You’ve probably had that embarrassing moment when your kid is caught staring at someone or making a really embarrassingly loud comment about them, not realizing it in their young innocence and curiosity. Maybe you’ve had the uncomfortable experience to be the person the kid was looking at. As we get older we hide our gazes behind sunglasses and learn to whisper to our companions, but that doesn’t mean we don’t look. It’s never a good idea to be rude to anyone or stare as if they’re turning colors or growing extra heads, but observing is part of who we are and one of the best ways we can learn.
You’ve heard before that it’s a good idea to learn about the past so that you don’t repeat the bad stuff. You may have also heard that observing other people’s success is a great way to shortcut to your own. And one of the best ways to learn about something you don’t know about is to ask or observe. Which all bring us back to the fact that whether we like or or not, we all will always be checking other people out.
A lot of this comes down to intention though. Your kids don’t intend to hurt the other person, they’re just curious. Your intentions when viewing another person’s success are good if you’re looking for lessons to apply in your own way to your life or business, and not so good if you just copy/paste their ideas. If you’re out there watching people to learn about what goes on in the world and observe people’s reactions so you can better serve your clients it’s not as bad as if you were watching for your daily target of gossip.
Another thing that I think is really important is the fact that we often go through life blind. We are so wrapped up in our own lives or in certain details that we miss out on a lot. When was the last time you watched a bug going about their life outside? When was the last time you watched your kid play when they didn’t know you were there? When was the last time you noticed a new and beautiful detail about your neighborhood? We miss out on these little things because we’re too busy or not looking. If we took the time to look I think we’d be amazed at the world around us.
This weekend I encourage you to take time to check out life around you. You may discover that you’ve been missing out on a lot.
“Wherever I go, I’m watching. Even on vacation, when I’m in an airport or a railroad station, I look around, snap pictures, and find out how people do things.” Richard Scarry