When I attend funerals, in addition to being sad, I almost always walk away inspired, as I have written about a bunch of times, including here.

One of my biggest takeaways from a recent funeral was an extremely simply message.

My friend David said everyone who knew his dad well, knew his go-to phrase, “Be Alert.”

The power of “Be Alert” keeps growing on me.

Just after the funeral, I wrote a note to my three (grown) kids about being alert. Their safety is, naturally, of paramount importance to me:

  • Be alert regarding your surroundings when you’re walking down the street.
  • Be alert when you are crossing the street (seemingly more important than ever with the proliferation of fast-moving e-bikes, some of which come at you the wrong way on one-way streets).
  • Be alert while standing on the subway platform.
  • Be alert when you’re driving (and I have adopted “Be Alert” as a replacement for “drive safely,” the trite send-off most of us have said and heard countless times.)

But, part of why “Be Alert” is so great is because it can mean many things beyond those related to safety. For example:

  • Be alert regarding what you are going to say so you don’t unintentionally offend.
  • Be alert for opportunities – personally and professionally.
  • Be alert to the way your mind works. (I have written about the importance and power of mindfulness a bunch of times including this post – and there are countless books, articles, and blog posts you can read on the subject.)

I know there are more.

Be well, and be alert!