It was a grey and dismal morning around 8am when I was approaching the transition from I-69 to I-465 South. The sun had just cleared the eastern horizon and was streaming light under the cloud cover. And then it happened: a rainbow appeared right in front of me, just to the west. And then, right before my newly distracted eyes, a 2nd rainbow started to form. For maybe 15 seconds I was totally absorbed with this utterly beautiful gift from God.
God’s timing for his unique gift of pristine beauty was perfect.
That morning I was feeling glum and stressed (of course I had good reasons) and the rainbow reminded me of several things.
For one, I realized that I spend so much time looking at smart phone and computer screens that I miss much of the beauty around me. I just don’t allow it to enter my field of awareness and I’m so confident that things are the same that I don’t notice. This time it could not be missed, and I so wanted to stop and soak it in (Wisdom herself had to keep my foot on the pedal).
I also wondered how many others on the road noticed it enough to enjoy it. Driving the same route for years makes it easy to zone out and not notice anything at all. More than once I’ve “woken up” at work, with no memory of how I got there. Have I missed other rainbows, literal or otherwise, that were so obvious?
Opportunities like this exist everywhere in business and in life. When you get into a mode of doing things the same every day, it’s so easy to miss what is right in front of you. Abraham Luchins’ famous psychology experiment showed that when people get used to solving a certain kind of problem one way, they start to miss other ways to solve that kind of problem that inexperienced people may see quickly. I tend to agree.