It’s What We Notice
A few evenings ago, I had the pleasure of listening to an interview with the venerable author of What Color is Your Parachute?, Dick Bolles.
At one point in the interview, Mr. Bolles cited another author, Don Tapscott, who’s written a terrific book called Growing Up Digital. The phrase he cited from Tapscott’s book was “it’s not what we see, it’s what we notice.” He was stressing the importance of becoming clear about what we want so that we begin to notice things in our path that help us get what we want.
Mr. Bolles then went on to tell a story about a biologist walking in Times Square with a friend. The biologist heard a cricket chirping and asked his friend if he could hear it too. The friend could not, at least not at first. The friend asked him how he could hear such a thing in a busy, noisy place filled with city sounds. Without saying a word, the biologist took a handful of coins from his pocket and tossed them onto the sidewalk. People nearby in the crowd scrambled to grab the coins as they bounced and tinkled on the pavement. “You notice what you want to notice,” the biologist told his friend.
Taking time to get clear or “doing homework on ourselves,” as Mr. Bolles calls it, is not just important to our personal development, it’s a vital step in getting what we desire. When we get clear about what to notice, we’ll hear the crickets in Times Square even when no else does.