There’s an awesome stand up act that Jerry Seinfeld does in his “I’m telling you for the last time”. In that he tells the audience a secret about men.
The question on many women’s mind is “What are men thinking about?” is his premise. He goes on to say “Let me clue you on to the secret women. Here’s what men are thinking.”
We are just walking around, looking at stuff.
Its pretty funny and mostly true. Its also true of most people, not just men. Most of our “thinking time” is spent thinking about nothing.
That’s such a waste of time.
What I think it really means is its not worth sharing what we are thinking about.
We are “constant dreaming” about mundane useless stuff and our thoughts wander to more useless stuff.
While we go about some daily routines, we are still thinking and less “observing”.
Most successful entrepreneurs I know have a heightened sense of observation.
They watch everything. I mean they observe at least 50-80% more than the average person.
Most non-entrepreneurs people see the same things an entrepreneur does, but they dont observe.
A technique I use is active observation. It is seeing, then asking questions. As you know, questions are the root of solving interesting problems.
To discipline yourself to constantly keep observing, you have to train your mind to look, then ask. Not keep looking and neither keep thinking.
There is a downside to active observation. Its that you are not in the “present”. Critics will point to the mind-rest that your brain needs which helps it recuperate and rejuvenate. They might also say you should go with the flow to generate great results.
I prefer active observation when I am thinking about ideas and problems to come up with which need solving.
P.S. Post a few comments on facebook, I wanted to clarify that active observation is observing then doing. By default I assume most entrepreneurs are doers. Many though confuse doing (action) for progress.