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Peripheral Vision, what do we not see?

by Alrick Dorett, Co-Founder, The Brilliant Foundation

TOKYO, Japan - Japan is one of my favourite countries and I just love everything about it, except the fact that I wish I had a better command of the language.

Tokyo's Green Cab Fender or Wing mirrors

I was in Tokyo, Japan recently for work and I had some time to myself.

It is a very unique country and for a long time I always wondered about the Fender mirrors or wing mirrors (I actually had to find out what they called). Why fender or wing mirrors? Fender mirrors are used to increase driver visibility and reduce blind spots. They also help with navigating narrow streets and busy roads: which is why they are so popular with drivers in Japan.

"If you look too narrowly at things, you'll miss the big picture." - Cassandra Clare That got me thinking, about our vision with our eyes.

In my previous article, Port and Starboard, I talked about having a personal vision.

But for this article, I would like to talk about “beyond our vision”.

Peripheral vision is your side vision, the ability to see things outside of your direct line of sight. You use peripheral vision when you see something out of the corner of your eye.

"The peripheral vision is all around us, but it takes a conscious effort to recognize and make use of it." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

This part of the visual field is seen through the edges of the eyes and is often described as being less detailed and less focused than the central area of vision. The ability to perceive motion and detect objects in the periphery is important for many activities such as driving, sports, and navigating in crowded environments. In the context of self-improvement, peripheral vision can be a useful metaphor for expanding one's perspective and seeing beyond one's immediate vision or focus. Often, we become so fixated on our goals or problems that we lose sight of the bigger picture and miss out on opportunities or solutions that are just outside of our direct line of sight.

"The more you widen your view, the more you'll learn to see what's truly important." - Mark Manson

By developing our ability to use and trust our peripheral vision, we can train ourselves to be more aware of our surroundings, to pick up on subtle cues and changes, and to be more adaptable and creative in our thinking. This can be especially valuable in situations where we feel stuck or limited, as it can help us to break out of our mental ruts and approach problems from a new angle. For example, if someone is trying to improve their career prospects, they may be focused on acquiring new skills or certifications. However, by using their peripheral vision, they may also be able to identify less obvious opportunities, such as building relationships with influential people in their industry or exploring a new niche that is emerging in their field.

"When we learn to see beyond our immediate vision, we gain new perspective and understanding." - Karen Salmansohn

Similarly, in personal relationships, peripheral vision can help us to pick up on subtle changes in a person's mood or behaviour, which can help us to be more empathetic and supportive. It can also help us to be more aware of our own biases and blind spots, which can improve our communication and conflict resolution skills. An adaptable mindset is one that is able to adjust to new circumstances, learn from experience, and approach challenges with a flexible and open attitude. It is a mindset that is characterised by curiosity, resilience, and a willingness to take risks and try new things. In the context of peripheral vision and self-improvement, having an adaptable mindset means being able to see beyond our immediate goals or challenges, and being open to new opportunities or approaches that may not have been initially apparent. It means being willing to take risks and try new things, even if they are outside of our comfort zone or require us to learn new skills. Having an adaptable mindset can be especially valuable in today's fast-paced and rapidly changing world, where new technologies, industries, and ways of working are constantly emerging. Those who are able to adapt and learn quickly are often the most successful, both in their personal and professional lives. In order to develop an adaptable mindset, it is important to cultivate certain habits and skills, such as:

  • Being open to feedback and willing to learn from mistakes

  • Being willing to take on new challenges and try new things

  • Being comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity

  • Being able to think creatively and outside of the box

  • Being able to collaborate and communicate effectively with others

  • Being able to manage stress and maintain a positive attitude in the face of challenges

"In the periphery of our vision lies a wealth of information that can guide us towards new insights and opportunities." - Shakti Gawain

By developing these habits and skills, we can become more adaptable, resilient, and effective in our pursuit of personal and professional growth. Overall, developing our peripheral vision can be a valuable tool for self-improvement, as it allows us to see beyond our immediate goals and challenges and to approach life with a more open and adaptable mindset.


copyright@The Brilliant Foundation

Alrick, Co-Founder, The Brilliant Foundation has been in the advertising industry for the last 27 years. A CPA by trade, he is currently the COO of TBWA Singapore and Malaysia, and the Chief Pricing Officer for TBWA Asia. Alrick has been part of the transformation team and operationalising those outcomes with the companies that he has worked for. His interest lies in incorporating technology into businesses, B2B pricing, and coaching and mentoring start-ups and troubled businesses.

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