While out walking, many people enjoy music via headphones.  I prefer to use the time to stretch some of my creativity muscles in addition to exercising my limbs, so I often play “I Spy” in my head.

It follows the same principles as the version you played as a kid, but the concepts become more abstract and often come in contrasting sets.

Examples — Spy something:
> tended to and something neglected
> modern and something old fashioned
> I love and something I loathe
> innovative
> repurposed
> joyful
> clever
> funny
> with a double meaning (e.g.: piece of hay-like straw and a drinking straw)
> here before I was born
> new since my last walk
> in an off beat color (e.g.: salmon)
Usually I pick one or two categories for my walk and continuously evaluate to find “the best” example to illustrate the category.  This stretches my don’t-settle-for-the-first-right-answer muscle in addition to my creative noodle.

Consider leaving the iPhone at home next time and trying some free mental gymnastics.  I guarantee you’ll see things on your walk that you missed by wearing your blinders, er, I mean headphones.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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