by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D.
“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.” ~ George Kneller
Have you ever found yourself lost in the familiar and moving through the world on autopilot? The perfect example happens every day in elevators and autos. You walk into an elevator, press the button for your desired floor; when the door opens, you automatically exit, only to discover that you have exited on a floor that is not your desired one. Or, perhaps you get into your auto with a familiar destination in mind – your office or an errand – and suddenly you are at your destination with only a vague sense of how you actually got there. A positive factor inherent in the autopilot mode is that it requires little cognitive or emotional energy. A huge downside is that it can be dangerous and prevent us from noticing and enjoying the many gifts that being fully present in the now provides.
I love to walk around my home town Chicago. Many years ago, I found that I had gradually shifted into the autopilot mode on my many walks, taking the familiar and perhaps most efficient route to my destination. Over time, the pleasure of walking was replaced by the experience of checking it off of a mental “to do” list. I decided to try an experiment, one of my many "30 Day Challenges". For 30 consecutive days, I intentionally took a slightly different route on my walk for the day. I also left my iPod at home so that I would not be distracted by anything other than what was in my walking experience. The results were amazing. I noticed buildings, vegetation, people, animals, stores and so much more. My walks became adventures in the unknown and my creativity expanded exponentially as the seemingly normal became extraordinary.
I invite you to see your current world with fresh eyes for 30 day. What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain?
For addition insights and observations, check out the following posts via Transformational Communication:
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