Here’s a breakdown of your Wonder @ Work results.
You might experience an occasional moment of curiosity, delight, or connection, but there’s likely a yearning to up your ratio.
You’re working hard to assure you have time set aside every day for something other than your work life or you try to approach your work life with a creative mindset. Perhaps you find yourself Googling “life hacks” and productivity cheats – but nothing quite seems to change the game for you. When things don’t quite go according to plan, your reactivity – instead of your creativity – might get the best of you.
If so, don’t punish yourself. We’re wired in some ways to react to sudden surprise, and it might be a good sign if you’re facing challenges.
Our research points to some valuable discoveries. One, most fulfilled people who flourish over the long term regularly face challenges, big and small. Prolific documentarian Ken Burns says, “Every film brings with it hundreds of problems.” They know this fact: Every big idea begets a series of challenges.
So what’s the difference between those people who flounder and those people who flourish amidst challenges? In part, it’s their capacity to experience wonder. It’s their ability to be more curious and connected.
The good news we’ve discovered is that every one of us can build this capacity. Every one of us can reclaim our birthright to wonder.
On some days you might enjoy your work, but it’s possible you feel close to burn out when you’ve got too much on your plate. Maybe more often than not, you’re compromising your personal time, or your meaningful work in favor of other “busy” activities.
Again, our research points to some valuable discoveries. One is that meaningful work does not always equate to a job or occupation. The title itself does not guarantee meaning or misery at work. We’ve studied fulfilled luminaries across cultures and industries, and we’ve worked with everyday geniuses of creativity.
It’s not the container of their occupation that brings them feelings of purpose, possibility, and meaning. It’s often their capacity to actively experience more curiosity, more delight, and more connection at work and at home.
The great news is you can build this skill set, too, through daily experiments.
You like the people around you, but you possibly hunger to feel more appreciative if not connected to them. Maybe you find yourself quickly judging other people you work or collaborate with or encounter more conflict than connection.
Our research again points to the power of wonder’s social dimensions of connection and admiration. Whether you’re an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, you can actively foster deeper connection with the people you care about – and even the strangers you meet.
The Everyday Beauty Around You:
Every once in a while, you glimpse the beauty in your surroundings, yet you’d love to slow down enough, pause, and actually open your eyes to the people you live with and the planet you live on.
In some respects, you could say you are a Wonder Experimenter – someone who’s willing to get more curious, approach confusion with more creativity and test out how to unbox your biases toward other people (and even toward your own potential!).
Here are three experiments – call them “wonder interventions” – to help you up your wonder ratio this week:
#1 – Seed a Dream –
The most fulfilled people I’ve studied in all walks of life are dreamers in the sense that they pay attention to their desires to make something new or better. It can be as small as converting a closet into an office or as big as creating a new business. For five minutes each morning over the next 7 days, ask yourself, “What is my dream endeavor that would open up my curiosity and sense of possibility?” or “What is one way I could make my work more meaningful?” When you assume a little creative agency of what you pay attention to, your experience of your days could change. Record and track your responses.
#2 – Follow Your Quirky Curiosity –
We all have curiosities, some of them quirky. The exemplary and everyday geniuses of creativity I’ve worked with and studied pay attention to them more so than people who don’t feel fulfilled – and that makes all the difference. After you check in with your dream or dream endeavor, ask yourself, “What am I curious about – related or not to my dream?” Record and track your responses.
#3 – Create a Curiosity Cabinet –
The exemplary and everyday geniuses of creativity I’ve worked with and studied shape physical spaces to remind them of their curiosities. Take a corner, a table, or even a big basket and make it your Curiosity Cabinet. Place on it the objects, books, notebooks with plans, a design board, toys, or other pieces of inspiration that daily remind you of what you are uniquely curious about and dream about.
Watch your inbox for more ideas and next steps to up your Wonder @ Work ratio – every day.
Thanks for running with me,