Let me spill the beans right up front: Zippers! Broccoli! The issue of ketchup vs. mustard!
Yes indeed. I am talking about the urgency of Noticing.
Noticing, as I define it, is akin to mindfulness. It means being mindful of the world around you, being in the moment. But it also means being ready with a smile or a laugh at what you see or hear. So I am not talking about meditation, as lovely and useful as that is. I am talking about Noticing everything you see.
You see a zipper every day, don't you? You see it, but have you Noticed it? Have you Noticed what a simple, useful, efficacious and totally satisfying invention this is? Zip! You're done! A zipper is worthy of Noticing and worthy of great applause.
How about patterns in nature? Have you Noticed that there are patterns everywhere? Broccoli and cauliflower are among my favorites. A head of broccoli is made up of little heads of broccoli which are made up of even littler heads of broccoli. Go get some broccoli and look. It is amazing! Don't ho hum about this. A head of broccoli could have just as easily been made up of stalks and flowers going every which way. But it isn't. It is arranged in a beautiful repeating pattern. Notice!
And think about what I call, Human Idiosyn-Crazies ™. These are endearingly dumb things that we all do. Notice them and laugh kindly. Do you ever try to listen to a traffic report on the car radio, and before you know it, it is over and you haven't heard a thing? Or perhaps you are a lousy, no-good cheater like me who will make a list and add some things that are already finished so you can have the pleasure of crossing them off, even if retroactively? Or do you have very strict rules about which sandwiches you must have ketchup on, and which you must have mustard? I do. Ketchup with chicken. Mustard with turkey. Oh no. Do not speak to me of mayonnaise.
There are a kazillion things to Notice every day. Why is it important to Notice? Because you want to squeeze everything you can out of your life, don't you? You don't want to miss stuff while you are hustling and bustling around all day. Noticing does not take any more time. It just takes a mindset of Noticing what you see. And, as an added bonus to Noticing, you will have conversation starters with your kids, your parents, your spouse or significant other, and your friends.
And there are the equivalents of zippers, broccoli, and retroactive list-makers in the workplace too. A "zipper" in the workplace is something like minutes to a meeting or a template for a presentation. Respond to this blog and I will give you hints about becoming a hero at work because you Notice workplace "zippers", workplace "broccoli", and workplace Human Idiosyn-Crazies ™. But you probably don't need my help with the last one....
So notice what you see! It will lead you to many laughs and much happiness - as well as greater productivity and more creative ideas. Are you wondering how to start a conversation with someone who catches your eye in a bar? "Have you ever Noticed broccoli?" can be the key that starts a beautiful relationship. You just might get lucky.