A couple of days ago, after reading The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker, I tried a game with the kids. Close your eyes for 30 seconds and listen to the sounds around you. Then describe your findings.
The first time we played we all heard mostly the same sounds. The second time, each of us began to notice different sounds. We were at home, and we noticed sounds we hadn’t noticed before.
According to Walker, there are sound signatures for different places. “This sounds like home.” It doesn’t have to be limited to sound signatures, we can involve other senses, like in “this smells like home.”
Noticing does not only apply to the senses. Developing the skill of noticing helps us discover new perspectives and insights. Like sounds, don’t settle for the first thing that comes to mind.