“How we choose to pay attention renders the world what it is.” Maria Popova
Here I am once again preaching that YOU are the center of your universe. Not that you are the most important piece of your universe, but that you are the sole receptor of all that occurs in your world. Your world is built upon the information you take in, information that you first receive through your senses and then process through your hungry mind.
Maria Popova is right on target: Your world is composed of everything you “catch.” So, she urges, Pay Attention! Your perceptions of “life, the universe, and everything” really matter.
Paying Attention and Noticing are the same things… only different. Both are receptors to catch the world as is passes. For me however, there is something peaceful and almost effortless wrapped up in acts of noticing. It’s almost subconscious as it can become virtually involuntary.
Planting a Seed
Only one thing is necessary: you gotta plant a seed of informational hunger. Sometimes it is called curiosity. And once you decide to approach each day with curiosity and wonder you can’t help but notice the treasures discovered in the ordinary.
When your senses are on alert you notice ordinary things in fresh and surprising insights. I think of sunsets, full moons, acts of kindness, artistic compositions in film and music. I then there are the times I ponder the delights of my wife and my son. Holy treasures in a world gone mad.
BUT THEN… Imagination
If you add just one ingredient to the recipe of active noticing, it’s as if you placed a magnifying glass upon life. That ingredient: Imagination! In fact, as I ponder this post, I am concluding that reception of the greatest of life’s gifts comes to us by means of Curiosity and Imagination.
For me life would be rather stale without imagination. How could you get through a day without it? You don’t have to be an artist to dream or imagine. You do it naturally with questions like, “What if…” or “What about…”
George Bernard Shaw writes, “Imagination is the beginning of creation.” I like that, especially when you put them all together: Begin with curious noticing, insert imagination, and soak in the pleasures of an intentionally creative life.
Your World Is
What You Notice and Imagine
Photo courtesy of Jorm Sangsorn at istockphoto