Yesterday, on the tube in to work, I saw a GIANT dog. It brought utter delight to our carriage, beating the smart phone hands down in the battle for our attention. It was lovely to look up and be really 'present' in our physical situation. I chatted to the owner of the dog - smiled at and talked briefly to fellow commuters and left the tube feeling sharper and happier than I had when I got on.
We've got such lovely little safe worlds at our disposal in our phones though. It's hard to resist losing yourself in them when you need to kill time. Checking emails or scrolling through social media can feel like an efficient use of time, but narrowing our focus on the world is killing an important area of stimulus. The everyday treasure to be found in the world around us.
Just before Easter I worked with some of the brilliant staff at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was a session on creative thinking and creative problem solving and we were having a go at tackling some challenges that were niggling us at the moment. We sent the team out to hunt for 'treasure in the ordinary' at lunchtime and they brought back all kinds of thought-provoking stimulus to help us consider our problems from different perspectives.
Looking carefully at the detail of life in Canada Water, London offered a fresh starting point for us to come up with ideas for what to do next. It was a simple, easy and stimulating exercise and all it demanded of us was to look for the magic in the everyday.
Since that day, Easter took over and I forgot to keep looking up. Big Dog has reminded me I should be keeping my phone in my bag a little more often. For the next 30 days I'm going to take a picture of something fabulous that I might have overlooked. I challenge you to do the same and start a gallery of everyday magic that you can call on when life has you a little bit stuck.