This story shows how background noise can keep us from hearing the things we should. The challenge at the end of this chapter was:
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by all the noise around me, I put on some music, but instead of taking it all in, I focus on a single instrument.
If I am listening to pop or rock music, I like to zero in on the bass guitar. For classical, I try and pick out something more obscure like the Oboe, the English horn or the French horn.
You’ll be surprised how doing this for just one song will sharpen your ability to filter out other things in your life.
It might allow you to better hear your spouse in the presence of screaming kids. It could help you hear the subtleties of what a coworker is saying. It can also help you eavesdrop on conversations at your local coffee shop – which can be fascinating.
Every day this week pick at least one song, one you think you know well, and focus on that single instrument. You will come to realize that you didn’t know that song as well as you thought you did.
Now try that everywhere!
Do you find the world too noisy sometimes? How do you filter out the background noise?