Do you ever wonder how the world would look if you were seeing through fresh eyes?
“Seeing with fresh eyes” in English means seeing familiar things as if you’ve never seen them before, i.e. with the same sense of newness and discovery that you presumably experienced the first time you experienced them.
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
A lovely sentiment… but what if we were to change Mrs. Roosevelt’s endearing wish in one tiny way, by inserting the word “undying” before “curiosity”?
Curiosity is a gift that we’re all given at birth; the trick is to keep it alive as we mature. Instead of seeing with fresh eyes, as adults, we see through a veil of memory and assumptions as we become familiar with the world. By reviving our sense of curiosity, we can penetrate that veil, see things anew, quicken our interest in the world.
How? By seeking out new things, adding more novelty to our day, and breaking patterns and habits by doing things differently. What if you were to take a different route to work? Or sit in a different chair or a different part of the room than you usually do? Or park in a different part of the parking lot? Try making a game of noticing ten new things, it will open the door to discovery.
If undertaking something new sounds too scary, try labeling the feeling of “scary” as “excitement” instead. Think of yourself as an explorer, a sleuth, an adventurer!
When you are out and about, start looking for little details most easily overlooked. People watching is a great way to notice more. What does a person’s dress, posture, or facial expression tell you about them? Why do you think so? How likely is your assessment to be true? Where did your judgments originate? Are they likely to be true?
After you watch a movie or TV show or read a book, ask yourself, “ What did I discover from that experience? The key is learning to ask questions. Curiosity is questioning. By training your brain to question more, you can train your brain to be more curious.
Ask yourself, “What am I curious about today?” or “What am I interested in learning about today?” If we could approach the world with the wonder of a child, unburdened by the weight of our worldly experience and the numbing patterns it triggers, what might we be able to discover?