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4 Aug 2009 / Julie

thoughts on seeing clearly

i just cleaned my glasses for the 3rd time today. for whatever reason my furiously typing fingers keep grazing the plastic when i go to adjust them or take them off for a moment while i stare blindly into the distance to think. and clearly i need to wipe down my keyboard more often because these causal brushes with my glasses are resulting in hard-to-see-through smudges.

glasses wearers the world over understand how easily it is for our glasses to get smudgy, dirty, or otherwise hard to see through. we’ve all done the head tilty thing to figure out if it’s the world that isn’t clear, or if it’s us. it’s usually us (well, our glasses).  once we’ve figured it out, we reach for the hem of our shirts, some glasses cleaner, or that special little cloth we all love to clear away the mess. i’m always amazed after i’ve cleaned them how much clearer the world is. i may have only seen one smudge, but apparently i had been looking through an entirely dirty glass.

which makes me wonder- what else is preventing us from seeing our worlds clearly? here are my thoughts.

1. clutter. it’s a visual distraction that keeps us from seeing things. not only can we not find stuff, but it boggs down our minds. if you’ve ever walked into your house and saw a mess after a long day, you’d know what i mean. it’s exhausting just to think about it. in design, clutter takes away from the main message. check out this hilarious 4 minute video about the redesign of the stop sign.

eliminating the clutter will help you refocus (on more important things, or the important message, etc), energize, save time, and in the end, get more done with less energy output. here are some great ideas from my favorite blog on how to declutter quickly (and painlessly).

2. technology. distraction is big on my interest list these days; how distraction is causing a decrease in deep, critical thinking and attention. for me, technology is one major cause of my continuous partial attention. somewhere along the line, technology went from supplimenting my knowledge and processes to rewiring how i think. it all became clear to methe other day while i was waiting at a traffic light. i saw a girl waiting for the walk sign so she could cross the street. she hit the button repeatidly, saw the sign wasn’t going to change yet, and grabbed her cell out of her back pocket and delved into the world she had in there. what happened to not being engaged every second of the day? or better yet, actually being engaged with our physical surroundings, the moment, or our own thoughts?

3. the speed of life. i dont think i need to speak to this one too much as i’m sure we’re all feeling this one more often than not. when’s the last time you took a moment to stop and take deep breath? i mean the kind you can feel in your feet. the kind that makes you immediately want to take a nap, or the kind that suddenly lifts the cloud hovering over (or in) your head. do that now. breathing is important. breathing (and slowing down) can lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, help you maximize your workout, and clear your mind (when you focus on your breathing, all other thoughts will fade away).

so now that your clutter is gone, you aren’t at the beck and call of your technology and the worlds within, and you’ve consciously taken a moment to slow down and pay attention- do you feel like you can suddenly see? for me, not yet, but i can see the light down there somewhere. :-)

what are your thoughts on “seeing” clearly?

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