Ways to Distinguish Yourself #207 – Learn To Notice What is Left Unsaid…

Ways to Distinguish Yourself #207 – Learn To Notice What is Left Unsaid…

By Rajesh Setty on Fri 29 Jan 2010, 12:05 AM – 8 Comments

What is said is important. Equally important is what is not said. If you are not noticing is “what is not said,” you might be missing a LOT more than you think you are.

To illustrate the point, I am going to use a song from one of my favorite movies “Music and Lyrics.” The song is just around 2 minutes.

Follow along with me on this experiment (meaning: don’t cheat)

First step: Listen to the 2-minute song without watching the video. Simply click on play and then close your eyes for 2 minutes. If you are too busy and can’t spare 2 minutes, please proceed to step 2 (not recommended but it works too.)

Second step: Just watch the video along with the song. This time, observe everything. Try to see the story that is being told. Try to notice why something and someone are there.

Third step: Reflect for a few seconds how much more richer the experience was when you started noticing what was left unsaid.

I have provided some of my observations to trigger your thinking. They are no way complete and you may have better interpretations than what is being told here.

Here are my observations:

0:00 The camera pans through the entire room giving you an idea of where this is happening. The setting is that of a large party hall in a hotel room.

0:05 There is a banner to show that it’s a class of ‘87 Reunion. So, we know that it’s the get-together of a tribe.

0:10 You see a bunch of women cheering Hugh Grant. There is absolutely no men around that place. Shows that he is popular among women.

0:30 You see a name badge on one of the women confirming again that they are all part of a tribe.

0:35 You see “1987″ in big fonts in the background reminding you again that it’s a class reunion of ‘87.

0:38 You see so many women wearing a POP! t-shirt – showing how crazy they are on something POP! ( It’s a popular band in the 80s in the movie)

0:50 Shows a bunch of really bored men. They probably wanted this song to end right away. Making it clear again that Hugh’s target audience is women ONLY.

0:52 Shows Hugh’s Manager imitating Hugh’s dance and is totally engaged with what’s happening. Indicates special relationship between the two.

1:05 Half way through the song, two women enter. Drew Barrymore and her sister. From the expression on her sister’s face, you know that she is a huge fan of Hugh Grant.

1:20 Drew Barrymore’s sister can’t wait to get in front of the line and runs. Shows that she is not just one of those fans but someone that adores Hugh

1:24 Drew Barrymore shakes her head in disbelief. Shows that she is really not into all this now ( at leas at that time )

1:51 Drew Barrymore shows from her smile that she does think Hugh and his dance are cute.

2:00 Hugh’s Manager is imitating (or giving a cue to Hugh) Hugh’s dance moves. Shows that he is more than a Manager – he is more like a friend invested in Hugh’s success

2:06 Hugh hurts his back during his dance moves. Gives a clue about his age.

2:32 Hugh’s Manager steps out with a clear concern for Hugh. Shows the level of friendship there again.

Last but not least, I have to say that there is a lot of thought that has gone into making this song. So every little thing that happens has  a meaning attached to it.

In a business situation, this may not be the case but the need for noticing what is left unsaid will not go away.

Everyone can hear what is said, only a few will notice and powerfully interpret “what is left unsaid.”


Note 1: Here is a Squidoo lens that links to most of the previous articles in this series:

Squidoo: Distinguish Yourself

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:

ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:

ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)


Related Articles:

Posted in the Cool Movies, Distinguish yourself, Main Page category.

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8 Comments so far, Add Yours

yinka olaito  on January 29th, 2010

Too many lessons to lear from here raj. It boils down to the fact that those who observe life keenly have much to gain, give thatn those who rush through stuff.

Mohammed Al-Taee  on January 29th, 2010

Agree with Yinka. I think we also must care to details that not observe by everyone.

Rajesh Setty  on January 29th, 2010

Yinka, Mohammed:

Thank you both for your comments.

Unfortunately, the school system won’t teach us how to notice, observe and interpret (powerfully) what is not said.

It is something that you learn yourself or with the help of your mentors. In a fast-paced world, you tend to forget these things.

So, this was a gentle reminder for all of us including myself.



Mohammed Al-Taee  on January 29th, 2010

the school system won’t teach us how to notice, observe and interpret (powerfully) what is not said.

Is there a book that teach that?

Rajesh Setty  on January 29th, 2010


I can’t think of ONE single book that can help with this. In the recent past, I read a book by my friend Mark Goulston called “Just Listen”

It’s a powerful book and you can start there.



Mohammed Al-Taee  on January 29th, 2010

Great .. I will check it.

I subscribed to your feeds … hope you focus on these staff.


Steven Diamond  on January 29th, 2010

Wow.. what a powerful exercise in awareness. I think it just goes to show what we all miss when we live our lives on autopilot. When we pay attention to the details, It’s amazing how rich our lives become.

Rajesh Setty  on January 29th, 2010

Thanks Steven. Glad you liked it.

One of my teachers used to tell me – “If you want to go fast, start slowing down.” :)

Have a great weekend.



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