Remember when everything used to make you feel wonder and awe? A fluffy caterpillar inching its way along a branch, a stringy white cloud changing shape in a clear blue sky, a spider spinning a intricate web …nearly everything made eyes pop and mouths drop when we were kids.
Wonder allows us to look at things as if seeing them for the first time. We need to explore wonder more often, because as adults, many of us lose our sense of wonder in life. It gets buried under piles of to do’s, bills and responsibilities. We are never too old, too mature or too sensible to have a sense of wonder in fact it keeps us youthful and fearless and life wonder-ful!
Since most of us don’t have the resources to travel all the time, wonder has to be found in our everyday lives. How often do you marvel at your daily life? It’s usually a fleeting moment, if at all…right? So cultivating wonder would seem worthwhile.
I’ve listed some of my ideas below.
reACTION [to change in the response to stimulus]: Finding Wonder
WATCH KIDS – Kids approach life with a sense of wonder. Everything is new and bright. Everything is exciting. We can all take a lesson from observing children, from how excited they touch and explore, how they smile at the simplest things. Apply some of that wonder to your daily life.
ENGAGE IN CREATIVITY – I’ve been passionate about the area of creativity for a long time…first working with students and teachers and later corporations. We are all innately creative and have much more creative potential than we think.
TRAVEL TO FAR-OFF PLACES – If your budget actually allows you to do tons of traveling, start packing! If not, go to the local library, and check out the section on travel. Look for travel essays where the writer is immersed in the culture or pick a general book like 1,000 Places to See Before You Die—both will activate wonder!
LEARN SOMETHING NEW – Learning is one of the best ways you can cultivate wonder. You can either dig deeper into topics you’re already familiar with, or take on a totally strange, interesting subject. Starting with books is easy, if you’re not a big reader, watch The Discovery or History Channel or visit a museum. Ask yourself: What topics have I always wanted to learn about? What classes did I want to take in high school or college but didn’t have time to? What topics make me happy?
Go to TED Talks to hear over 1500 talks by thought leaders from around the world on a wide range of topics. Whenever I want to feel an “OH Wow” this is where I go!
Coursera is something I’ve just heard about and very exciting! It’s an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. There are close to 400 courses in over 20 categories created by 62 Universities from 16 countries. It’s definitely worth a look!
If you have other ideas for cultivating wonder please share!