The Search for Interesting

What in our lives do we take for granted? What achievements are we proud of, or depend on, that we brush aside in our day-to-day struggles? What deeper meaning and significance would we find and benefit from by looking at the familiar things and people around us, anew?

Click on the photo to see it larger

This is the first ever picture of the Space Shuttle docked on the International Space Station. It’s a unique and beautiful image for so many reasons. Its simplicity hides a deeper meaning and a depth of symbolism.

And yet, many would look at it and assume they’ve seen it all before. We’re so used to seeing images of space these days. We take it all for granted.

And yet if we stop to look and think, if we delve a little deeper into the context of that picture we can begin to find so much more than that original casual dismissive glance.

Here are a few secrets:

• It could be seen as humanity’s greatest collaborative project in history. The USA, Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada built it. It has been visited by astronauts and cosmonauts from 15 countries.

• The Space Shuttle is Endeavour, here on her final mission. She was the Shuttle that brought the first segments of the now nearly competed space station in 1998 and the penultimate Shuttle to fly. Atlantis will take off for the last time in July and the USA’s manned missions to space will (hopefully temporarily) come to an end.

• The photo was taken by  Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli onboard the Russian Soyuz craft as it returned to Earth.

• The Space Station is in free-fall, falling around the Earth at a speed of 27,000km/h (17,000mph) and at an altitude of approximately 355km (220 miles).

• It has cost an estimated £89 billion ($145 billion) to construct and is designed to last until around 2028.

• It has been inhabited by 2 to 6 people constantly since October 2000

But there’s more to it than that. 

Have a think what it took to get that photo. The station has been under construction for over 12 years. Humans have travelled to space for just 50 years but when we think deeper we realise that it has taken millions of years of human development, ingenuity and millions of individuals to get our civilisation and understanding of the universe to a point when that photo could have been taken.

What do you overlook on your way to work? What do you scarcely notice as you rush through your day? What ideas and opportunities could be passed over without realising because we give something or someone just a surface glance?

The Search for Interesting is a definition of the creative urge. Our desire for meaning is the activator of our right brain and the catalyst for creativity and innovation.

Let’s try to think differently and deeper every day, and notice more. We’ll not only find ourselves with richer, more interesting and more meaningful lives but we’ll trigger our own creativity to make more of what we’ve got.

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4 comments on “The Search for Interesting

  1. Just been listening to John Maxwell CD series on thinking. I listened to Big Picture thinking and Creative thinking and thought, ‘why would you have to teach anyone how to do this?’. But when I listened to Realistic thinking I thought, ‘why would anyone want to do this?’ Thank god I still want to learn is all I can say!


  2. I love the fact that this is the ONLY photo EVER of the space shuttle docked. There aren’t many things you could say that about.

    And the fact that it could not normally be taken due to health and safety regs preventing crew leaving the space station while the shuttle is docked.

    It also has such extraordinary beauty – but I don’t know why. Is it because of the very fact that it is suspended in orbit?


  3. I do think “photos of technology” are impressive. You are right Ayd so much lies behind the picture.

    Near where I live there is a huge electricity transmission line marching across the country side from Dunwich to the central distribution spine. It is majestic.


  4. This is an astonishing photo, Ayd – one that I’ve not seen before. If the search is for ‘interesting’, it more than fits the description. It reminded me of one of my NASA astronaut heroes, Bruce McCandless. In 1984, I was awestruck when, from the Space Shuttle ‘Challenger’, he made the first ever untethered space ‘walk’ in his ‘Manned Maneuvering Unit’. For me, if you are on a search for ‘brave’, that was it.

    Indeed, Bruce McCandless is one example of the complex qualities displayed by all the astronauts and cosmonauts of the past 50 years. He showed patience and perseverance, and academic prowess, while achieving his degrees. He was committed to naval aviation, acquiring proficiency in flying many types of aircraft. His rigorous training was no impediment to his creative flair. He applied his experience – and the skill and knowledge gained from his electrical engineering degree – to invent a tool tethering system that was used on all the subsequent Shuttle ‘space walks’.

    The message seems to be that there is a strong likelihood of higher level thinking skills developing when we set some goals, plan and prepare, and know our stuff. Then, when opportunities arrive, we are ready – not only to implement practised procedure – but also to make good use of informed judgment to improvise creative responses.


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