August 9, 2022

Seeing Again for the First Time

Written by Mark Stanifer, SightShift Certified Coach and founder of

I remember things that are insignificant and irrelevant. Like the 1988 Corn Flakes commercial that invited us to “Taste them again for the first time.” I don’t know why. It’s one of my many oddities. It might also speak to the power of jingles and slogans. Either way, it comes back to my mind because of a recent experience — something I do want to remember.

I spent some time in the mountains of Idaho with my family a few weeks ago. It was our summer vacation, to a place we’d never been—a log cabin, situated near a small town, nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains. We were expecting grand beauty and were not disappointed. The views were breathtaking. Everywhere we looked there was something more for our eyes to behold. We were gawking and photographing like first-timers because we were. 

But so was our host (and guide), gawking at least. He’s got enough photos by now. He’s been enjoying the area for 40 years. And he is still awed by the beauty. He identified the creeks and rivers. He spotted the elk and antelope. He showed us the fox den near the cabin and told us of the mother wolf and her pups in the valley nearby. He pointed out the named peaks of the majestic Sawtooth range. His love for the area was clear and infectious.

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Early into our trip I was asked what stands out in the experience so far. Immediately I thought of our host and how he experiences the beauty. As if he were a kid seeing it for the first time. With wonder and joy. Fully present in the moment and excited to share it with others. He was seeing the same beauty he’s seen for 4 decades and choosing to let it speak to him yet again.

Central Ohio is not the mountains of Idaho. Still, there is beauty here, like there is everywhere. Beauty not limited to the natural geography. It’s in the relationships with family and friends. It is in the architecture and impressive buildings. It’s the sunrise and moonrise I can enjoy on a clear day from my bedroom window. It’s in the prose or poetry that still speaks to me after countless readings. It’s in the faces of strangers you pass on the street. Beauty is all around, just waiting for us to notice.

We came home with great pics, fun experiences, and lots of memories of time together in a new place. But perhaps most valuable to me is the reminder to embrace life with childlike wonder. Like our host does each time he returns to his cabin. Whether in the mountains of Idaho or the corn fields that surround my house; whether parenting my kids or working with a client, I want to see them again as if for the first time. 

It’s a tall order, to be sure. I have work to do to stay present and choose to see as if for the first time. But the work is worth doing. And maybe, just maybe, that old Cornflakes slogan that I’ve remembered for 34 years ago will actually do me some good. 

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