I think that to a large degree, we have lost touch with our ability to NOTICE things. The world we live in, with busy routines, endless media intrusions, technology, etc, just isn’t all that conducive to the habit of NOTICING things in our environment. 10,000 years ago, in hunter-gathering mode, I bet we would have been awesome NOTICING MACHINES. We would have had to be – our survival would have depended on it. Nowadays though, we don’t need to Notice all that much, and we can still get by quite nicely. So we don’t notice, when we put on a few extra kilos, we don’t notice when small erosions begin occurring in the landscapes of our lives – then one day we look up and ask ‘wow, how did I get so overweight? How did I lose all that money? How did my relationship become so bad? It all starts with small erosions – erosions that we fail to notice – when it would have been easy to do something about it.
The flip side of this coin is that we also tend not to notice the small gains we make; the small improvements (in performance, etc) So then we tend to become discouraged, and perhaps make a change in direction – when all we need to do was keep going!
Our inability to notice small changes can really bring us undone. This is why many people stop their martial arts training – they fail to notice that they are actually making great gains; for exactly the same reason that they fail to take notice of the small erosions in their lives. Failing to notice – that’s the Achilles heel of us all.