Along our quest to find a way to restore our sense of wonderment
, the next expert we need to interview is Neil Pasricha, and quite an expert he is. He is not only able to find awe whenever he wants, but he can find 1000 awesome things.
You probably know him already, but for those who haven’t heard about him, let me just tell you that Neil impersonates the blogger’s dream.
A few years ago, he started the less complex blog possible on a free platform (WordPress.com) with a very specific, simple and inspirational goal: to list 1000 awesome things. The blog was (is) a great success with more than 48 million hits.
According to his blog, every awesome thing is an opportunity to savor life’s simple pleasures. Avoiding major complications, he named his blog: “1000 Awesome Things”, and did the same with his first best seller (if you get it right the first time…).
The success of the first book set the route for “The Book of (Even More) Awesome” (2011); “The Book of (Holiday) Awesome” (2011,) and “The Journal of Awesome” (2012).
I made Neil the same question I made to other experts: What would you do if you wanted to regain your sense of wonderment (as the one you had when you were a kid)?
This was his answer:
“Stare deep into the stars and wonder how far it goes and then stare at snowflakes when they land on your coat and don’t melt…”
I haven’t seen a single snowflake for years, but I usually take several deep looks at stars. I have done that for years now. I learned to point out many constellations in the sky (awesome thing # 696) since my early trainings in oceanography, but I have to say that I don’t think I look at them the same way Neil does. But that is a fair result.
Neil can feel rapt in awe looking at stars because he has trained his mind to find awe anywhere (after finding 1000 awesome things, your mind will be trained whether you like it or not).
And this is where his big contribution comes in.
We have learned, so far, about the benefits of stumbling across something that awakens our sense of wonderment; how the reward pathway gets activated and floods our brains with dopamine and other neurotransmitters.
What we haven’t considered is that the system also works in reverse mode. We can train our brains to find awe deliberately and benefit from the physical and emotional advantages that a natural doses of dopamine produce in our brains.
How do we do that? Listen to Neil’s TED talk; it’s all in there. Search for Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity in your life. Search for wonder in life’s simple pleasures.
Simply by acquiring the habit of savoring life’s simple pleasures. Detecting and registering these simple pleasures will allow us to find 1000 awesome things; one awesome thing a day.