How To Notice What You Can’t See: The Pathway To Creatively Living Your Dream [Part 1]

How To Notice What You Can’t See: The Pathway To Creatively Living Your Dream (Part 1)
Photo by Johnny Brown

When most people imagine the life they dream of most, they believe there’s already a predetermined path to getting there.

“If only,” they think, “someone who’s been there could show me this pathway. Then all I’d have to do is walk down it. And I’d be living my dream!”

And that’s exactly why most people stay stuck, never moving toward their dream life at all. And instead, they settle for the “path” colleges have laid out for them (which nowadays, doesn’t lead very far).

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t have mentors who show you the ropes in whatever area you want to excel at. But the truth is — most of your life you’ll have to design yourself. Unless you’d prefer to be a carbon copy of someone else…

And you should want to figure it out yourself — since the life you dream of is probably totally unique to you anyway.

But if there’s no “set path” to getting there, how do you go about getting what you want?

Here’s a secret: you’re hard-wired biologically to figure it out on your own.

I’ll explain:

The Great Gift Of
Being A Human…

…is the ability to translate what you observe and the ideas that spring to your mind — and turn them into action. And your action produces real stuff. In the real world.

As you move in the world — from the premise of taking action — to make things happen, the world you live in changes. Because things change around you as a result of the actions you’ve taken.

Now — every time you do something, the world, the cosmos, and everything in it — including the people around you, they can’t help but to respond to what you are doing.

So action generates response. That’s just the way it works.

Therefore, information — or data — that had not existed before, becomes available just by virtue of the fact that you took action.

This is true for big actions and small actions. It’s just as true if your action is taking out the garbage as it is when you win an Olympic medal or sell your business for a billion dollars.

Action creates new data and information. Every action you take is generating a response of some sort back from the world.

And that brings me to…

The Secret To Creating A
Life Of Your Own Design:

It’s all about using this in-born skill you have called creativity. Because when you’re getting new information as a result of taking action, you use your creativity to notice what's there.

And that, my friend, is the missing piece most people will never understand.

It’s a tricky one, too…

It’s important to stress here that you must really notice what’s actually there — and not trick yourself into seeing something that isn’t there.

But when you get good at this — you can develop a keen eye for the truth and be honest with yourself. You’ll discover being highly accurate about what was and wasn’t caused by your actions will make you the wealthiest and happiest in the long run.

And knowing that isn’t always obvious.

In fact, most of us are completely blind to at least 50% of the “ripple effect” our actions have. Probably even more.

We’re short-changing ourselves as a result.

It Reminds Me Of Throwing
A Rock Into A Pond:

A moment before you throw the rock, the water is still.

Then you take action. You throw the rock.

And you observe what happens in the water…

You notice the ripples going out to all the edges of the pond…

And if you want to make the pond perform a different action, you can throw the rock and guide the ripples in a different direction.

So it’s first about action, then about the observation of reality.

But We’re About To
Take It A Step Further:

As human beings, we can’t help but hallucinate. It’s just what we do. But the advantage we have — is we can know we’re hallucinating.

Here’s what that means:

Maybe your boss tells you something in your daily life. Or your spouse, child, or business client tells you something important…

And you can imagine as they say that, the ripples in the pond going out to everything that person is affecting with what they say.

So now, you’re hallucinating in your mind the ripples in the pond coming out. They’re in your mind. You’re not in front of a pond right now. You haven’t thrown a rock.

But you saw it anyway, didn’t you?

Now — all I meant by that is that you can imagine it in your imagination. And that’s perfectly fine. It’s just called being human. But if you want to find out if your hallucinations are accurate to the real world or not — if they’re TRULY accurate to fact — you’d have to come back to me and validate that what you hallucinated was what I meant. You’d say:

“Did you mean those circular patterns that emerge when you throw something in water? And they come out from the center and watch the waveform build? Because that’s what I was imagining…”

And I’d say yes or no. That answer would allow you to validate or invalidate your hallucination as to whether it’s accurate to fact.

Got it? Good. The point is…

Hallucination Is
A GOOD Thing.

I actually very much like doing it. Most of us do. And when I take action, and it looks like I got a certain result, I like to verify my hallucinations as well.

That way I can take the next action with the expectation that my previous hallucinations were true. Which comes in handy for future actions.

But when we don’t look at what happened and we don’t verify our hallucinations — that’s when we have an issue.

That’s how businesses go bankrupt.

That’s how people become hurt in relationships.

That’s how we get over-confident about our investments during the top of the bull market.

And that’s how we mis-measure our damn carb intake and wonder why we’re not losing any body fat.

If I throw a rock at a pond, and imagine it snowing somewhere in Germany — there’s not much of a connection there. It’s a leap.

Get it?

So when we’re being creative with designing our lives — we want to take action, and then look at what really happened to gather new data.

Here’s How To Tell What’s
Really Happening:

So if we stay with this idea of noticing what actually happens — and we stay with the image of ripples spreading out from the pond — ripples are not all that actually happens.

Because I’ve been to ponds and I’ve thrown rocks in them. You probably have, too. And I’ve also noticed that when I throw a rock into a pond, sometimes I also hear a splash over to my right…

And I imagine that it was a bullfrog jumping in the water.

I also noticed some birds got excited when I did that — and they flew off to the left of the pond…

I also noticed that the water at my feet has begun to swell up and encroach a little on the bit of the dry land that it was touching. Because the ripples actually caused an effect very far from where I threw the rock.

So the part of this idea of creativity that most people don’t understand is this:

You’re not noticing just for the outcome you expect and is obvious…

It’s also learning to notice the non-obvious information that’s present as well.

There was a great book by Moshe Feldenkrais called The Elusive Obvious. And the title of the book is actually what’s most intriguing about the book. It’s the idea that oftentimes, there’s information for us that’s VERY obvious. It’s there in front of us. There’s no way NOT to notice it if you’re looking for it.

But until you’re looking for it — that information remains very elusive.

One of the key characteristics of creativity, success, and getting anything it is you want in life, is beginning to notice for the things around you that are:

Both ELUSIVE
And OBVIOUS.

And being able to build a pattern of noticing for what’s present.

To do this, you have to expand your sensory system. This is the fun part:

You have to begin to go outside of what’s right there in front of you, in what we call your foveal vision — which is the very precise part of your visual field directly in your focus — and notice for all the movement that occurs around the edges. In your peripheral vision, if you will…

Even though you’re not looking in your periphery, you can see things moving there. And it can draw your attention to that direction.

It’s the same thing with your sense of hearing. Or your sense of feeling. Or with the internal, intuitive sense you have of what’s going on around you.

And when you learn to tune all that up — you can take in WAY more data than the average person is noticing for in any environment.

And that gives you more options. It gives you more choices. And it allows you to build a greater field of possibilities for your life.

And That Is The
Essence Of Creativity.

So do you need to ignore your foveal vision and go wider? How do you see all that information?

The truth is, it’s not an either-or. It’s a both-and. You actually don’t need to change anything.

As crazy as it sounds — you are designed to function extraordinarily well on this planet, in this universe, at this time, with all of the physical limitations that are part of it.

We’re designed to function in this cosmos the way it is. And we want to use that.

So yes, we want to keep paying attention to our foveal vision just as we have before…

But at the same time, we don’t want to miss out on all that information that’s peripheral — the information coming in from different sources — without having to necessarily make it the center of our attention.

Which is why we become situationally aware:

When something in our periphery reaches a threshold — or a certain level of intensity of that information — whether it’s auditory, visual, or even an intuitive sense, you simply…

Allow Your Attention To
Wander In That Direction.

And see what happens.

This ability to allow your attention to wander is powerful. Because we’ve been trained by many of the things we’ve experienced growing up in a normal, modern world — to NOT let our attention wander.

As if somehow that’s a bad thing…

But make no mistake: the way we’re designed to function in THIS universe is to allow our attention to wander. Because sometimes the information that’s MOST important — the information that can give us a better life, better relationships, or even grow our income — is NOT the information we’re “supposed” to attend to at the moment.

It’s not the information a teacher is beating down our throats with a ruler… And it’s not even the information our boss is telling us at work.

It’s the Elusive Obvious.

It’s what we’ve been trained to tune out.

Especially when we’re interacting with other people:

Sometimes it’s what they’re NOT saying that’s more important than what they are saying.

Sometimes it’s the WAY they’ve said what they said that’s more important than what they said.

If we get lost in fixing our attention without noticing all this peripheral information — we will not function as well as we could function if we were totally “on top of our game.”

We won’t make the sale because we missed a small signal from the client.

Our relationships can suffer because of what we neglected to notice about the other person.

And the list goes on.

This Has Been Proven
In Perception Studies:

One of the great things we have been able to study is how professional, major-league baseball players can track the flight of a ball.

If we show a professional baseball player a film of a ball being hit — and ask them to predict where it will land — the precision they can do that with is never as good as it is in their ability to be where they need to be on the actual field, to make the catch.

So you think about this:

There’s a fielder in the outfield. The ball is six feet over his head. It’s on its way out of the field for a home run…

Yet somehow, that fielder knows to get in position, to use the wall, lift himself up so he gets a three-foot vertical jump, plus his exact arm-reach to catch the ball… and instead of a home run — it’s a fly out.

How Is That Possible?

Because he’s making micro-adjustments, second by second, based on what’s happening with the flight of the ball. And his sense of his own body in space, in motion, moving through the same field of space the ball is moving in — tells him where he needs to be and how he needs to be there to make that catch.

This can only happen in real time. WE are designed to function in real-time.

And if something happened that changed the course of the ball — like a wind gust — instantly that major-league player could make that adjustment in real time.

Because we as humans are designed to do that — IF we allow ourselves to do it. But if we fix our attention on how it’s “supposed” to happen — or our belief that it’s going to happen in a “particular way” — then we’re not being adaptable.

We’re not working with the real situation and the real conditions. In a sense — we’re hallucinating what the conditions are.

So a fundamental premise of creativity — beyond noticing what’s happening — is…

Noticing How You’re
Adjusting To What’s Happening.

And making whatever’s happening — regardless of whether you think it’s good or bad, even when it looks like a totally hopeless situation — to use THAT as a way to get to your outcome. Despite anything that may tell you otherwise.

Even if it didn’t turn out the way you thought it was going to the first time… that’s still useful information that you can use to get your outcome. There always is. So you can turn a home run into a fly out.

Even if nothing in your life looks like it could lead to success — approach it with the attitude that you can still use it to become successful. Look at every rags to riches story — those people all approached their success the same way. They used what they had.

Now to really bring this to the next level so you can design your life like a pro — you have to tell your body what to look for.

And we’ll cover that… in part 2 of this post.

Next week, you’ll discover how to tune up your sensory system so your biology automatically knows the right action to take.

So your nervous system literally tells you what the right move is in any given moment — and you don’t even have to think about it — that way, you can automatically create an exceptional life of your own design with as little guesswork as possible.

You’re going to want to be here for that. It’ll be a good one.

In the meantime — start noticing the elusive obvious in your daily life. Look for what you haven’t noticed that’s right there in front of you…

I guarantee when you’re looking for it, opportunities will pop out left and right. And your future actions can only get better from that.

 

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