Birdwatching and Problem Solving

The morning is a hymn

A photo posted by @darkyodeler on

At 4:30 am the forest is dark. So dark you can’t see anything. As the sun rises, the light crawls along the floor revealing details slowly. The sounds of trees, birds, deer, and wildlife settles on the senses heavily. The world becomes surreal and foreign. In order to see anything of interest in the woods, you must arrive before the sun comes up while the animals are sleeping. You must become a part of the environment. Otherwise your movements will startle the animals and they will never reveal themselves.

My friend once gave me a piece of advice that changed how I look for birds and other animals in the woods. Animals have evolved to be hard to spot in the woods. It protects them from predators.

Don’t look for the animal. You’ll never see it. Look for motion.

Ideas and solutions to problems are like those animals quietly moving through the woods. If you look directly for a solution, you will miss it. You must become a part of the environment and look for movement that doesn’t belong. Getting there early and immersing yourself in the problem space will allow you to see things you would have missed otherwise. And when you see the motion of the solution, you will be able to identify it for what it is.

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