We rarely talk about observation. Casually, we never describe someone as being a good observer. Our belief is that observation is a skill that only scientists or doctors use.
Why should we care about observation? Isn’t the fact that we quickly make sense of the world every day demonstrate that we are all good observers? We don’t run into walls. Nor do we walk across a busy street into oncoming traffic.
Where observation can begin to have value for each of us, is when we see or feel things that are different or missing. Sherlock Holmes’ fame depended on his ability to find the anomaly that others could not see. His power of observation often seemed super human.
We take too many things at face value to be good observers. Sometimes we’re lazy thinkers. Other times we jump to explanations or conclusions that then drowns the quiet time needed to see and reflect without judgment. Believing words instead of observing actions fools us into thinking that we always understand.
Curiosity and doubt fuel observation’s engine. They signal a need to revisit something to find what we missed. That we shouldn’ t move on until we know more. Certainty and our need to be right, stamp out the value of observation until it can no longer breathe. Leaving us weaker when making our next choice or decision.
For observation to benefit us, we must understand that we need to force ourselves to become the same objective observer that a scientist or doctor is trained to be. That there is always something that we missed or more to learn.
Given how fallible our judgment & decisions can be, observation can be a great tool to help balance us. Giving us more perspective as we put in the work to actively challenge what we believe before making our next choice or decision so that we become more effective.