Find the New in the Old

When my girlfriend and I visit my parents, she sometimes joins my dad and me on our walk around the village. Recently, she pointed out that each house seemed to have a different clay animal “protecting” its door. Over the course of just one walk, we spotted turtles, mice, dogs, cats, sheep, birds, elephants, and more.

I have taken that same walk hundreds of times, yet I never noticed this pattern. Individual figurines, perhaps, but never the totality of “Germans love to put spirit animals on their front lawn.” That’s a completely new lesson, learned from an extremely old routine.

It is never too late to find the new inside the old. You can look at the same painting a thousand times and still see something new. You can write 7,000 blog posts and find you still haven’t run out of things to say. And you can still discover a better way of watering your plants after doing it 500 times.

We all have an eye for innovation, ideas, and inspiration. All we have to do is keep looking. It’s the secret of aging gracefully, of converting boredom into fun, and of focusing until you succeed. And when your eyes are tired? Then you simply invite someone along for your walk — after all, two explorers will likely spot twice as many animals as one.