Observing and Appreciating the Everyday

Being alert to clever ideas is fairly easy when you’re on vacation. Isn’t experiencing the new a reason most of us endure many hours in airports and planes? That curiosity is a very human characteristic and one of our secrets of survival as a species.

Training yourself to watch and listen for everyday clever ideas can make life so much richer. After all, vacation time is less than 10% of a life. As I watched the ticker tape parade for the American Women’s Soccer Team, I was intrigued by the important part that the New York Sanitation Department played in the parade. Not only were their trucks decorated to “march” in the parade, but also dozens of workers stood ready with brushes, brooms, and blowers. Cleaning up tons of paper from a busy urban street is time consuming; and the quicker it’s done, the faster the major artery is open for business.

Being alert everyday serves the dual purpose of creating a safer personal environment as well. You can practice everyday alertness to improve your skill. It’s fun. Take a minute to observe the details of your everyday commute so that you could describe them. How many people in your subway car? What is the proportion of men and women, young and old? I like to image the story of each of their lives. What’s the cleverest idea he or she has had? Or if you’re stuck in traffic, read the license plates of neighboring cars. These are great games to teach your children.

What’s the cleverest idea you’ve seen or heard in the last hour?

By Dr. Sabra Brock, co-founder of Idea Spies

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