Against a gray sky at sunrise, a yellow rose blooms. Its pedals mirror the texture of the clouds above: rolling waves like a calm day on the ocean. A slight breeze moves the leaves as a chickadee calls from the pine across the street. The song reminds me of the mountains I grew up in and the same greeting, maybe from the bird’s cousin. I head out the back gate on my morning walk.

In the midst of our fast-paced lives, our vitriolic political conversations, our overly Facebooked envies, I have found myself confused. There are moments and experiences of beauty all around, but aren’t we all-too-overwhelmed at times to take notice? There are people showing us kindness but aren’t we all-too-distracted to recognize them and say thank you?

Upon observing this unaware and chaotic energy some weeks ago, I realized how much I was overlooking. I recognize there is privilege in the option to look away from the negative, but I also recognize that there is responsibility to seek out and notice and name beauty when it’s right before us. And even just a moment of that noticing can bring a different perspective and energy to the rest of the day. That moment might ensure we perpetuate optimism over negativity, compassion over selfishness.

Why does this matter?

In positions of leadership, as an active team member, or as someone interacting with others regularly, our energy can have a profound influence on our surroundings. Without realizing it, our tone, our body language, and the emotions we carry with us, can impact others whether in a positive or a negative way. Self-awareness about how we’re showing up really matters a great deal.

So when I noticed my sometimes unaware and chaotic energy, I decided that it was time to take a moment each day to see and record something of incredible beauty. I never write ‘beauty’ or its synonyms, but instead I just try to observe it as descriptively as possible (hopefully as demonstrated above) to convey how easy it is to be awestruck, even in a simple moment … it is possible everyday.

I turn to the natural world for my “Awestruck moment,” but there are things of beauty everywhere. What does it mean for you to take a moment each day to look around for something striking? How might it change your disposition? How might it impact, change, or make your leadership more effective?