It’s In The Small Details.

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know my dedication to thinking like a traveler. The idea made popular by IDEO founder Tom Kelley, in which we can find the most amazing opportunities within the everyday items we experience, if we’re really able to pay attention. When away on a trip we are hyper present,  often finding new meaning and solutions that we haven’t thought of before from items we may have otherwise considered average.

 

I’ve just returned from a family vacation to Mexico and I learned more this time than all of the other trips combined, as I tuned in and really listened to how my children were experiencing it for the first time.

Questions from why the grass wasn’t like ours to what flavours soda pop came in opened up the opportunity for not only discussions but learning on everything from climate and culture to society and preferences.

By the time we were ready to come home we all had recharged our batteries and our level of curiosity.  It reminded me that it doesn’t require a trip to foreign lands in order to build muscles in the curiosity department and that learning how to really see things, and the small details they are made up of, has more power, requires no money and often leads to the most interesting questions and conversations that one could imagine.

This tool leads to the ability to reframe the circumstances you’re in no matter where you are, and that is a skill which is not only in demand as our children head out looking for life paths but for all of us to embrace.

It’s never to soon or to late to start this practice with your children.  When they were younger it happened all the time, we would point things out ask them questions and take the time to make sure they were really experiencing things, then the practice tends to slide away.  It’s time to start again.

Yes they might think you’re a little silly to begin with asking questions from what kind of chewing gum flavor is missing to why we only have stop lights in 3 colours , but you’d be surprised at where those initial conversations will take you and them in re-imaging what’s possible.

Have fun with your next conversations.

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