The ability to observe is the power to absorb. Human beings, more so than the rest of the animal kingdom, are born with a unique capability to observe, imitate, learn and acquire new abilities, along with the octopus… seriously, those critters evolve and adjust to their environment at a freakish rate (I saw the documentary on National Geographic, but I’ve digressed from our topic of discussion). This learning process starts with the power to observe, the power to focus on something and see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, and feel it in great detail. 


You take a network, for instance. The tools we use to monitor a network offer us insights (senses, if you will) into what is going on with the bandwidth, what potential issues lie ahead, how we can avoid those issues, and even allows us to analyze dynamic network paths in order to avoid bottlenecks. Is it magic? Absolutely not, because the power to observe is the basic building block of the “superpowers” we have when monitoring a network. And even the people who are in possession of these monitoring superpowers, must constantly use their power to observe in order to make use of the awesome things they can do for a network’s performance with these aforementioned network monitoring superpowers.


In order to appreciate the power to observe on a deeper level, let’s try a quick exercise: What are you observing now? Take a moment to observe something in vivid detail right now (try not to pick a person, they might think you’re being creepy).


Did you do it?


Okay, what was something you immediately noticed about that object, animal, person or thing? Can you remember it in exact detail? Can you remember how it made you feel? Did you learn something by observing it? Could you think of ways in which you could use what you learned from observing it?


Imagine if you could say “yes” with all certainty to the above questions (and if you did, maybe pick something more complex, just for fun!). Can you imagine using this ability to its full potential with everyone and everything every minute of every day?


Our ability to observe is not just an ability to learn, but an ability to empathize, an ability to understand, an ability to interpret, an ability to improve, and so much more. Taking a moment every day to observe your environment is the same as acquiring a new understanding about something, no matter how big or small it is. And in the end, when we think about the world of IT, and especially network monitoring, the power to observe is key to all of our functions. 


During the holidays, what will you observe? How will it change your perception about something, and even more importantly, yourself?


It’s typical during this time of year for us to be thankful for the people and “things” we have in our lives. But are we sufficiently thankful or appreciative of our ability to observe them?


Absorb. Learn. Interpret. Innovate.


I look forward to seeing your interpretation of the word “Observe” below. Thanks for reading.