|Can you see the "wonder" in the Arbol de Tule in Oaxaca, MX? This is the oldest tree on Earth and we saw it last summer|
When you hear the word "wonder," what comes to your mind?
If I'm honest, all of the above were some of the first things I thought of when thinking about this post. But the true inspiration of the post is a series of things that have happened since September 25 that are nothing short of miracles to me.
Some work related, some service related and many personal related. All fitting the bill of wonder. Dictionary says wonder n. a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable or v. to feel admiration and amazement; marvel.
How often do you allow your self to give in to wonder? If you are like the average person, I bet you find ways to explain it away, you ignore it or worse, you are frightened by it. It seems we have come to a place in history where we downplay wonder.
With all the "controls" we have of our time and space with technology these days, it seems that we as a society have lost our ability to stop and truly feel wonder. Here are two ways to keep that from happening to you.
As simple as it sounds, it can be the hardest thing for most people, letting go. Let go of expectations of others. Let go of outcomes in your every day dealings. Tune in to actuality and let go of what you imagine things to be. As a type-A personality, this is something I have to be extremely intentional about. I often find myself coaching myself to let things go out loud- actually speaking "let go." This is not to say you don't plan or work toward goals or objectives. What this means is simply not being married to how things play out. Absolutely follow your dream and use your best talents daily but don't be set on the HOW it all works. A whole new area of my business was born this past summer by me being open to it, allowing the 'intrusion' in and seeing where it led. It was most definitely a goal of mine in 2013 to serve more Fortune 500 companies but man, am I grateful I was not hell bent on how I'd serve them.
In order to genuinely feel wonder, you have to be paying attention. Tuned in. Since by its nature, wonder is unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable, you won't see it unless you are tuned in to it. Being buried in your email, you won't see it. Keeping your head lowered toward a device won't help you see it. You have to be engaged. You have to fully listen to people around you. You have to look for ways to connect yourself to wonder by being open. My favorite thing that happened in the last 60 days was meeting a woman who went to high school with my mom. If you haven't followed me, you may not know that my mom departed this life at a very young age when I was 4 years old. With very few family members on her side and even few non-family connections, there has been a huge void of information about her that has nagged me all my life being the seeker I am. A few weeks back I was speaking at an event in Chicago and at the end, about 70 people rushed the stage to meet me. As people handed me their cards, I looked fully in their eyes and fully at their cards and made and intentional effort to connect with them. I do it every time I speak. Little did I know that a woman would look back at me as I quickly mentioned that she worked in the town my mom lived in as a child and tell me she grew up there to. We stopped in that frantic moment and realized we were connected through my mom who'd passed away 37 years ago. Wonder.
And I could share more than a dozen other similar instances that occurred in my life over the last few months. Today, I want to challenge you to stop and give in to wonder. I am certain it is all around you just as it is all around me.