Being Amazed: What’s Your Threshold?


In a world where the rate of technological advancement and scientific discovery is speeding up, it seems that our threshold for being amazed is getting higher and higher.

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”  ~ Mary Oliver

Wonder of flightIf you could go back in time to 1990 and tell your younger self that in less than 20 years you’ll have this really cool thing called the internet on your mobile phone, which itself will be a fraction of the size of the brick you currently lug around (if you even have one), the younger you would no doubt be amazed.

As I write this post I am sat in a Starbucks enjoying a cappuccino that I paid for using my phone. And later, probably before I leave, I’ll have emailed these words to scores of people dotted about on every continent. I think that’s pretty cool. I could not have imagined it as a possibility 10 years ago. I’d barely even heard of Google back then.

We’re all used to this kind of way of life now. But does that make it any less amazing?

I’ve just returned from a short consulting trip to Dubai, which I thought was an amazing place because of its scale and opulence. Even on the flights there and back I was amazed at the availability of WIFI and 3G access throughout. I was amazed at how the colossal A380 I was travelling on could take off, stay up and land with such elegance and control.

I don’t know about you but I LOVE being amazed.

In the personal development world we talk a lot about the importance of gratitude in living happy and fulfilling lives. It seems to me that the state of being truly grateful comes more naturally to us when it is preceded with a sense of amazement and wonder. It’s pretty hard for us to be positively amazed by something and not to, at some level, be thankful that we are around to be a part of what’s happening.

But we don’t have to wait to be dazzled. We don’t have wait to be presented with something groundbreaking and revolutionary before exercising our wonder muscles. If we are just willing to consciously lower our ‘amazement threshold’ and notice the incredible nature of everything that surrounds us moment by moment, we can all be reconnected to our innate childlike wonder.

For instance, the next time you get yourself a glass of water, take a moment to consider that every drop of water you are about drink are the exact same drops that arrived on Earth around 4.5 BILLION years ago on icy comets from the far reaches of space. And how that transparent liquid is responsible for all life on this planet. And how if it weren’t for some fluke (or miracle) of universal physics, that water might not have arrived and you wouldn’t even be here to observe it. Isn’t that mind blowing?

How about looking down at your hands? Wiggle your fingers. Observe them with a sense of curiosity. How much of what you do in your life is only possible because of those weird, spindly, tentacle like tools?

Isn’t it fascinating how a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly?

How amazing is it that we, as a relatively young species, have managed to achieve and create so much? From harnessing energy and sending humans into space, to being able to jump in the car and go to the supermarket.

Your homework for today is to see how far you can lower your own amazement threshold.

Amazement, wonder and gratitude are nutrient rich supplements that nourish and inspire the soul.

I’d love to know what simple things amaze you. Please leave a comment below and help to inspire us all.





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