The Beauty of Being Detail Oriented

The Beauty of Being Detail Oriented
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

A wise heart is nourished by small details, things made with attention, love of the good and the authentic. Details that aren’t worth any money or offer anything in return. Because. . .we have to admit, it is amazing how the smallest detail can change a dark day for the better.

Whoever admires impressionism will know without a doubt the famous work by Monet : “Impression, sunrise.” This work, which gave its name to the revolutionary artistic movement of 1874, features interesting brushwork. The brushstrokes are free, rapid and almost disordered. They attract attention. If we look at the painting closely, it appears confused and almost chaotic. However, when the spectator moves away, magic appears and we see the meaning of the work.

“I suppose my formula is: dream, diversify, and never miss an angle.”

-Walt Disney

Every brushstroke, every detail of this amazing work is important. Together, they create a picture that almost moves. A sunrise where you can feel the tranquility of the water. Every brushstroke brings light, humidity, contrast, the boats in the distance and the liveliness of the sky melting into the water.

It takes hundreds of delicate and precise details to bring life to a work of art. Something very similar occurs in our day to day lives. The attention that others give us. . .words, preferences, special moments. . .all of these small moments that are given to us, that come from the heart, also bring us light and nourish us. They guide us. They are the living canvas on which we build a meaningful reality.

being detail oriented

To appreciate the small things, we need an open heart

Magic exists. You don’t have to look for it in the latest cell phone app, or the new series on Netflix, nor in the pleasure of buying a name brand car or computer. At least, you won’t necessarily find it in these places. Authentic beauty hides in the everyday details of our lives.

Some things can only be appreciated through the art of observation and receptivity. Through seeing live through emotions and living in the present.

Take, for an example, a spider’s web at sunrise. It ceases to be invisible and is covered with tiny pearls of dew, forming a fascinating spectacle of nature. We see the same thing in a child who looks to his father with admiration as he tells a story of two people meeting each other for the first time. Perhaps the new friends are smiling because they noticed they were reading the same book. It is this, and other daily details that we are sometimes happy witnesses to. They are nuances of our reality that inspire us, and that stick in our memories.

Now, to be receptive to these details of the day to day, we must be fully connected to the present moment. We were talking at the beginning of Claude Monet. This painter, like many others, could spend hours admiring nature: fields in bloom at sunset, water in a pond. . .

This connection to what happens around us is something we are certainly losing. We live in a society filled with stimulus (too much), where little is observed but much is shared. Where detail is not important because it’s the impact that counts. The quick news and “clickbait.”

being detail oriented heart

As an interesting detail, I would like to point out the thalamus. This structure allows us to apply an adequate filter of attention when we observe. It is an area of the brain ultimately associated with consciousness.

Therefore, we could say that a good way to expand our consciousness  has to do with manifesting a receptive attitude; amplifying that wise and curious gaze that, guided by emotion, is able to notice when the beauty of the everyday arises.

Detail oriented people who give time, not things

Scientists at the University of Rochester conducted a study several years ago. The study, published in the magazine “Current Biology”, showed that detail oriented people are more intelligent. Their natural powers of observation allows them to focus on small aspects of reality that not everyone notices. In addition, highly sensitive people also show this talent.

“We think in generalities, but we live in detail.”

Alfred North Whitehead

All of this leads us to conclude that the people who know how to appreciate the details are also the ones who take the most care of them, and who are best able to give them to others. Thus, whoever is able to pay attention to the small details that make up the fabric of our lives will be able to give meaning to relationships, foster respect and appreciation, and build stronger and happier ties to others.

being detail oriented fly

We must understand that giving moments and not objects is an art. We have to learn how to put each brush stroke in its place so it can provide light. We have to choose the right color. Both tasks worthy of our time and effort.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.