What Do You Do When No One Is Looking

Last Update: May 17, 2020

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Kia Ora,

Good Evening, from New Zealand, Friends and Colleagues

Inspired by Psychology Today

Children at Play

When children play they will usually pretend that getting to the tree before they get tagged is monumentally important. They will in those next few moments of the game give every ounce of their soul and being to not getting tagged.

They will run as hard as they can, laughing and screaming, not because it actually is critical, but because they are pretending with all of their being that it is. They are investing everything in the moment by choice.

They do this, not because someone will applaud or praise the moment or the action, but far more importantly, because it allows them to form a new temporary reality, to participate in the moment, in a creative playful way.

Important Stuff

We were those children once. But when we exited our playful space, our minds told us that, "This is important" so we put our choices through a harsh filter of logic which became our decision maker.

As a result we got pushed aside by our mother's voices, or a teacher or some other authority figure, behind a wagging finger, that played a formative role in shaping our attitudes in early years.

Suspend Inclinations

But what if, instead, we were to come at our values by our own choices? Between ourselves and the persons that we intuitively sense ourselves to be. It would be not unlike what we had done as those committed children, who set our values to make the game important.

What if we work to recreate that playful space again for ourselves?

What if nobody, ourselves included, keeps score?

What if we imagine that nobody is watching?

What if we were to do something, and nobody would ever know that it was us who did it?

Here to Help

We all say “look I really just want to help people"

But just for a moment, imagine that you help someone and it remains a total secret; nobody except you will ever know that it was you, not even the person you choose to help.

The possibility of self-aggrandizement as a motive is removed. There is no possibility to be great by being seen to live your values and be celebrated for it.

What then…………………

What Do You Do When No One is Looking?

Kia Koa, Kia Kaha


Recent Comments


Very good question, Goose! In the Bible, it is said that God likes a cheerful giver, and that it should be done in secret lest anyone should boast. I'm often reminded of this when Companies give out those giant publicity checks so that they can have their "good works" documented!


Nice observation skip🧐

Hello Hamish,

What Do You Do When No One Is Looking -- This is a saying to Surgical Technologist when setting up their sterile field. It is so important to be respectful of a patient, even though no one is watching. The nurse, the physician, anesthesia. That's what comes to my mind.


A great practical example of the importance of harbouring the sentiment james thanks for the valuable contribution to the discussion🧐

VERY thought-provoking, Hamish!

To quote Gibran:
"It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed, the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving."

When you are the beneficiary of such immense joy, public displays are not necessary.

Thank you.

Nice perspective Cassi🧐

Nice post, Hamish. I found out I don't need fame or praise (although is nice to be appreciated), I just live by my own values and have to have clear conscience.
Like when I find a wallet, I return it because it feels so good to do what's right.
I believe it's the right way.

Surprises me not about you Lenka, you are as I would have imagined 🧐

Hi Hamish, Good advice - as always! And such sharp observation. :-)

Reminds me of a story - I think it was from the late Sir Harry Secombe (about whom I have yet to hear ANYONE say anything bad!) - who told how his father said; that you could always tell a man's human qualities by observing how he treated those from whom he needed nothing.

I've paraphrased wildly - but I'm sure you understand. :-)

All the best from the 'old' country. :-)

A wonderful gent Sir Harry, always cheerful and hugely talented🧐

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