Most people are less aware of the world around them than they should be. But how can you practice a vague concept like awareness?
Do you see a pile of junk or something more?
A Real Surprise
Several years ago, the team at LaFollette Eye Clinic held a surprise baby shower for my wife and me. I was the first to walk into the room. The table was piled high with blankets, toys, and other baby goods.
I walked right past it.
I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t even notice it. Someone even said, “Surprise!” I asked what I should be surprised about, and she had to point out the table full of gifts.
It wasn’t my finest moment.
What Are You Missing?
Clear vision and healthy eyes are really important. But when I ask what you’re missing, I’m talking about more than just blurry vision.
What if you’re missing out because you aren’t paying attention? The visual lifestyle is a means to an end. Your eyes let you enjoy the beauty of our world.
This is your “why,” your reason for living the visual lifestyle. Whether art, people, or the outdoors, the world is beautiful. And if you haven’t discovered your own reasons to keep yourself healthy and your vision clear, maybe you’re not paying attention to what your world has to offer.
If that’s true, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I’ve met many patients who see clearly yet don’t notice the world around them. But you can get better at it.
Here are 5 ways you can practice awareness:
- Gratitude: Being thankful isn’t natural for many of us. But you can improve. It’s as easy as reminding yourself to find the good in situations, people, and things. Doing this makes people more beautiful and objects less ugly. This is why a photographer with a grateful attitude can turn a pile of junk into a beautiful photo.
- Appreciation: Train yourself to recognize qualities you might normally overlook. Mrs. Jones taught me this lesson when she fussed over a file cabinet I had painted. If you do this, things you love are even more appealing (think sunsets). You’ll also find new respect for things you don’t usually like. For example, if you dislike tattoos you can still appreciate the artistry – and the people who wear them.
- Curiosity: Cultivate the desire to learn. Ask (and answer) your own questions. Is that a star or a planet? What would it look like if I refinished this old dresser? Is there anything new at my local museum? When you awaken your curiosity, you train yourself to look more deeply at the world around you. And the more you learn, the more you’ll want to learn.
- Celebration: Get excited! People often make much of bad things. Instead, make a big deal out of good things. (Bonus: no one will tell you to stop.) Celebrate someone’s sweet fifteen (why wait another year?). Applaud Aunt Bessie’s new hairdo. Wear that Hawaiian shirt in the winter. Like curiosity, celebration feeds itself. The more you celebrate, the more you’ll look for reasons to. This also raises your awareness.
- Style: How we live and express ourselves is our style. Children do this well. Ask any four-year-old to choose their own outfit and see what you get. But it’s not just about clothes. Kids will sing, dance, and enjoy life no matter who’s watching. When we become adults, we can lose this cheer. Don’t be shy. Enjoy those colored contact lenses and wear those polka dot sunglasses.
Your world has a lot to offer you and vice versa. It’s sad to think you might not notice either. But practice appreciation, and you’ll get better at seeing and celebrating the world and the people around you. And yourself!
Question: Which if the five ways to practice appreciation speaks the most to you? Which do you need to work on? Tell me in the comments below.
You may also like:
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Life Is Too Beautiful to Live With Blurry Vision
3 Hidden Reasons You Don’t See When You Look
One Successful Trick to Living Life Beautifully
Learn This One Secret to Being Thankful