I almost didn’t pause to notice.

I decided to take the train downtown this week en route to an event. Thinking I had allowed enough time, I thought I’d simply add a bit more currency to an old ticket and be ready to go.

I pushed Vend to add $10.00 to my ticket; my ticket had expired. Yikes! Would I be late?

In a brief moment of confusion I scanned my next move, hearing the train in the distance rattling toward the station.

Apparently the CTA attendant noticed my confusion. “How can I help you, ma’am?”

“My card’s expired. I’ll need to get a new card.”

“Here, use this” as he quickly handed me a ticket. “Now you can add some money to it.”

I hurriedly inserted the ticket, pushed Vend again, and began to add my $10.00 when I noticed that the ticket already had a balance of currency on it.

I paused and turned towards him, ‘thank you,’  our eyes meeting as I pushed the button, my ticket popping out.

“You’re welcome.”

I dashed, smiling, down the ramp for the morning el, grateful that I’d stopped to pause. Otherwise, I would’ve missed this generous moment of kindness.

Practicing Pause serves as a re-set button, allowing us to move out of habituated reactions, allowing us to ‘see’ or ‘experience’ more fully instead of rushing, headlong, into the day.

Pause. Try it. See what you notice. Maybe you’ll be smiling too.

For more on Pause, check out our free nine-day guide: Leadership Pause