I realize that everyone is different and you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.


I have often wondered why some people fail to notice cabinet doors they’ve left open, stuff they’ve dropped on the floor or stains on their clothes, just to mention a few things that drive me nuts. Are observational skills commiserate with brain chemistry, a behavior that is taught by parents, or a little of both? Can someone who is completely oblivious to their surroundings be taught to observe through behavior modification?
It seems that the answer lies somewhat in the chemistry of the brain.” According to the Personal Productivity Exchange how you observe the world around you has been linked to norepinephrine and dopamine levels. With low norepinephrine and dopamine, you are more confused and all over the place, unable to direct your attention.With high norepinephrine and dopamine you are supposedly gifted with more attention including small details.”
According to the above mentioned site one of the ways you can boost your neurotransmitters is by taking drugs like amphetamines, Ritalin, Cocaine, etc., however that is definitely not a good choice. Physical exercise which has been found to release endorphins and a host of other beneficial chemicals would be a great choice. However, this is not the whole enchilada. You just can’t ride a bike everyday and expect to end up being like Sherlock Holmes. It also takes some cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness methods. Learning how to be more observing takes effort and many individuals don’t want to put in the effort, nor is it something they care about.
As a parent I remember having to become part parrot. I repeated myself continuously about clothes on the floor, wet towels on the bed, dishes in the sink. I’m sure my children wanted to pluck my feathers out one by one. It must have paid off because they’re all pretty neat and organized. I believe how you’ve parented is incredibly influential. My mother would not tolerate me being slovenly. I truly respect her for that, especially after seeing how some people live. I like my home to have a certain neat vibe. However, I can’t seem to segue into that behavior with a lot of my paper work.
I realize that everyone is different and you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. But, the greatest aspect of learning how to notice the world around us rather than just the world we’re in, is that it makes it easier on others. It has become even more difficult in todays world because of the constant assault on our attention from our gadgets. But that excuse is really getting tiresome. If you can begin to pay attention to your surroundings you just might allow whoever you live with not to have to be the concierge of your life. Consider this: They just might not want to spend the precious moments of their life picking up after you.

Take a walk around your life periodically and try to remove what is taking up time and space that no longer serves you.


Over the years there have been books that have attempted to persuade the culture to simplify their lives. As consumerism has engulfed our lives, it appears that the adage “less is more” is becoming more of a dinosaur mentality. However, there is always the possibility of a resurgence and voila “Tiny Houses” have appeared and become a part of the Home and Garden TV station.
I must admit I was intrigued by the premise. I have lived in my home for over thirty five years and as I age I become more and more overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have collected. My home is not huge but it does take diligence to have it look the way I want it too. Yes, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my abode. My yard has become analogous to an arboretum. The irony is that it is a Zen garden that reflects simplicity but need a lot of work to look simple.
Many of my peers are feeling the pressure of having to be the concierge of their homes and we have talked over and over about downsizing. But, how do you go from spaciousness to hardly any space especially if you feel somewhat claustrophobic when you walk into your closet? The Tiny Houses have very limited space so that collecting “stuff” would be difficult, unless you camp outside and simply go into the house to visit your “stuff”. I am constantly amazed at the segments that show a family of four that has decided to live in a 350 foot space. The sleeping arrangements are usually a loft that is accessed by a ladder and there is barely any head room. I average at least two trips to the bathroom a night, so I would probably end up with several concussions. In addition I would have to get up and down the ladder. This could be catastrophic!
I realize this arrangement could work for some people but keep in mind that your habits follow you. A Tiny House can get stuffed too. However, can we begin to simplify our lives so that we do not feel overwhelmed? A lot of our lifestyles have become occluded with a myriad of tasks, time suckers, and busyness that is simply filling a void. Yes, life is more complex, gadgets are rampant, and we are surrounded by noise that clutters our mind more than our stuff.
Take a walk around your life periodically and try to remove what is taking up time and space that no longer serves you. Try to find a place that is fairly quiet, particularly in nature. Spend some time with individuals who are not contentious with whom you feel peaceful. Find humor whenever you can and move toward embracing absurdity. Seeing the absurd just might stop you from buying something you will eventually include in a yard sale.