As a storyteller, your job is to bring great ideas to life to show your audience that there is something beautiful behind the curtain that they can’t see. However, in our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, it’s difficult to find the space needed to do just that. With the start of a new year comes more goals to hit and emails to send. But what if this year, rather than racing to the next event, you chose to slow down and take time to wonder?
Wonder is defined as a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. It’s the look in the eye of a child when they open a present or see a shooting star; it’s the laughter of an audience as a comedian nails their opening joke, and it’s a conversation that takes place after the big sales pitch that has left potential clients feeling excited and ready to engage.
Wonder is a fascinating concept, but in our busy world, wonder has begun to dissipate. And for a presenter, that can leave you feeling less creative, less excited, and less inspired.
That’s why we believe it’s time for a shift. That as leaders, creatives, and communicators, it is time to re-awaken the wonder inside each one of us and explore the world through a new lens. After all, if we don’t, who will?
There is a beautiful line in the movie Alice in Wonderland that sums up the importance of wonder brilliantly. Alice has just returned from Wonderland, and she is lying in her bed feeling as if she is going crazy because of what she has just experienced. She asks her father, “Have I gone mad?” and he leans in close and says to her “You’re entirely bonkers…but let me tell you a secret, all the best ones are!”
This moment so beautifully created by Tim Burton speaks to the heart of every entrepreneur, every communicator, and every thought leader who has ever felt like their idea was entirely crazy. It is those crazy ideas that make up this world and that move our culture forward, that discover new medical techniques, and inspire campaigns to save lives. And at the heart of every one of these crazy, mad ideas is a simple concept: Wonder.
That’s why the team at Ethos3 is choosing to embrace wonder this year by embracing these 4 practices.
By definition, wonder takes place in the in-between spaces of our days. Maybe it’s a conversation with a coworker at lunch or a connection at a coffee shop on your way into the office. The in-between is where wonder is explored. However, as we add to our busy schedules and experience life at an ever-increasing pace, the in-between disappears and, with it, the moments of wonder.
So take time to slow down, to acknowledge the in-between and to experience it in real life. Put down your phone while in line for your coffee and see what the world looks like around you. One intentional way to slow down is to build in a 15-minute buffer before and after every meeting. This will ensure that you have time to stop and experience the wonder of your day, rather than run from one meeting to the next.
Delegate the tasks you can do in your sleep.
The reality is there are only so many hours in the day, and for a high-level leader, taking time to slow down may seem impossible. Let’s face it, 15-minute buffers would be great, but that is 15 minutes you could be answering emails or working on the next big deal. But my guess would be if you stopped to look at your schedule, there are some tasks that you are doing that you shouldn’t be. If you can accomplish a task in your sleep, it may be time to delegate that to someone else.
By passing off the easy aspects of your role, you create more time to wonder and dream about the future of your idea. This creates space for creativity and new discovery that wouldn’t otherwise be there. And if you’re sitting there thinking that you have no one to delegate to, there are hundreds of technology and AI-based programs that can help you to delegate tasks at little or no cost.
Take time quarterly to dream.
As a team of creatives, we spend much of our energy working on other people’s projects. In our context, this means expending a lot of our creative energy on other people’s ideas. We have found that taking time quarterly to get away and dream about our company and our personal creativity allows us to tap back into and recharge our creative stores which ultimately allows us to serve our clients at a higher level.
Taking time to recharge your creative stores quarterly ensures you are always ready to produce your best ideas and combat creativity block.
Keep a wonder journal.
In our fast-paced lives, it can be hard to focus on the moments of wonder flying by. Intentionally writing those moments down daily forces you to notice when they happen, or at least recollect on them later. Whether you are a digital fan or prefer the analogue of paper and pencil, putting down those moments of wonder can be a gamechanger for your creative experience.
It’s important to note that this journal should not become just another “to do” on your list as this would reduce its overall effectiveness. Rather, it should be used as a tool to spark creativity and wonder in your daily life.
Wonder is an abstract concept that, when leveraged properly, can unlock a level of creativity and inspiration that you never thought possible. It’s the space where ideas are born that will change the world, and for storytellers, it is the space that we must learn to draw our audiences to. That’s why, this year, the team at Ethos3 is going to embrace wonder and enhance our creativity. Would you join us?
And for those of you who have ever felt crazy about your next idea, let me tell you a secret: You are. But here’s the good news – “All the best ones are.”
Looking to learn more about how to deliver your next presentation with excellence and leave your audience on the cusp of wonder? Contact the team at Ethos3 today to find out how we can help.
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