When you look up “thinking” in the dictionary, you get definitions like:
“Opinion. Judgment. The action of using your mind to produce ideas, decisions, memories, etc.”
Thinking involves lots of areas of our brain. Our prefrontal cortex is used in making executive decisions. In NLP we call it the B.S detector. It’s great for lots of operations and reasoning. What it doesn’t do very well is leave the judgment out.
When you look up noticing in the dictionary, you get definitions like:
“Observe. To perceive with the mind; detect.”
Noticing means observing not judging. It means that you see and hear what is happening in any given situation without assigning meaning to it.
If someone walks in late to work, you can think that he is irresponsible or you can notice the time he arrived.
If someone disagrees with you, you can think she is being argumentative or you can notice another opinion.
If someone gains weight, you can think he is lazy or you can notice his clothes are tighter.
Judgments of other people, the world around us or situations we are involved in only serve to make us miserable. We get upset that the world isn’t playing by our rules and we stress over the disparity.
If we concentrate on noticing instead of thinking about people, our world and situations, we start to let go of our rules and instead utilize our curiosity. We can be creative, like a detective. That’s what noticing is all about.