Observing vs Seeing 

I just started another book,”Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes”. I was surprised to find out that it talks about mindfulness and being very keen to what is happening at the moment. The first few pages delved into the difference between seeing and observing. It puts both in the context of habit and describes how we breeze through our days without really fully absorbing the nuances that shape our daily experiences.

Routines are important to get things done. I am all for it. It is interesting though that as we go through our daily cycle we become oblivious to things that we consider as “unnecessary” in carrying out these tasks. Or we gloss over the details that we see day to day. Habits give us the focus that we need but it also makes us blind to the little things. We see it as an operative part of carrying out what we have to do but we don’t really observe. Observation is putting thought and attention to the minute in the everyday. 

I’d like to practice observation in the context of routine. I’m a such a creature of habit and this is how I know how to do things. It is part of my nature. But I also do know that it can be shaped better by mindfulness. I’d like to pay attention, think things through as I go through a day of checklists. I’d like to listen to people, to situations and have a keener sense to the pulse of my days. 

“When it comes to the world, I want to touch it, taste it, feel it and indefinitely hold it.” (From Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart) 

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