It’s in the perceiving of what we observe where we begin to assess and understand something before us, outside of us

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Understand

Understanding a situation we perceive before us. When we consider a situation or person before us, we often have to rely on our gut feeling os what's going on unless we have experience or an innate gift for sizing up a situation. This is one of the Mechanics of Consideration where we accumulate wisdom.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Empathize

Probably the most precious, valuable, and hard-earned Mechanic of Consideration is the ability to empathize with another human being, especially if that person appears radically different from us. But this mechanism, when it becomes a part of us, opens us to to exponentially greater avenues of consideration, interaction, and love than any other mechanism. It serves us in all areas of our social life. It’s also the most dangerous mechanism of consideration.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Evaluate

If building your empathy muscle could cost us if we’re not careful, the ability to evaluate an opportunity to be considerate becomes the safety net.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Innovate

Only through careful consideration of a subject can we become innovators, overcoming what were previously thought of as obstacles. Innovators by nature are considerate people - to a degree. What makes a difference in people’s lives, though, is being a social innovator, and that requires us to take the time to consider a situation in the light of human consequence.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Recall

When we Recall the times we’ve experienced something before, we overcome three things. The first is that in simply remembering that we’ve come this way before, we at least have the potential for a new or different reaction than before. Often, though, we realize that we wanted to have a different response only after the fact, when it’s too late. The second thing we overcome by considering a familiar situation through memory is that our response is usually more informed, therefore more effective and efficient. And we become less hesitant to act out of consideration just because we become more confident that our response will be successful on all the levels we would want it to be.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Surrender

Don't get me started on the mechanics of Surrender! There are so many intricacies to the act of Surrender in consideration. But basically, as you exercise your surrender - or submission - to being considerate of others, you will experience a level of freedom that you probably had no idea would be associated with surrendering. the surrendering of your own agenda or self-centeredness has far-reaching effects.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Communicate

Being verbally considerate is probably the easiest of the mechanisms you can cultivate. We all know how far a kind word takes us, both given and received. Yet, somehow we seem to withhold when we are busiest, upset, or in personal need of a kind word ourselves.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Act

Seems rudimentary, but even though all of the mental or intellectual angles we’ve investigated, actually acting out of Consideration - taking a few seconds to actually be considerate - seems to be the hardest thing to do, no matter how simple or quick doing so might be. But act we must! Otherwise, we should put this book down right now.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Wait

Follow through

There are some responsibilities that come with being considerate. When we offer words of hope, we might need to offer to be a resource of that hope. Holding a door open might necessitate assistance negotiating a sidewalk hazard just outside the door. Loaning a possession might need to be tracked for efficacy or pickup later.

Sometimes when we calculate what's needed, we might have to hold off on that act of consideration if we consider also other prior commitments or appointments.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

CHAPTER 4

Super Powers

Whether Superman or Wonder Woman, taking 10 Seconds to Consider how your own Gift of Helps can give you a resilience of spirit and make you a significant force for Good. Team up with others who have mutated powers of consideration and others will marvel at what you're accomplishing.

In this chapter we will lay out just how taking 10 Seconds to Consider life outside of yourself can bulk you up in areas of ability that can give you a longer, more productive and markedly fulfilled life.

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

 

Perception

Empathy

Communication

Creativity 

Innovation

Happiness

Healing

Efficiency

Energy


CHAPTER 5

Become a Master of Whatever You Do

The benefits enumerated in the previous chapter can apply to all areas of your life. In work, family, and community, you will discover an ability to flourish in your job, relationship, and in personal and social goals.

more…

Never thought of yourself as a “Thinker”? Cast your gaze out past your immediate needs for survival and discover a new world of ideas and interests by taking a few moments to really consider that which you’ve always taken for granted.

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Need to acquire that extra “edge” to propel you to the next level or promotion? By expanding your awareness past the prescribed procedures and processes in your career position, you will discover new ways of performing whatever job you do simply by considering and challenging each contact point of development or production - looking closely at even the smallest of components in what it is you’re challenged with.

more…

Bored and in need of an inspirational revelation? When you train yourself to see things with new eyes or a fresh perspective, everything is made new through careful consideration of the elements that make up your everyday existence. There is no such thing as boredom in a Considerate Life!

more…

Note to those who are not with sight: As you so well know, other sensory faculties are heightened and compensate for the missing images around you. There is no less opportunity for you to become more considerate in your daily activities and I strongly suspect that you’ve already experienced an increased faculty for consideration, just as you’ve found that there is a need for consideration from others toward you.

more… Need to develop

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

The Basis of Customer Service and Sales

Working for Apple for almost ten years has given me insights into human interaction that I would never have gained in any other field, I believe.

How many times have you seen a customer just blow up at a salesperson or service personnel? When you’re in the position of observer, you can’t believe what you’re seeing and hearing. Doesn’t that person know what they’re saying and how they’re saying it? Do they really think they can get what they want or need by the method of abuse they’re employing?

How many of us have been in that position of spraying our frustration all over that poor person who has no reasonable course of reaction, who just has to take it? More of us than we would like to admit, I’m sure. But taking just a few seconds to consider just a few points can put us in touch with what the signal reception is like on the other end.

more…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Become an Innovator Wherever You Are

What is the essence of innovation but the application of an insightful understanding to an existing object or situation?

How do we ever become skilled at anything? Through observation, application, and repetition, right? By applying the Mechanics of Consideration daily in your life, in as many settings as you are able, you will see ways to make things better. All of a sudden, simply by paying attention and through mindfulness, you’ll have the answer to a nagging challenge; a new way of doing something; a solution to the troubles of the world!

more…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Excellence is Attainable 

Consider the challenges to improving, or just getting unstuck from wherever we’ve been stopped. The pressures of our lives are clamoring to suck up every ounce of our attention. We feel we just can’t spare any more attention looking beyond the basics. We feel that taking a moment to consider how a different track might help us, just might make things a lot worse.

It’s a great way to keep us where we are. But that’s not where you want to be, is it?

To be excellent, we must step out of the flow of our lives and consider details that we take for granted - breath and let more into our consciousness than our hair that's on fire. Here's the secret - your hair is not on fire - but you are burning right through the opportunities to cause change, be an innovator, to make a difference.

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10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

CHAPTER 5

Acting Locally

Yes, I’ve appropriated that clichéd slogan for this and the next chapter. But let’s get practical.

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Random Acts of Consideration

We’re going to get down to actions you can take to practice Consideration in your life. Today. In Ten Seconds or less.  And more.

more…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Consideration in the Workplace

The larger the staff, the more opportunity there is to gloss over the niceties that considerate behavior dictates. The more anonymous the position, the more we get to slide on how we treat each other. Conversely, the smaller the organization, the more we will interact with the same people over and over.

This creates a double standard for considering others. While the need for considerate behavior is less in a larger company, the opportunities for using the heightened state of mindfulness that a considerate mindset provides increases exponentially.

more…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Consideration in the Place of Worship

Oh, what a fertile place to exercise consideration! Where doing for/to each other can be couched in “In the Name of…”, the pursuit of doctrinal posturing can make us immune to the vulnerability of an individual - blind us to the reality showing through the cracks in someone’s spiritual or emotional armor.

But it generates an excitement in me to think about the ripple effects of developing true consideration as scripture teaches. And we need it now more than ever. As faithful and seeker alike resist putting up with anything less than authentic grace, mercy, and love, consideration can step in to elevate teachings to positive action. Consideration can also provide the innovation needed to attract and keep new brothers and sisters in this world of digital/visual information overload.

more…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Consideration in the Family

Isn’t it interesting that of all the places where we should be more cognizant of how we consider each other, the Family is often the last place of accommodation? It seems to be that our husbands and wives, brothers and sisters are often taken for granted in terms of considering their needs above our own. And again, the digital tsunami that has hit us threatens to isolate even the closest of family members.

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Consideration in Marriage

Familiarity should breed empathy. But often in families it breeds the opposite. Drilling down even further, the familiarity that marriage engenders can make us even more immune to the special consideration that a spouse deserves and needs. The nourishment of  the marriage and of the individual to whom we have pledged our very lives is in direct correlation to the attention we give to the small details that we are able to perceive through heightened consideration.

more…


CHAPTER 7

Thinking Globally

Consideration in Society

When we blindly buy into whatever political ideology we’ve adopted, inherited, or rebelled toward, there is a danger in severely limiting our own autonomous ability of discernment. And when that ideology is focused on our societal obligations or proclivities, it can unknowingly cut us off from true consideration of viable alternatives - of even far better and innovative solutions to our response to an injustice or need.

Take Ten Seconds to consider a social subject close to your heart from the alternative point of view. For instance…

more…

Consideration in Government

With such polarized politics these days, it seems Consideration is in short supply, yet so desperately needed. It must be emphasized that all-out surrender is not necessary to consider an opposing viewpoint or stance.

In fact, thorough consideration is what often provides a common ground, win-win solution. The act of considering a divisive issue using the Mechanics of Consideration takes us beyond what’s commonly known on both sides of an issue. Government is about upholding a constitution or vision and discovering how that document can protect a new segment of society and it’s own integrity at the same time.

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Consideration in Diversity

A hot button today for many involves the accommodation of diverse sets of individuals and groups and their particularities (not intending this word to be devisive!). As more voices vie for special attention and dispensation, coming to consensus is turning out to be very difficult, if not impossible.

A unique application of the Mechanics of Consideration is required.

more…


CHAPTER 8

Who Really Benefits?

It’s Okay to Get Something Out of This.

In enumerating the many different facets of the Act of Consideration, it’s beyond obvious that benefits to the Object of Consideration are the primary objective. But we’ve also seen how close consideration of How Things Work can develop into employment and situational fruits for us, as well.

Remember that quote I included in the Introduction?

"A person's level of contentment can often be gauged by how long their smile lingers."

Contentment cannot be overrated. Sure, we usually go for happiness, joy, or excitement, but those are fleeting experiences. I would propose that contentment spreads itself out like melting chocolate; inculcating into the cracks and crevices of our spirit.

What I would claim is the greatest generator of contentment is the act of selflessly giving to another or to a cause that we believe in. In the process of considering something before us, and then acting on what we uncover, we leave the confines of our own selfishness.

Acting with consideration, when regularly practiced,

needs much more!…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

Paying It Forward, Backward, & Inward

By far, the most powerful benefit to us - a life-sustaining benefit, in my opinion - is in the intrinsic, foundational and spiritual growth that A Considerate Life creates.

We’re racking up credits of some kind, depending on your spiritual beliefs, that will come back to us over time.

more…

10 Seconds or Less Examples and Times

CHAPTER 9

Roadblocks

The Temptations of Inconvenience and Hesitation

Cycling down the bike lane in downtown North Hollywood the other morning, I noticed an older woman in a motorized wheel chair cart like George Costanza’s in that Seinfeld episode. She was going the opposite direction on the sidewalk (the reason for italics will become clear shortly). I was on my way… where? Oh, I was on my way for my morning bike ride.

As I’ve conditioned myself to be continually scanning my immediate environment (and not even former Special Forces!), I quickly noticed that she was not moving very well and possibly headed toward the building to the left of the sidewalk. She was leaning over in the chair quite a bit and looked like she was possibly in distress, moving in fits and starts. There were a couple of people in proximity to her on the sidewalk, although I wasn’t sure of their level of responsibility.

So, what’d I do? Kept on my way.

Had to get my workout done and get back home, after all. Plus, I was moving. I was also in the middle of listening to a podcast about writing - for this book.

Want to know my justifications for not responding to my consideration of the elderly woman’s plight? Here’s a list:

  • She was in a motorized wheelchair. She was mobile.  A flick of the wrist and she's on her way.
  • She was going the opposite direction. I'd have to brake, watching for traffic, and turn around to the opposite of where I was headed.
  • I was on my morning bike ride. Stopping would be counter to my plan, routine, and purpose for the morning.
  • I’d have to pause my podcast. I needed to get this book done and market it.

Plus:

  • There were people on the sidewalk - they could assist her if she needed, couldn’t they?
  • And anyway, she was probably just fine. I didn’t really know if she needed help. Why risk all of the above if she’s just naturally bent over and old?

All of these considerations came in just one or two seconds.

But in truth, it would have taken me about 3 seconds to stop and turn my bike around, three seconds to get up on the sidewalk and to her, and another 4 seconds to say “Hi” and “Do you need a hand getting going?”

2 Seconds to Consider the situation I perceived, 9 seconds to respond. A total of 12 seconds out of my life. If she didn’t need help, that’s what I would have wasted plus a few seconds turning around to get back on my way. I chose not to respond. I was too busy. What are we doing to ourselves?

And what if she truly needed help and no one else would have asked her? What if they made those same calculations and determined what I did?

more…

But here’s a secret: even had I gone out of my way and asked her if she needed help and she didn’t, I would have felt better knowing she was okay, rather than speeding off on my ride not knowing if she was helped. What was that knowing worth to me throughout that day?

Time, a bandit that steals our moments.

Time. Who has it? Not you. Not me. Very few of us in active life, working, with families, have any time anymore. Pressed For Time (PFT) is a malady effecting us all in epidemic proportions.

How do we justify, then, allowing for even a few seconds to consider something out of our flight path?

more…


CHAPTER 10

And Now for the Bad News…

Chump Change

The danger of being taken advantage of, of being codependent, and of acting irresponsibly is always a factor.

more…

The Downside

Come back to the old lady in the wheelchair cart. Talk about once you start to be mindful and more perceptive, you notice so much more that needs attention and you can get caught in an endless loop of consideration and response.

more…


CHAPTER 11

A Matter of Trust

Ah, Trust. In a contentious world, trust is tough to come by. Trust conjures up the risk of disappointment, submission, being taken advantage of, even disaster for some people.

Considering or re-considering what we’re already familiar with and feel safe with


APPENDIX


Send Us YOUR Stories!APPENDIX


About the Author


Back Cover

Self-absorption and Social Self-Absorption. It's robbing us of authentic relationships - with our loved ones, our team members, our community, and our planet.

With the dawn of the Digital Age has come a hyper-preoccupation with our devices and social-selves, crowding out our ability to perceive the real world around us. We are becoming disconnected with our Hearts as we hook up our digital surrogates, as we slowly bleed off our civility, our integrity, and our motivation to consider “other”.

But don’t lose hope! There's a movement afoot to reclaim that which is built into God’s Thinking Animal - the innate ability to Consider things; to think about consequences; to look beyond the surface to a deeper meaning and purpose for our actions and lives.

Take Ten Seconds to Consider what’s before you. Do it when you look up from this book or device. Take five seconds more than what’s only necessary to fulfill your next need or desire. If both of us do this, we've started a movement.