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What Do You See?

Katie McGrath, who heads up 1:1 at RT, sent around a link this morning from an agency consultant named Michael Gass that listed his favorite inspirational quotes from Steve Jobs. All of them were great, but one, in particular, caught my eye because I had been contemplating something similar while traveling on business the week before last.

It was a bright, beautiful, early Monday August morning and I was flying to another of the countless business meetings I've traveled to over the years. As I've learned to look for simplicity in all things, it occurred to me that I was headed to that meeting primarily because the people paying me thought I might see something potentially important that they might otherwise miss.

Quite simply, our value in business, and it could be argued in life in general, is based on our ability to see and perceive things. Here is the Jobs quote I referenced earlier that states something along the same lines, albeit a lot more eloquently:

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people." - Steve Jobs/Wired Magazine April, 2002

The trick, then, to driving up your value is to improve your ability to see what others can't, or won't. And to turn those observations into simple, practical, yet inspirational applications.

Let your curiosity take the helm and really observe the world around you from as many different perspectives as possible. Set aside blocks of time on your busy calendars to explore, the same way you make time to exercise, or eat. And just like you do for physical exercise, find the time of day when your intellect and curiosity are at their peak performance.

It will greatly improve your ability to see. And be seen.