The Challenge to Notice Things

A few weeks ago, at the end of a business design class that featured active listening exercises, our instructor challenged us to notice things. We live our lives within routines and it is so easy to overlook changes or anything outside of the expectant.

I live about a 10 minute walk from the Athletic Centre and I always take the same route to and from the AC. In the span of a typical week it is quite possible for me to walk through this same stretch of Spadina 12 times. Despite the regular visits it had taken me about a year and a half to notice that the street played host to a Shoeless Joe’s on the west side. And I only noticed the restaurant’s existence after I was handed a flyer with the address listed.

The challenge popped into mind this morning as I was leaving the AC to head home after my workout. Instead of pressing the play button on my phone and hurrying through the slush I decided to relax into the familiar surroundings and see if I could spot anything new or beyond the normal daily scope. I didn’t know if this thread of difference would be a cute squirrel out to play or even just a pair of interesting pants a fellow pedestrian could be wearing. I was just on a mission to notice something I haven’t taken note of in my previous walks along this stretch of Spadina.

I must say I feel sufficiently rewarded for my efforts. On February 14, 2015, I spied with my eyes a Nestlé Tollhouse Cafe on Spadina.

It is often difficult to step outside of personal bubbles but the insights gained, once one is in the green, are invaluable. I now challenge you to also notice things out of your ordinary. And if anyone’s discoveries include speciality flavoured Oreos in the GTA, please send me a text.

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(I’ll take an ice cream sandwich, please)

 

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