A dear friend recently wrote, titled “The Snake and the Packrat,” suggesting that we take a few moments to note down small things around us, things to which we wouldn’t normally pay attention, a leaf on a tree, or a verse with words that can roll in your mouth. As you contemplate these small things, what images pop into your head? What’s your emotional reaction?
I love this notion. As I read it, I recall a moment in one late afternoon, seeing a particularly brilliant red Virginia creeper leaf, shimmering in the wind and under the sunset light. I love autumn, and this leaf announced the true arrival of the season. A small leaf offered me such sweet comfort; it simultaneously energized me (skiing is around the corner!) and calmed me.
How often do you take the time to notice the small things at work? The building, the office walls, and more importantly, the people’s mood, the looks in their eyes, their gait… Why not take a moment, embracing slowness as you walk around and note something that usually escapes you. See what the newfound knowledge informs you about your work, colleagues, or the environment.
Recently, while biking in our neighborhood, I noticed a new sign on someone’s property. This property abuts a trail whose entrance is rather obscure, and people often do trip onto the private land. This new sign says, “Private Property,” positioned about 5 yards from the trail entrance. I thought to myself, “the owner is likely to be the ‘J’ type,” as in “judging” per the Meyers-Brigg personality inventory. “J” indicates those whose view of the world is, “it ought to behave this way; that should be organized according to…” In contrast, a “P” for “perceiving” personality type, would think about why people keep stumbling onto the private land, and perhaps place a sign right at the trail entrance that says, “Trail Entrance.”
What small things have you noticed lately? What have you learned from them?
Till next time,
Staying Sane and Charging Ahead.
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