pop my candy

image

“Too cold to hold and got to be sold.” he called out.

It drew my attention and my gaze caught his.

“Don’t let dehydration ruin your vacation.” he grinned.

“Can I refresh you today?” he invited as I approached. “Guaranteed to cool you out without a doubt…”

This street trader’s appreciation of the value in selling not the product but the benefits, had won me over in the New Orleans heat of early afternoon. I could sense how it would feel to be refreshed and sated by one of his ice cold drinks. I duly purchased a beverage from the ice filled cool boxes at his feet.

Talking about value, contribution, benefits and outcomes seems effective. Doing so in language that engages the senses, even more so.

What might happen if we adopted this approach in organisations when we discuss people? Not, she’s top talent or he’s well qualified. But, she’ll energise you with a deep passion that washes over you like a wave of effervescent bubbles from popping candy. His courage and insight will inspire you like the view from the banks of the raging Mississippi with all its power and direction in the flush of Spring.

What if?

will we evolve to forget?

will we evolve to forget

Snapchat are about to launch sunglasses that capture video of what you see.

Your brain already does that.

Many of us think visually. We see ourselves in our experiences. We recall memories this way; in our “mind’s eye”. We even create imagined futures by running video or slide shows of what might happen. Our imagination is cool.

If we start replacing the need to do this because technology does it for us, might we evolve to lose the ability?

Evolution of course takes time, but there is already evidence that more people are becoming nearsighted because of recent changes in patterns of behaviour. A new paper published in the journal Ophthalmology looks at worldwide trends in myopia (nearsightedness) by doing a meta-analysis of 145 studies involving 2.1 million total participants. It predicts that by the year 2050, 4.8 billion people will be nearsighted. That’s 49.8 percent of the world’s population. The theory is that this is because of increased close work in the office, use of handheld devices and because less time is spent outdoors.

So what next? No need to visually recall our experiences; just download what we saw from our sunglasses?

Now that’s a dark thought to dim the brightness of anyone’s day.

without sense, no sense

image

and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Friedrich Nietzsche

We make sense of our world. With our senses. Same word.

When we remove a sense, the sense we make is different. Developing our ability to use them all in harmony is useful. Don’t just listen, when you can feel what is being said. Don’t just see, when you can hear with your heart.

Make all the sense you can.

inside out sensory bounty


We’ve been sitting in the garden all day today. Under a parasol, around a garden table. Family. Breakfast, lunch and (soon) tea will have been consumed al fresco.

Wildlife has shared the experience with us. Goldfinches sipping water from a water butt. Various unidentified bugs crawling across hands and legs, occasionally swatted away. Bees buzzing around the nearby passion fruit climber. A wood pigeon interrupting the silence with its clapping wings as it launches into a tree from the lawn. The gentle rustle of trees whispering in the breeze.

Human noise has broken our silence too. There is a local festival on a couple of miles away and we can hear live music. Earlier, a succession of light aircraft came over – maybe fifteen in total – each headed in a similar direction, presumably off to a fair, or returning from one?  Neighbours are starting up a barbecue and the noise of their preparations is joined by the drifting aroma of the smokey food.

All day the climate has been still.  Light gentle wind, warming sunshine. It seems today we have lived inside out, and it has been good.

Being in the outdoors with all its sensory bounty.

where does a smell take you?

pasty

There’s a man eating a pasty, maybe fifteen feet from me.

I can smell it. A slightly sweet aroma. I can feel the sensations of a bite of the piping hot food in my mouth. I can sense my slight open mouthed panting, as air is used to cool that bite to a temperature for swallow. I can taste the meaty, gooey mouthful, mixed with crumbly buttery pastry. I can taste the slightly peppery warmth.

There’s something strangely primal about holding your food in your hand.

I am instantly transported to my own specific memories of enjoying a pasty. Walking in the street with my family, grabbing lunch on a shopping trip. Numerous glorious holidays in Cornwall. A rushed snack on the way home from somewhere, late. In each memory, the smell of this man’s pasty takes me there. Fully.

Where does a smell take you and how vibrant is that place?

I’m off for a pasty…

separation

  
Watching Motorsport at Donington Park today.

I’m sitting on a hill in the infield looking at the old hairpin. Cars are weaving down the Craner Curves, jostling for track position into this all important corner.

Meanwhile, I’m listening to the race commentary on the circuit app on my phone. The commentary covers the action elsewhere on the circuit. So I can listen to the incident at Redgate where two cars have entered the gravel trap.

When we go racing we take a camping stove and I’m tucking in to a freshly made egg and bacon roll. The soft yoke has just exploded across my fingers. The smell and taste a sensory delight.

The sun is warming my right ear.

I’m struck by my ability to separate my senses. To see one set of action, hear another, feel the sun and direct my olfactory and gustatory senses to a stomach welcoming culinary classic.

Maybe separating our senses is easier than focusing them all on the same experience? We do it every day.  I do wonder what I’m losing as a result though?

weirdly new, weirdly human

weirdly new

I’ve just taken delivery of a new car.

It’s the same as my old one.  Same manufacturer. Same model. Same specification. Same colour.  Sure a couple of minor details have changed as they have updated the styling, but essentially it’s the same car.

I’m really excited though.  Strange how the smell of a new car is so good.  I feel like a child at Christmas.

I’ve walked around it several times and lovingly stroked it or removed an imaginary blemish or tiny sign of dirt.

I’m driving carefully too – around a car park, at least.  Strange because it’s the same shape and size, yet I’m being ultra cautious.

Given so little is different.
Given so little has changed.
Why is my behaviour so markedly altered?

How we respond to change.  How our behaviour is connected to our thoughts – real or imagined.  How our senses influence our reactions and our imagination.  Weird, but very human.