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February 19, 2020 33 mins

The “attention economy” has set off a fierce battle for our focus, leaving us distracted and anxious. We learn how to find respite and take back our attention in this conversation with Rob Walker. He's a journalist, educator and author of the new book, The Art of Noticing. Listen in to resist the tyranny of the “trending topic” and rediscover creativity, productivity, and real presence.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
I like to look at what people are doing on
their phone. And there was a woman like playing scrabble
and she was walking really fast, like she walked past
me looking at her phone. I was like, what could
she be doing? It's so important? Is thanks so good
for your soul? Is like anything that avoids being in
that situation, Like, you know, being engaged in the world
shouldn't be something that you need to sort of convince

(00:24):
people like what's the payoff? Welcome to the road to somewhere.
When we talk about exploration, adventure, major life change and
transformation is about not necessarily knowing where we're going, but
having the faith that the journey will be worthwhile. I'm

(00:47):
Lisa Us and I'm Jill Herzig, and so you out
there can picture us. We are sitting in this tiny
room that is completely insulated at c d M studios
um where hoarding and one of the things that is
necessary to record well is that there will be no
extraneous sound. Of course, we leave our phones outside. There's

(01:10):
like an airlock. It's almost like being an astronaut, and
you hear like a sucking sound when they close the door,
and you're you're in here, and I have to say.
I don't know how you feel about this, Lisa, but
I find it incredibly peaceful in here once that door closes,
and so it's so much easier to focus. Yeah, no,
I love it. It would be a really good place

(01:31):
to take a nap. Yes, yes, no distractions. Well, I
want to talk about distractions today. Our guest is maybe
gonna help us bring that calm that we feel in
the airlock in the airlock into everyday life. So we
are joined today by the senior writer and columnist for

(01:51):
Marker by Medium. He is a writer for The Atlantic,
New Yorker dot Com, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg, Business Week,
and way more. His newest book, The Art of Noticing,
a hundred and thirty one Ways to spark creativity, find inspiration,
and discover joy in the every day. Wow, Rob Walker,

(02:11):
thanks so much for being with us today. Well, thank
you so much for having me. We are thrilled. All right,
So tell us why now? What is it about our
crazy society that necessitates your um encouraging of noticing? Well,
the project actually started a little bit before now. I mean,

(02:35):
it started with something that I probably don't even need
to explain to you or your listeners, which is just
this general frustration with feeling distracted all the time and
feeling like in addition to the traditional modes of advertising
and things that are trying to capture your attention, like
now you have social media that's trying to capture your
attention and alerts on your phone and all this stuff
that you know about, right, And this was affecting you personally.

(02:57):
You were you were feeling your attention and I mean,
like any like everybody else, right, I mean, I think
everybody's dealing with this on some level, and everybody's complaining
about it all the time, and uh, I was frustrated.
And so actually the book project as a project, it
kind of started out being, you know, about the problem
and why the society has developed this way and how

(03:19):
bad it is and so on and so forth, and
it was like, you know, I was kind of envisioning
pages about the problem, and then at ten pages at
the end about here's some fun things you can do
to try to to try to break away from that
and give yourself some respite. And then I finally realized,
after floundering around on that for a year or longer
and just basically not working on that book, at all,

(03:40):
um that I didn't want to write it, and I
didn't even want to read it. I just wanted those
last ten pages. So they decided to flip it. And
now the first ten pages is like, here's the problem,
but you already know it. And then it was just
this long series of my editor doesn't like the word assignment.
But what's the call them? Provocations, exercises, games, just fun
or workable things you can do or think about that,

(04:04):
um that give you a break from that attention economy thing.
Because that's the other thing that frustrated me about the
way people talk about that subject is that the relief
or the rest of the remedy always seems to be, um,
you know, throw away your phone or the digital sabbatical
about denial of something, as opposed to giving people something

(04:25):
positive that they can embrace and do and have fun with,
as opposed to don't do this, stop doing it's on you.
You're addicted, you're denial, And first of all, that's a bummer,
and second it's not realistic. None of us is going
to throw away front like for professional reasons, you can't.
Just like it's very difficult to say, oh, I'm just
gonna I'm just gonna be cut off for a month,

(04:46):
Like hardly anyone can do that, So it's true, and
it kind of makes you feel even worse when somebody
instructs you to do it, because then you think, what
is it about me and my ridiculous life that I
can't I didn't wish gets the feeling that you were
prescribing throwing away your phone, and I think right now
it felt more like you were just encouraging curiosity, like

(05:10):
you were driving people to be to look around them
and to engage with the even on this, I mean, honestly,
you could play some of the games you have on
your cell phone rather than in the world right way
better in the world around you. But if you want
to notice, like how you know what the colors are
that they're using, Just it's just about being awake and
aware and noticing and being curious about your environment. Yes,

(05:33):
talk a little bit about what kinds of exercises. So yeah,
every one of the ones I talked about at the
beginning of the book, because it was kind of the
formative one for me that that kind of helped me
have that epiphany that I wanted to pursue this direction.
UM had to do with um. I call it the
one object scavenger hunt, which is just like, as you're
going through your day, pick one thing and just look

(05:55):
out for wherever you go. And in this case I did.
I chose security cameras. Was on a trip to San Francisco,
a city that I've been to a bunch of times,
and I wasn't really going to have chance to be,
you know, a real tourist and go to attractions and
things like that. But I wanted something to kind of
just change up the way I was looking at the city.
So and in my one criteria, my one parameter was, um,

(06:18):
something that no one wants me to see per se,
uh so, security cameras. But you could pick and it
was really it was really eye opening and just gave
it was very fun. It became a game like where
are they? What do they look like? Why are they
placed the way they're placed? There are certainly a lot
more of them than I ever realized. Once you start
looking for them. Um, are they kind of camouflaged or

(06:38):
are they kind of flashy? Like they want to be
used as sort of deterrence. Just became this other interesting
layer that added onto the city. And there was no
particular point to it. Now, I did end up writing
about it. Became for a while as a design writer
about design stuff a lot, and I became sort of
obsessed with security camera design UM as a subject. But
you could pick anything. You could pick a color, just

(06:58):
look out for the color red, or look out for
certain kinds of signs or um. You know, another one
of the neighborhood watch signs or something I'm always looking
up for no loitering signs are fun to look for, UM,
and you know what they say about the environment, and
it just gives you this different um. It's a game
like it's almost a childlike game that gives you a

(07:20):
different way of taking in environments around you that you're
in control of, and it becomes a thing to do
instead of that instinct of like, well let me just
see what's on Instagram right now. You know, the one
thing I did when you talked about security cameras, One
thing that came to mind is because a lot of
the stuff you recommend noticing a kind of random um,

(07:42):
like security cameras or you know, do not enter signs,
or just or just very random, seemingly random things. And
there's an exercise that I've done in the past where
you look around, if you take yourself, you give yourself
a few seconds to look around the room and count
everything that's blue, for example, and then you close your

(08:02):
eyes and you try to list three things that were read,
and you can't, and you cannot even think of the
things that were read. So you're what you notice determines
your reality. So my world was a blue world when
I was focusing on blue, and I had shut out
all red. So I'm just playing Devil's advocate. Should you
be more um principled about what you're choosing to focus

(08:26):
on just so that that's your reality? Does that make
any sense to you? Sure? And I think that's a
legitimate sort of you know, process to think through as
you're as you're sort of choosing how to deploy stuff
like this, how how seriously you want to take it.
My sort of step one goal is like anything I
would I would just say, anything that's in the real

(08:48):
environment around you is going to be kind of an
interesting provocation over the reaction to what people are throwing
at you through your phone right to see what's trending
um sometimes and you know you can you can on
one level, you can use that almost as like a
mental palate cleanser that just just like it's like freeing

(09:10):
up your brain, like looking for security cameras, isn't something
that has a huge cognitive loaded like kind of gives
you a chance to daydream a bit. And like when
I was doing that in San Francisco, I noticed a
lot of other things just because my gaze was directed
in an unusual like instead of going to the brightest, shiniest,
you know, whatever flashing billboard I was, my eyes were

(09:32):
moving in this other direction, and so I was noticing
other things and other businesses. Is it not necessarily about
sort of winning this game in terms of Wow, I'm
really super focused on the color X or security cameras
or neighborhood watch signs. It's more that you are outwardly focused,
that you are seeking something in the real world and

(09:54):
observing the real world noticing, as you say, um as
opposed to being reactive a time. Is that for sure?
And I think that last point is the most important
to me. That I feel like, um uh, having control
over your attention is just a win in and of itself.
And uh, one of the things that I was reacting

(10:16):
to when I got interested in this topic. I was
starting to teach. This book was heavily influenced by I
teach a class at the School of Visual Arts, uh short,
a short class called point of view, and I'm always
trying to get the students to to notice what other
people have overlooked. UM. And I think that there's a
lot in our culture. The trending topic is this sort

(10:38):
of classic example of this is that what you should
be at paying attention to is what everyone else is
paying attention to. And there are sort of logical reasons
why that should be part of our lives, like evolutionary reasons.
But if you take it to an extreme, and this
is what I would see with students sometimes is that
they would feel like, well, if I've noticed this thing
but no one else is really talking about it, then

(10:59):
I guess it not important. And obviously that's a disastrous
conclusion for a designer, but also for you know, I mean,
I'm a journalist, um, for an entrepreneur, Like, that's what
being an entrepreneur is about, is spotting something that other
people haven't seen yet. UM. And you can't ever really
do that if you devote your entire attention to what

(11:21):
everyone else is paying attention to all the time. When
we come back, I want to explore the idea of
taking that attention from our outside environment and turning it inward.

(11:41):
Before the break, we were chatting with Rob Bocker about
increasing our capability for noticing, our capacity for noticing the
world around us, but we can also turn that inward.
That that heightened awareness and that just ability to notice.
Um And you have a bunch of exercises that do
folk guess on our inner life. One of them that

(12:02):
I think um is hysterical is the idea of imagining
people touching us to see what it would be like
if they almost touched us, and what that feels like.
That was kind of one of my favorites. Can you
talk about some of the inner notticing? Yeah, well, so
that would be an example of So a lot of
the prompts in the book are borrowed in one way

(12:23):
or another from the arts or from you know, uh,
from designers and things like this, and that one I
believe is an example. I have this exercise called hunt
the infra thin and it takes us a little bit
to set that up. It does. The book does start
with the visual things, looking for things because I think
that that's what we think of when we think of noticing.
But then it does move into the other senses. There's

(12:44):
stuff about listening and taste and smell and all that stuff.
And then there's this other category, the sort of when
you get to be next level called the infra than
which was which was a Duchamp Marcel Duchamp concept, and
it was things that are beyond the five senses and
someone almost like almost touching your like if you close

(13:06):
your eyes and almost touch your nose, you're not that's
not touch and it's not like it's something else. It's
and that there are actual sort of scientific stuff that
we go into in the book about the other all
these fancy names that I can't do off the top
of my head for these complex things that are not
quite sensus, like the like putting your hand near something

(13:27):
that's hot and feeling that um. And then du Schamp
used the example of the feeling of the chair that
someone else just got out of and that you're sitting down,
you know so, And I love these kind of It
sounds sort of esoteric, and the book is intentionally built
in a way where there are things that are very
easy to do like looking for security cameras, or there's

(13:51):
one that's literally just like look out the window, look
out a window that you've passed a lot of time.
Like that's pretty easy, that's a low bar of entry.
But some of them are more complex, and they're meant
to be more mental provocations, like trying to identify things
that don't fit within the five senses. Well, like feeling.
You said, identify a feeling. It's almost like your intuition,

(14:12):
you're you're tapping. It's interesting to me that you your
initial instinct was to call these assignments and then your
editor pushed you towards provocations, which is like a word
to sure. But our producer, Eleisha Heywood is a teacher.
She teaches UH journalism and is finding that she calls

(14:32):
it the attention currency that that basically her students, I
hope I'm getting this right, UM have no sense of
what they are spending their attention on, and she wants
to make them much more aware. So she loves your exercises,
the esoteric ones, the wacky ones, and the simple ones
to um, I'm I'm wondering the idea of being that

(14:57):
you are much more likely to find original thought and
be able to focus and pursue. UM. But can you
talk to us a little bit about the benefits, like
how does this how does this noticing differently change the
way we behave in our lives and the things that
we're able to do. I think there are a couple

(15:20):
of answers to this, UM, and one of them goes
back to what I was saying earlier, and particularly in
the context of education, with giving people and I'm working
with designers, but I think it's due in many professions
giving people sort of confidence in their own you know,
intuition and UH and UH and and senses, you know,
their own feeling that where they're directing their attention is

(15:42):
worthwhile and that and that they should be true to
that and not try to suppress it. UM. When I
do sort of workshops with students outside of my own class,
and I try to give them a prompt a day
or two in advance, and it'll be things like, you know,
just as you're going through your day, look for something
that's out of place, UM, look for a mystery object

(16:06):
UH finds you know, and then ideally solve what the
mystery object is. Um. UH find something that that finds
something O. The way I put it, iss find something
to complain about, meaning look for a problem that someone
should fix, and then find something that UM people should

(16:26):
celebrate and love but they don't like it doesn't get
enough love. And this sort of set of like provact
which are all kind of variations on things in the
book UM. But this kind of set of provocations UH
is designed too and like the benefit of it is
to get us out of the sort of rut of

(16:47):
just accepting what we see all around us without really
questioning it or without having any activity to it. UM.
One of the other exercises that's in the book has
change your out UM, which refers to like we all
many of us have some kind of commute. Naturally, you
long ago figured out the most efficient way to get

(17:08):
to wherever it is that you need to go, so
you go that way every day, and that has become
this thing that you no longer think about. UH. And
so every once in a while. Part of what I'm
trying to do is establish a noticing habit. But part
of what I'm trying to do is get you to
break certain habits or question certain habits, because habits, while

(17:29):
they can be productive, can also become routs and it
just becomes a dead end to creativity, and you want
to give yourself Like you know how when you go
on vacation, you go to a new place, all your
senses are heightened, You're very excited. You notice everything, all
little details, and it's all fascinating and you're just like
you're turned up to eleven. So it's trying to give

(17:49):
yourself that sort of strangeness in your everyday life that
puts you a little bit I don't want to say
on edge, but on alert um and makes you tune
in and makes you feel like, hey, the world is
an interesting place. There are interesting things in it, and
you can apply that same thinking ideally to you know, however,
you solve a routine, whatever your problems are that you

(18:09):
solve at work, like, oh, we always solve this design
problem in this way, but let's change our route and
let's do it a different way this time and think
about this old problem in a new way. So I
think the benefits to that are very practical and kind
of good for your soul. But that's a that's a
whole other Okay. You can't just stop there when you

(18:31):
say good for your soul. That Hello, we gotta go there.
Tell us about how it's good. Yeah, well, I mean
the downside. I don't want to tilt into sort of
attacking technology, because I'm not That's not what this is about.
But I do think that it's I was just I
I live now in New Orleans and I go to

(18:52):
New York often, and it really is true that um
that the number of people who are walking around Manhattan
looking at their phone is really started to get out
of control. And I was looking. I like to look
at what people are doing on their phone, and there
was a woman like playing scrabble as she was really fast,

(19:12):
like she walked past me looking at her phone. I
was like, what could she be doing? It's so important,
is yes? Style? And so I mean, so good for
your soul? Is like anything that avoids being in that situation, like,
you know, being engaged in the world shouldn't be something
that you need to sort of convince people like, well,
what's the payoff? I just think it's a it's a good.

(19:34):
I think it's a it's an unelloyed, intrinsic good. There's
a conversation I had during the during the putting together
the book, I did interview other people about their ideas
for what would shake up their experiences. And I asked someone,
a productivity expert, about what would you do. I just
use this as a random example. I was like, what
would you do if you had if you're going to

(19:56):
be in let's say Cincinnati for forty eight hours you've
never been, what would you do to, like, you know,
explore this new place that you've never been to. And
he said, well, actually, I would just work in my
hotel room because I don't care about Cincinnati. And I
think that's and like, no offense putting aside any to Cincinnati.
I didn't say it. I'm just telling you what it's like.
That's just a sad way of looking at the world. Like, Okay,

(20:18):
that's a little I hear you. But you know, I
think it's um. I think it's good to embrace the
Cincinnati of wherever you are and find out what's good
about it. You know, it's funny that you talk about
New York City and New York City etiquette. My sister
has this interesting observation. She feels like the sort of

(20:39):
current level of incivility that we deal with here in
New York City, And I don't like to discuss. I
don't like to self flagellate because I think New Yorkers
can Actually if you stop one on the street and
you really sincerely ask for help, I think actually they'll
lean into it. It's a pretty extraordinary degree, partly because
they know your terror. They've been there too. Um. But

(21:00):
you know, there is a lot of elbowing and abusing
one another. And she dates it back to when people
started wearing headphones all the time and really being able
to successfully tune one another out and just focus on
it's your phone, and feels like we stopped sharing communal spaces,

(21:21):
we stopped being together in the places where we are together,
and therefore the presence of other people in a packed
subway car or on a street or anywhere is just
a giant annoyance. It infuriates us, and we react to
one another with rage instead of just kind of that
recognition of yep, we're here, it's crowded, and we're all here.

(21:46):
There's an exercise in the book that's kind of about
this in some ways that came from Kenneth Goldsmith is
an artist and a poet, and it's it's poeticized. The irritating. Um,
and this was his argument that and he's a very interesting,
provocative guy. And uh, in this case, he was specifically
talking about the experience of he's a New York guy,
of being on the street and like other people's cell

(22:07):
phone calls that you're sort of subjected to and it's
the most annoying thing in the world. But he said, no, no, no,
that's like spontaneous poetry and you just have to sort
of get in the right mindset and sink into it
and enjoy it. And uh, it's this incredible free performance
that's going on all around you. And I think of
him whenever I'm in the city, because just recently, in particular,

(22:30):
there were two cell phone conversations going on within immediate
earshot at me, and I was thinking, like, what an
incredible performance this is, these these two guys who don't
know each other, and like it's kind of connected and
kind of not connected. And so that's like, you know, again,
I do face the question of, like, what's the practical
payoff of approaching life this way? Um, we don't tell

(22:53):
us when we come back, you are going to be
on the hook for telling us what is the practical
and antigive approaching life this way. Before the break, we
had been teased with the practical application of this increased

(23:17):
noticing and awareness and just and just reframing how we
experience the outside world, whether it's the sounds or tastes
or that we wouldn't recommend you do recommend some crazy
taste some taste experience too. But how does what is? What? Why?
How do we benefit from opening ourselves up to the

(23:38):
outside world and paying attention. There's the half answer that
we've already given, and we talked about this sort I
think it's a boost of creativity and and uh and
and but now get really practical. Yeah, but creativity, I
think it's going to be a little anticlimactic in the
sense that, like, I just think that you'll be happier. Um,

(23:59):
that's not anti climb mactic. It's a pretty good practical payoff.
There's so much energy put in It's funny the way
this works, that there's so much energy put into this
sort of mindfulness and meditation space of like and like
the ritualization of that. And I'm all for all of that,
but at the same time, I feel like it ends
up becoming something that feels like I mean, I don't know.

(24:22):
I'll speak for myself that like, I've experimented with meditation
on and off for years, and it's one of those
things where I always feel like I'm not really doing
it right, and it just becomes another thing that I'm
failing at or need improvement on, need to study. But
a lot of the exercises in this book, there's one
about just listening, stopping and listening to your environment for

(24:43):
four minutes and thirty three seconds, which is a reference
to John Cage silent composition. That like, that is meditation,
but you can't do it wrong, you know, and it's
just giving yourself permission to take a break and to um.
That's why poeticized the irritating led into this, that it's
it is a little bit of a like I guess

(25:04):
a mental hack or something of just like transform a
moment of irritation and discomfort, and like, why are these
people on the sidewalk ruining my day? To like step
back and say, actually, you know, these people on the
sidewalk are fascinating in their way. I have a particular

(25:25):
fascination with people talking on their cell phones in public
because of the way, because of their body language, because
they have the body language that is appropriate for whoever
it is that they're talking to, not for the space
that they're in. And there's something fast like they'll be
waving their hands around or making facial s friends like
they can't see you, I can see you, and like

(25:47):
that is a free performance and it's a fun And
I just think, like if you can take a moment
like that and convert it from being a moment of
annoyance to a tiny moment of joy and amusement, and
like it's yourself laughing at this moment that you've created
just by power of your own engagement with the world,
I don't see how that doesn't make your life better.

(26:08):
Why that isn't a happiness win. I'm so glad you
mentioned that one, because I've read that hearing just half
the conversation is so irritating to our brains. That is
why overhearing people's cell phone conversations makes us nuts. Whereas
you know, you're walking behind somebody on the street and
you're hearing them talk to the person next to them,

(26:30):
and it might not distract you, it certainly will bother you.
But the half conversation thing is what leaves our brain
hanging and therefore what annoys us so much and you've
just given me away to kind of outsmart. Yeah, you
can lean into them and you can speculate, you know,

(26:50):
you can engage with it. And that's what Kenny is
kind of Goldsmith is saying, is that instead of trying
to tune those moments out, lean into them. And you know, uh,
it's not always appropriate, but but if you do that,
if you can manage to do that one out of
ten times, I just think it adds to the sum
total of happiness in your life. One of the exercises

(27:11):
that I really found fascinating, and you can use it
with the cell phones. I think you can use it
with anything. It was because it's engaging your imagination. Is
approaching a situation from another perspective, Like you suggest a
vandal or a futurist or a historian. Can you walk
us through I think vandal is the most fun. But
can you just walk us through how you shift your
perspective in order to change how you're seeing what's going on? Sure? Sure, sure, sure, sure,

(27:36):
Um there's a range of those. Um And yeah, so
looking like a vandal is inspired. Basically, I have a
long time interest in street art, and I've known a
lot of street artists, and I would notice that the
way the way they looked at the world was that
they were always like, oh, that would be a great
that Like they'll point at some space at the top
of a building off to this, so like that would
be a great space to hit, you know, like because

(27:56):
it's blank but it has high visibility. And I realized
it was like a way of looking at the world.
So you know, then you start thinking about One of
my favorite suggestions I got was from someone who was
like to look at the world like a bad guest,
and this was his Um. He was just and I'm
kind of like this too. He whenever he goes to

(28:18):
a party or something like that, he's immediately looking for
the exit, Like how like if I had to get
out of here, Um, what what would I do? And
it's just you know, it's another fun way, but the
most valuable one out of all of those, in some
ways is UM. So I'm glad you asked about this
is look like a child, um, because, uh, I don't

(28:41):
have kids, but whenever I'm around kids, I'm sort of
fascinated by, you know, fascinated by their fascination. Everything is
new and exciting to them. They don't take anything for granted.
A shadow like anything can be kind of crazy, and
this is an inspirational way to look at the world.
There's a there's a thing in the book about you
know how. This is a story that someone tells about

(29:02):
taking his daughter to the mall and she's walking really
weird and he realized, like, oh, she's doing that thing
of like don't step on the top on the space
between the tiles, like only steff on the black tiles
on the white or whatever, and that that instinct that
kids have to convert everything into a game and into
like like the world is full of awe and wonder.

(29:22):
That can be inspirational and instead of saying, hey, kid,
knock it off, you should um try to emulate that
and like, how would a kid see this situation? It's
a decent it's a decent hack. Yeah, no, I love it.
It's funny. When I was a little girl growing up
in New York City like kind of couldn't even I
think this is pre having decent language. At my disposal,

(29:46):
I walked all over the city with my mother and
I was convinced that the Micah in the sidewalk was
a magical thing that was happening just for the two
of us. That's the spar sparkly sidewalk stuff that you know.
And I just walked along thinking, well, this is pretty great,

(30:10):
my sparkly world, that my world sparkles when I stepped
through it, and a little sad that I realize that
that's no, it's better everybody gets sparkles. The whole world
gets sparkles with your students, do you notice um? Because again,
our producer Alicia says that her students are at such
a disadvantage this way. Are the is the you know,

(30:33):
if you're talking about that young generation, are they just
the most attention robbed? I'm not coming up with the
right word, but yeah, I mean I think it's I
hesitate to try to be really careful about the whole
We weren't such a weird moment around generational stuff. I
don't want to start any fight. So yeah, I think

(30:55):
that they have for obvious reasons, and and the next
generation after them will have it even worse like that
that there's just this um set of expectations and uh
patterns imposed on them from the beginning of cognition increasingly.
But I have to say that I find that the
responsiveness to these things is off the charts, like they're

(31:16):
into it, Like I never have um, I always, I
always when I talk to groups of students, I always
ask them questions to sort of make sure that like like, hey,
some people think it's a problem that we're on our
phones too much, but do you guys think that? And
then like there's never any pushback where they say like, no,
it's not about They're always like, yeah, we're looking for

(31:38):
this exact thing, and you know, they'll get a payoff
out of Like I'll ask them like, what did you do?
One of the assignments I have in my my actual
classes is practice paying attention, and that's the whole assignment.
So they have to devise basically that to come up
with one of these exercise. So they'll like tell me
about I sat in the park by a tree with

(31:59):
my phone off for an hour or whatever and it
was great, and they'll talk about it. So I think
there's a receptiveness to it, but it's like who's giving
them a chance to do that, who's encouraging them to
do that? And the answer is not not enough. Well,
you're encouraging them and encouraging us, and I have to say,
and I just I do think that these exercises are

(32:20):
a way to almost like force epiphany, I guess, because
it does change the way we see. So thank you
so much for writing the book and for joining us today.
We really appreciate it having you. Well, thank you so
much for having me and I hope I didn't interrupt
any nap that you were playing. Now now we can
have right now, but no, we're so heightened from from
noticing everything, including your beautiful surroundings. Um, but thank you,

(32:44):
thank you again, thanks again. So you should check out
Rob's book. It's called The Art of Noticing. A hundred
thirty one way is to spark creativity, find inspiration, and
discover joy in the every day. The Road to Somewhere
is for corded in New York City. Make sure to share, subscribe, rate,
and review us. We would love to hear from you.

(33:06):
Where are you on your journey? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram,
and Twitter at pod to Somewhere and email us at
road to Somewhere at i heeartmedia dot com. Special thanks
to Alicia Haywood, are incredible producer thanks everyone for joining
us on the road to Somewhere. We're available on the
I Heart Radio app, on Apple podcast, or wherever you

(33:29):
get your podcasts.

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