Today I learned from someone at one of my daughter’s volleyball games that some colleges now actually preferring slightly shorter middle blockers than the usual super-tall middle blockers that have dominated the sport in the past (and, to be fair, in most cases still today). Not many college coaches think this way, but some do: prioritizing speed (which tends to come harder to very tall people) over sheer height. Since my daughter is still quite tall but also slightly shorter than what is usually preferred for the position, this made me realize that everything evolves and sports are no different … and as anything evolves, nothing is a hard and fast rule.
The creative lesson I took from this Noticing is that all norms are in a state of constant change — sometimes big, sometimes subtle. And just as the game of volleyball may be beginning to value different attributes in its players, the world of art and storytelling in particular thrives on innovation and breaking free of “what’s been done in the past.” Embracing and celebrating what sets people and their creations apart, rather than conforming to established norms, leads to fresh perspectives and groundbreaking work.
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Listening to the Art of Noticing podcast is only one way to get these lessons. Every episode of the podcast also has a complete companion blog post, all of which you can find here.