I’d like you to watch a video on YouTube. In the video you’ll see two teams of kids playing with basketballs. One team is dressed in white, the other in black. While you watch the video, be very careful to keep track of how many times the white team passes the ball.
Each time I provide a video link, I know that some of you watch it and some of you don’t, figuring you’ll just plow on through my words and get around to watching the video later (if the post is worth the effort). Don’t do that this time. To really understand this post, please click on the link and watch the one and a half minute video first. Remember your assignment is to carefully count how many times the white team passes the ball.
Ready? Press play on the video screen below or click HERE to watch.
Joachim De Posada, author of Don’t Eat The Marshmallow Yet, fist turned me on to this video. I was so stunned by what I saw that after Joachim’s presentation I insisted that he run his PowerPoint again because I just couldn’t believe what I had just seen (or didn’t see, to be more precise).
[SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t already clicked on the link and watched the video, do it now before you read any further.]
Did you count the turnovers? Do you know how many times the team passed the ball back and forth? Are you sure? Okay then, answer me this: Did you see the man in the gorilla suit walk through the scene? It’s hard to believe you could miss a guy in a full, furry gorilla suit, isn’t it?
Can you believe it? You were so busy counting the handoffs you didn’t even see the big gorilla. And it’s not like the gorilla ran quickly through the scene, he even stopped and pounded his chest right in the middle of the room.
The filmakers call this “The Invisible Gorilla.” Magicians call this phenomenon misdirection. They make you look at their moving hand or their flourished scarf while they stealthily go about their business elsewhere.
Could this happen in your everyday life too? Imagine just how many things we miss each and every day because we’re so busy looking at something else.
Didn’t see our kids smiling by our side because we were too busy watching the big game. Didn’t catch the stunning sunset because we were too busy checking our text messages. Didn’t enjoy what we have because we were too busy chasing whatever it is that we don’t have.
Like the white arrow positioned smack dab in the middle of the FedEx logo, there are plenty of meaningful things that are hidden in plain sight each and every day.
The arrow is right there – the negative space between the “e” and the “x”. See it now?).
All we have to do is pay attention.