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Looking & Learning

“Daryl, I love your object lessons!” said a course participant.  “Many years ago you had me construct a periscope, and I’ve never forgotten the principle of lifting my vision.”

You can find lessons for life in everyday items and activities by simply looking around. As you consider your audience, reflect upon the things you do and observe each day. Your surroundings can come alive with answers to help you teach.

Consider using a simple object as a metaphor or an analogy to help connect the learning.

Some of my favourite objects include – Ear plugs, spectacles, a compass, tuning forks, light bulbs, a torch, wool, stabilisers, tools, batteries, eggs, juggling balls, spinning plates, bread, kitchen utensils, remote controls, razors, periscopes – the list is endless! Look around and use your imagination.

Many years ago, my father taught me the power of observation. Sat in the garden he watched and marveled at the industry and work rate of tiny ants. A few days later he shared those observations in a remarkable speech. I have never forgotten the lessons about work, industry and service. I find through small and simple things the most powerful lessons are learned.

What are some of your favourite object lessons?

Do you see?

Are you quick to observe?

It was 1972 – one Sunday morning, I was a youngster and I’d determined not to go to Church with the other members of my family. Apparently, I had a bit of a reputation for running away on Sunday mornings and hung out with other friends. However, as I remember it, toward the end of the service that day, I’d walked in, sat down on a chair, and fell asleep!

The distance from our home at the time to Church was several miles and back then we’d take the bus. I recall being asked “How did you manage to find your way here?” I replied “I just walked along the route the bus took!” Little did I know then, as I do now that, “the route the bus took” was anything but direct, and added at least 2 miles on the journey!

As a young child, observation was a key learning outcome – and so it is in life. Had I not been observant on my previous bus journeys – I’d never have reached my destination that day. When we are quick to observe, we promptly look or notice and obey.

Dennis Waitley said “we learn by observation, imitation and repetition”

There are lots of examples of observational learning. Pay close attention to all that goes on today, pause, reflect and observe – you’ll soon see what I mean!