chapter  5
Disciplined Noticing
Pages 28

This chapter outlines the salient phases of disciplined rather than sporadic and serendipitous noticing. There is nothing particularly demanding about making noticing more systematic, though it is by no means a trivial matter. The idea is simply to work on becoming more sensitive to notice opportunities in the moment; to be methodical without being mechanical. This is the difference between ‘finding opportunities’ and ‘making them’. Instead of being caught up in moment by moment flow of events according to habits and pre-established patterns, the idea is to have the opportunity to respond freshly and creatively yet appropriately, every so often. As Francis Bacon (1605) put it, ‘A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.’ Noticing is an act of attention, and as such is not something you can decide to do all of a sudden. It has to happen to you, through the exercise of some internal or external impulse or trigger. The more you notice, the more energy you can accumulate to support noticing in the future. Marking is also an act of attention. It involves attaching connections so that what is marked can come to mind later without the need for outside triggers.