Wonder: Your Mental Skill for Surprising Innovation
Every day our brains process billions of data points, from the temperature of the room to the tone of someone’s voice. To make our lives easier – and avoid complete information overload – our brains find patterns in the chaos and establish routines or habits in order to make room in our busy brains. We build cognitive walls to categorize our thoughts and sensations into Mind Rooms that help us shape our mental space and interpret the world around us.
While these walls help us navigate our daily lives more fluidly, they can also lock us into unconscious patterns that prevent us from leading a creative life of meaning and mastery over the long-term. Fortunately, new research shows that the brain is more like a muscle than we think. By flexing cognitive skills like a muscle, you can occasionally break through your cognitive walls or biases to innovate novel, useful solutions in your life and in your work.
In my decades of consulting and teaching – based in part on assimilating research in positive psychology, neuropsychology, creativity, Zen Buddhism, and Yogic skillful means -the single most effective cognitive skill to break down these mental walls is wonder.
Yes, wonder- what one anthropologist calls “the hallmark of the human species.”
How can you foster wonder to dissolve these cognitive walls?
In this short Wonder at Work video, I share three practices that can infuse your life and your work with more wonder. These “wonder interventions” help you train your brain to:
- Navigate crises when your world is in flux.
- Dissolve your habitual biased perception to see what’s true and possible.
- Stay receptive and engaged instead of reactive and enraged.
- Shape more meaningful work.
- Approach challenges with more creativity.
If you like this video, please share it with colleagues, creative peers, or friends whom you think could benefit from fostering more wonder in their work.
If you’re curious to discover more cognitive skills and creative practices, or if you’re feeling creatively blocked, let’s take a deep dive.
This summer, from August 2-6, I invite you to join me at Wild Rice Retreat on the shores of the gorgeous Chequamegon Bay for Tracking Wonder in Times of Challenge and Change: 7 Ways to Shape Your Days with Purpose, Creativity, and Delight.
In this 5-day intensive, you will learn evidence-based “wonder interventions” that train you to engage your work, your days, your surroundings, and your relationships with more purpose, openness to experience, and creativity.
Wonder interventions are practices that momentarily dissolve habitual patterns of perception, open your mind with surprising delight, and train you to glean fresh insights to daily, spiritual, and creative challenges. These practices have helped thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives just like you design their days with more meaning and possibility.
On this retreat, you will learn to:
- Apply a creative, systematic approach to convert worries into curious questions.
- Integrate the neuroscience of wonder & creativity into your life & work
- Convert limiting self-beliefs into expansive evidence of your potential
- Foster radical openness toward other people and your immediate surroundings for creative inspiration
- Lean into discomfort to realize your inner power
- Practice the Tracking Wonder Journal method to shape every day with purpose, curiosity, and your creative genius
And much, much more. You can learn more and reserve your spot here, but hurry before spots go.
Thanks for running with me, and I hope to see you there!